How to Benefit From Your Field Service Group
1. What benefits of the Congregation Book Study arrangement are still available through our field service group?
1 Do you miss certain aspects of the Congregation Book Study? Groups were small and the setting more relaxed. This made it easy to develop friendships that were a source of spiritual support. (Prov. 18:24) The book study overseer got to know our unique circumstances and could provide personal encouragement. (Prov. 27:23; 1 Pet. 5:2, 3) These benefits are still available through our field service group.
2. How can we take the initiative to develop friendships in our field service group that are a source of spiritual support?
2 Take the Initiative: Field service groups are generally the same size that book study groups were. By working in the ministry “side by side” with others, a close bond can result. (Phil. 1:27) How many in your group have you worked with? Could you “widen out” in this regard? (2 Cor. 6:13) Additionally, we might occasionally invite someone from our group to join us for our Family Worship evening or for a meal. In some congregations, field service groups take turns providing hospitality to the visiting speaker. On their assigned week, the group gathers for a meal and mutual encouragement regardless of whether the speaker can attend.
3. What are some opportunities to receive shepherding in our field service group?
3 Although the congregation now meets together on one less occasion a week, this does not mean that publishers should receive less shepherding. Group overseers are appointed in each group to give individuals personal encouragement and training for the ministry. If your group overseer has not yet made an appointment to work with you in the ministry, why not ask to work with him? In addition, the service overseer shares in the ministry with a different group one weekend each month. In smaller congregations where there are only a few field service groups, he may arrange to visit each group twice during the year. Do you arrange your schedule to go in the ministry when he serves your group?
4. (a) How are meetings for service organized? (b) Why should we consider offering our home for meetings for field service?
4 It is often advantageous for each group to meet separately for field service on weekends. Having several locations to meet for service at approximately the same time may make it easier for publishers to travel to the meeting for service and perhaps to the territory. Publishers can be organized quickly and begin heading to the territory without delay. It is also easier for the group overseer to give close attention to those in his care. However, circumstances may make it advisable for two or more groups to combine. If the entire congregation meets together for service on the first Saturday of the month or after the Watchtower Study, it is often beneficial for each group to sit together and the group overseer to be given a few minutes to organize his group before the meeting for field service is concluded with prayer.—See the box “Can You Offer Your Home?”
5. Although the Congregation Book Study arrangement has ended, of what can we be confident?
5 Although the Congregation Book Study arrangement has ended, Jehovah continues to provide everything we need to do his will. (Heb. 13:20, 21) Under Jehovah’s care, we lack nothing. (Ps. 23:1) Many blessings are available through our field service group. If we take the initiative and ‘sow bountifully,’ we will “reap bountifully.”—2 Cor. 9:6.
[Box on page 6]
Can You Offer Your Home?
Some congregations combine groups for service on the weekend because there is a shortage of homes in which to meet. Meetings for field service are an extension of the congregation arrangement, so hosting these is a real privilege. Could you make your home available? Do not hold back because your home is humble. The elders will take into account the location of your home and other factors similar to those considered when they selected locations for the book study. If you would like to offer your home, let your group overseer know.