“I will give you good instruction.”—PROVERBS 4:2.
1, 2. Why must we train others to take up theocratic assignments?
JESUS worked very hard to preach about the Kingdom. He also spent a lot of time training his disciples. He showed them how to teach and how to take care of God’s people. The disciples learned to be like shepherds who take care of their sheep. (Matthew 10:5-7) Philip was very busy preaching as well, but he also trained his daughters to do the same work. (Acts 21:8, 9) Today we too need to train others. Why?
2 In congregations around the world, there are many new ones who are not yet baptized. These new ones need to be trained. We must help them to understand why it is good for them to read and study the Bible on their own. And we also need to train them to preach and teach the good news. Brothers who have recently been baptized need training so that in time they can serve as ministerial servants and elders. All in the congregation can do much to help newer ones.—Proverbs 4:2.
TEACH NEW ONES HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE
3, 4. (a) How did Paul connect study of the Scriptures with a productive ministry? (b) Before we encourage our students to study the Bible on their own, what must we be doing?
3 Every servant of Jehovah needs to read and study the Bible to learn what God’s will is. The apostle Paul explained this to his brothers and sisters in Colossae when he said: “We have never stopped praying for you and asking that you may be filled with the accurate knowledge of his will.” Why was it so important for them to read and study the Scriptures? Because this would give them wisdom and help them to understand how they could “walk worthily of Jehovah in order to please him fully.” It would also help them to do “every good work” that Jehovah wanted them to do, especially preaching the good news. (Colossians 1:9, 10) So if we are studying with someone, we need to help him understand that regularly reading and studying the Bible can help him to serve Jehovah.
4 We cannot help our Bible students to understand the value of personal Bible study if we do not study the Bible ourselves. In fact, if we regularly read the Bible and meditate on it, this will help us in our life and ministry. For example, when we are in the ministry and someone asks us a difficult question, we will be able to use the Bible to give an answer. Or when we read about how Jesus, Paul, and others did not give up in their ministry, we will be encouraged and will continue to preach even when it is difficult. And when we tell others what we have learned from our study and how it has helped us, we may encourage them to study the Bible more deeply so that they too can have similar benefits.
5. Give a suggestion on how to help new ones to have a routine of personal Bible study.
5 You may ask, ‘How can I train my student to study the Bible regularly?’ Perhaps you could show him how to prepare the information in the publication you are studying with him. You might suggest that he read the related information in the appendix of the book What Does the Bible Really Teach? and look up the Bible verses that are mentioned. Next, you could show him how to prepare for the meetings so that he can give a comment. Encourage him to read every issue of The Watchtower and Awake! And you could show him how to find answers to Bible questions, for example by using Watchtower Library or Watchtower ONLINE LIBRARY. When he tries these different methods of personal study, he will likely enjoy it and want to learn more.
6. (a) How can you help your student to cultivate love for the Bible in his heart? (b) What is a Bible student likely to do if he develops heartfelt love for the Scriptures?
6 When we study with someone, we want him to realize that the Bible is valuable because it helps him to get to know Jehovah better. Instead of pressuring him to study, we can show him how to enjoy studying. The more he learns from the Bible, the more he will feel like the psalmist who sang: “Drawing near to God is good for me. I have made the Sovereign Lord Jehovah my refuge.” (Psalm 73:28) Jehovah’s spirit will surely help someone who wants to draw close to him.
TRAIN NEW ONES TO PREACH AND TEACH
7. How did Jesus train proclaimers of the good news? (See opening picture.)
7 We can learn much from the way Jesus trained his apostles. Jesus took them with him when he went preaching, and they watched how he taught people. He also gave them specific instructions about how they should preach. (Matthew, chapter 10) (See endnote.) In a short time, the apostles learned from Jesus how to teach people the truth. (Matthew 11:1) Let us see two things we can train new ones to do when they are in the ministry.
8, 9. (a) How did Jesus approach individuals in his ministry? (b) How can we help new publishers to converse with people as Jesus did?
8 Have conversations with people. Jesus did not always speak to crowds of people. He often talked to individuals, and he did so in a friendly way. For example, he had an interesting conversation with a woman who came to draw water from a well near the city of Sychar. (John 4:5-30) Jesus also spoke with Matthew Levi, a tax collector, and invited him to be his disciple. Matthew accepted and later invited Jesus and others to his house for a meal. There, Jesus spoke with many people.—Matthew 9:9; Luke 5:27-39.
When we talk to people in a friendly and kind way, they will be more likely to listen to what we have to say
9 Jesus also spoke in a friendly way to Nathanael, even though Nathanael had said negative things about people from Nazareth. Because of the friendly way Jesus spoke to him, Nathanael changed the way he felt about Jesus, who was from Nazareth. And Nathanael wanted to learn more from Jesus. (John 1:46-51) From Jesus’ example, we learn that when we talk to people in a friendly and kind way, they will be more likely to listen to what we have to say. [See endnote.] When we train new ones to speak in this way, they will enjoy the ministry even more.
10-12. (a) How did Jesus cultivate the interest others showed in the good news? (b) How can we help new publishers to improve their skills as teachers of Bible truth?
