How to Train New Ones to Preach
1. How did you feel the first time you engaged in the ministry?
1 Do you remember the first time you engaged in the house-to-house ministry? Likely, you were very nervous. If you were working with your Bible teacher or another publisher, you were no doubt happy to have his assistance. Now that you have gained experience as a minister, you are in a position to help train newer ones to preach.
2. What do new publishers need to learn?
2 New publishers need to learn how to start conversations with the householder, use the Bible at the door, make return visits, and start and conduct Bible studies. They should also learn how to share in different avenues of preaching, such as street witnessing and calling on people at places of business. You can help them to improve in these areas both by your example and by your suggestions.
3. How may we help others by our example?
3 Teach by Example: Jesus demonstrated to his disciples how to preach. (Luke 8:1; 1 Pet. 2:21) When you arrange to work with a newer publisher, prepare a simple presentation that the publisher can imitate, perhaps using a sample found in one of our publications. Then offer to take the first door or two so that the publisher can hear what you say. Between doors, you might ask the publisher for his observations on the effectiveness of your presentation. This will help him see the value of working with others in the ministry and will make it easier for him to accept any suggestions you offer after he gives his presentation.
4. How may we help a new publisher after listening to his presentation?
4 Offer Suggestions: Jesus also gave his disciples instructions on how to preach. (Matt. 10:5-14) You can help a new publisher in a similar way. When it is his turn to speak, listen carefully. Then after you leave the door, be generous in giving specific and sincere commendation, even if you observed aspects of his presentation needing improvement. Before offering a suggestion, you may choose to see whether he has improved in that aspect at the next door. Perhaps he was just nervous. Keep in mind, too, that publishers do not all have the same abilities, and there is often more than one correct way to do something.—1 Cor. 12:4-7.
5. What can we say when taking the initiative to offer suggestions?
5 Sometimes a new publisher will ask you for suggestions. But if he does not, take the initiative to help him. How can this be done tactfully? Some experienced publishers simply ask, “May I give you a suggestion?” or, “How do you think that went?” Another option is to say, “When I was a new publisher, I found it a challenge to . . . , but I found this to be helpful. . . .” Sometimes it is beneficial to consult the Reasoning book together. So that you do not overwhelm him, offer suggestions on only one aspect of his presentation.
6. With regard to the ministry, how does ‘iron sharpen iron’?
6 Iron Sharpens Iron: Timothy, an experienced evangelizer, was encouraged by Paul to continue applying himself to teaching and to making advancement. (1 Tim. 4:13, 15) Though it may be that it has been years since your first time in the ministry, you should never stop trying to improve your skills. Learn from the publishers with whom you preach, even those who have less experience in the ministry, and be alert to help others kindly, especially newer ones, to become skillful ministers of the good news.—Prov. 27:17.