1 The psalmist David wrote: “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Jehovah, my Rock and my Redeemer.” (Ps. 19:14) We too want our words to be pleasing to Jehovah because we treasure our privilege of speaking the truth in the congregation and in the ministry. The Theocratic Ministry School is one of the ways that Jehovah trains us for the ministry. This training takes place each week in the more than 111,000 congregations worldwide. It has helped brothers and sisters around the globe and from all walks of life to become adequately qualified as ministers of the good news, capable of teaching with persuasion, tact, and boldness.—Acts 19:8; Col. 4:6.
2 The school schedule for 2015 will include subjects considered in “An Introduction to God’s Word” and the “Glossary of Bible Terms” found in the New World Translation, as well as material from Insight on the Scriptures, Volume 1. Additionally, adjustments have been made in the time allotted for Bible highlights and Assignment No. 1. These changes along with instructions on how parts on the school are to be presented are considered in the following paragraphs.
3 Bible Highlights: Brothers assigned this part will have two minutes to consider one interesting and practical Scriptural point from the weekly Bible reading. Good preparation will result in sharing a point of value with the congregation within the allotted time. Thereafter, the congregation will have the customary six minutes to offer comments of 30 seconds or less on interesting points they found in the weekly Bible reading. It takes preparation and self-discipline to make a meaningful comment in 30 seconds, but doing so is good training for us. It also allows time for others to comment on what they have learned in their personal research.
4 Assignment No. 1: The time allotted for the Bible reading has been reduced to three minutes or less and will cover less material. Those who receive a reading assignment should rehearse it several times by reading it aloud and paying close attention to proper pronunciation and fluency in order to convey thoughts with understanding. All of Jehovah’s people should strive to read well, since reading plays an important role in our worship. How delighted we are that so many of our children read well! Parents are to be commended for their loving efforts to help their children become good readers.
5 Assignment No. 2: This will be a five-minute presentation assigned to a sister. The assigned theme should be used. When an assignment is based on material found in the New World Translation, it should be applied to an aspect of field service that is realistic and practical for the local territory. When the assignment is based on a Bible character in Insight on the Scriptures, Volume 1, the student should study the information found under the Bible character’s name, select appropriate scriptures to be used, and show what can be learned from the example of the Bible character. Additional scriptures that tie in with the theme may be included. The school overseer will assign one assistant.
6 Assignment No. 3: This will be a five-minute presentation assigned to a brother or a sister. When assigned to a sister, this part should be presented as outlined for Assignment No. 2. When assigned to a brother, the material that is based on Insight should be given as a talk with the audience in mind. The student should develop the assigned theme, select appropriate scriptures to be used, and show what can be learned from the example of the Bible character.
7 A New Feature of Assignment No. 3 for Brothers: When the assignment is based on the material in the New World Translation, it should be presented as a demonstration of family worship or field service. Usually the school overseer will assign an assistant and the setting. The assistant should be a member of the student’s family or a brother in the congregation. Additional scriptures that highlight Bible principles that tie in with the theme may be included in the presentation. From time to time, an elder may be assigned to present this part. Elders may choose their own assistant and setting. Undoubtedly, it will be encouraging for the congregation to see elders demonstrate the art of teaching with a family member or another brother.
Make advancement by accepting and applying counsel
8 Counsel: The school overseer will use two minutes after each student’s presentation to give commendation as well as constructive counsel based on Benefit From Theocratic Ministry School Education. When the school overseer introduces a student’s part on the program, he will not announce the point of counsel the student is working on. After each presentation, the overseer should give the student sincere commendation, announce the point of counsel the student is working on and state specifically why the student did well on that point or kindly explain why it would be beneficial for the student to give that particular point further attention.
9 The student’s counsel form can be found on pages 79 to 81 of his personal copy of the Ministry School book. After a student cares for his assignment, the school overseer will make the appropriate notations in the student’s book and will privately ask whether the student did the exercise related to the assigned counsel point. Commendation as well as additional helpful suggestions may be given to the student after the meeting or at another time. The personal attention that each student receives in the school should be viewed as an opportunity to help him make spiritual advancement.—1 Tim. 4:15.
10 If a student talk runs overtime, the school overseer or an assistant should be alert to give a signal, such as a bell or a tapping noise, to indicate in a discreet manner that the student’s time is up. The student should acknowledge the signal by completing his sentence and leaving the platform.—See Ministry School book, p. 282, par. 4.
11 All who meet the requirements are encouraged to enroll in the Theocratic Ministry School. (See Ministry School book, p. 282, par. 6.) The education that this school provides has enabled Jehovah’s people to preach and teach the good news of the Kingdom with conviction, dignity, and love. Jehovah is undoubtedly pleased to be praised by all those who are benefiting so much from theocratic education!—Ps. 148:12, 13; Isa. 50:4.