10 Teach those who are willing to listen. Jesus was very busy. But when people were willing to listen to him, he spent time with them and taught them many things. For example, one day a crowd of people gathered on the shore to listen to Jesus. So Jesus went out on a boat with Peter and taught the people from there. After that, he wanted to teach Peter a lesson too. Jesus performed a miracle by providing a huge amount of fish for Peter to catch. He then said to Peter: “From now on you will be catching men alive.” Immediately Peter and those with him “brought the boats back to land and abandoned everything” and followed Jesus.—Luke 5:1-11.
11 Nicodemus too wanted to learn more from Jesus. But since Nicodemus was a member of the Sanhedrin, he was afraid of what others would say if they saw him speaking to Jesus. So he visited Jesus at night. Jesus did not send him away but instead spent time with him and explained important truths to him. (John 3:1, 2) Jesus was always willing to use his time to teach people the truth and strengthen their faith. In a similar way, we need to be willing to visit people at a time that is good for them, and we need to spend time with them helping them to understand the Bible.
12 When we work with new ones in the ministry, we can teach them to go back to anyone who seemed willing to talk with them again. We can also invite new ones to come with us on return visits and Bible studies. In this way, they will learn how to teach others and will see how good it feels to help such ones learn the truth about Jehovah. Then, these new ones will be excited to visit people again and study the Bible with them. They will also learn to be patient and not to give up quickly when they cannot find people at home again.—Galatians 5:22; see the box “He Did Not Give Up.”
TRAIN NEW ONES TO SERVE THEIR BROTHERS
13, 14. (a) What do you think of the Bible examples of those who made great sacrifices in behalf of others? (b) In what practical ways can you train new publishers and young ones to show love for their brothers and sisters?
13 Jehovah wants his servants to love one another as brothers and sisters and to serve one another. (Read Luke 22:24-27; 1 Peter 1:22.) The Bible explains that Jesus gave everything, including his life, to help others. (Matthew 20:28) Dorcas “abounded in good deeds and gifts of mercy.” (Acts 9:36, 39) Mary “worked hard” for her brothers and sisters in Rome. (Romans 16:6) How can we help new ones understand that it is very important to do good things for their brothers and sisters?
14 We can ask new ones to come with us when we visit older ones or those who are sick. And when parents visit such ones, they can take their children with them if it is appropriate. Elders can ask young people or new ones to work along with them if they need to provide food for older ones or make repairs in their homes. When young people and new ones see how the brothers and sisters look after one another, they will learn to do the same. For example, while preaching in a rural area, one elder would regularly visit the brothers who lived there to see how they were doing. A young brother who often went with him learned from the fine example of this elder to think about what he could do to help his brothers and sisters.—Romans 12:10.
15. Why is it important that elders take an interest in the progress of men in the congregation?
15 Jehovah has given men the responsibility to teach God’s Word to the congregation. So it is important for brothers to learn how to teach well when they give talks. If you are an elder, perhaps you could listen to a ministerial servant when he practices a talk and help him to improve. (Nehemiah 8:8)—See endnote.
16, 17. (a) What interest did Paul take in the progress of Timothy? (b) How can the elders effectively train future shepherds of the congregation?
16 There is a need to train more brothers to become shepherds in the congregation. Paul trained Timothy and encouraged him to train others. Paul said: “Keep on acquiring power in the undeserved kindness that is in Christ Jesus; and the things you heard from me that were supported by many witnesses, these things entrust to faithful men, who, in turn, will be adequately qualified to teach others.” (2 Timothy 2:1, 2) Timothy learned many things from Paul, who was an elder and apostle, such as how to improve his preaching and how to help others in the congregation.—2 Timothy 3:10-12.
17 Paul spent a lot of time with Timothy because he wanted to make sure that Timothy was trained well. (Acts 16:1-5) Elders can imitate Paul by taking qualified ministerial servants with them on some of their shepherding calls. In this way, ministerial servants will learn from the elders how to teach others, how to be patient and loving, and how to rely on Jehovah when caring for his flock.—1 Peter 5:2.
TRAINING IS IMPORTANT
18. Why should training others in Jehovah’s service be important to us?
18 In this time of the end, many new ones need to be trained to improve their skills in the preaching work. There is also a need for brothers to learn to take care of the congregation. Jehovah wants all of his servants to be trained well, and he has given us the privilege to help newer ones. So it is important to work hard to train others, just as Jesus and Paul did. We need to train as many as possible because there is still much to do in the preaching work before the end comes.
19. Why should you be convinced that your diligent efforts to train others in Jehovah’s service will be successful?
19 Training new ones takes time and effort. But we can be sure that Jehovah and Jesus will help us to know how to train others in the best way possible. We will be delighted as we see those we trained ‘working hard and exerting themselves’ in the congregation or in the preaching work. (1 Timothy 4:10) At the same time, we need to keep doing our best to make spiritual progress, improve our Christian qualities, and draw closer to Jehovah.
^  (paragraph 7) For example, Jesus told his disciples (1) to preach about the Kingdom; (2) to rely on God to give them the food and clothing they need; (3) to avoid arguing with people; (4) to trust in God when people persecute them; and (5) to be unafraid of what people might do to them.
^  (paragraph 9) Benefit From Theocratic Ministry School Education, pages 62-64, has excellent suggestions on how to speak to people in the field ministry.
^  (paragraph 15) Benefit From Theocratic Ministry School Education, pages 52-61, explains how brothers can improve the way they give talks in the congregation.