Prove yourselves cautious as serpents and yet innocent as doves.—Matt. 10:16.
We show caution by recognizing dangers early, and we remain innocent by not letting them lead us into compromise. We must exercise caution when political issues are brought up. For example, when presenting the Kingdom message, avoid either praising or criticizing the policies of a political party or leader. Try to establish common ground with the householder by focusing on the underlying problem rather than on any proposed political solution. Then, show from the Bible how God’s government will solve the problem completely and permanently. If such volatile issues as same-sex marriage or abortion come up, defend God’s standards and explain how we follow these in our own lives. During the discussion, remain strictly neutral on the political aspects of these topics. We take no position regarding what laws should be enacted, repealed, or changed, and we do not pressure others to agree with our view. w16.04 4:8, 9
Song 14 and Prayer
Opening Comments (3 min. or less)
TREASURES FROM GOD’S WORD
“The Kingdom of the Heavens Has Drawn Near”: (10 min.)
[Play the video Introduction to Matthew.]
Mt 3:1, 2—John the Baptist proclaimed that the future Ruler of the heavenly Kingdom would soon appear (“preaching,” “Kingdom,” “Kingdom of the heavens,” “has drawn near” study notes on Mt 3:1, 2, nwtsty)
Digging for Spiritual Gems: (8 min.)
What has this week’s Bible reading taught you about Jehovah?
What other spiritual gems have you discovered in this week’s Bible reading?
Bible Reading: (4 min. or less) Mt 1:1-17
APPLY YOURSELF TO THE FIELD MINISTRY
LIVING AS CHRISTIANS
Annual Service Report: (15 min.) Talk by an elder. After reading the letter from the branch office regarding the annual service report, interview publishers, selected in advance, who had outstanding experiences in the ministry during the past year.
Congregation Bible Study: (30 min.) jy chap. 2
Review Followed by Preview of Next Week (3 min.)
Song 137 and Prayer