UNIT 1(a)

Imitate Jehovah,
the Shepherd and
Overseer of Our Souls

Jehovah is the Shepherd and Overseer of our souls ( I Pet.
2:25) How it instills confidence and courage in us to have
him rule over us! Since we are commanded to "become
imitators of God," we should imitate him in all areas of life.
(Eph. 5:1 ) Consider the following four ways in which Jeho-
vah, as the Supreme Overseer, sets the example for all over-
seers to imitate. ( I ) He is a God of love. (2) He is Our Grand
Instructor. (3) He is the Great Evangelizer, sponsoring the
preaching of the good news worldwide. (4) He is the Perfect
Judge, being just at all times and in all of his ways.

How can you imitate Jehovah? In your efforts to be like
him, you must continually develop your skills as teachers.
You need to take the lead in Kingdom preaching and disciple
making. As judges, you must render just, yet merciful, deci-
sions among Jehovah's people. And in all matters, your
exercising oversight in a loving way for the whole brother-
hood is vital.

Our Loving Overseer

How many are the expressions of love that Jehovah has
showered down on us!

awe love, because he first loved us." ( I John 4:19)

Each day, we are indebted to him for the life and the
measure of health we enjoy.

By Jehovah's undeserved kindness, we have our family,
brothers and sisters in the congregation, home, food,
clothing, and innumerable other blessings.

We are obligated to him because he has given us the
knowledge of the truth and the privilege of being mem-
bers of his united international organization and servants
in his royal service.


Jehovah has been a Guardian and Protector of his peo-
ple both physically and spiritually. (Ps. 145:20; Prov.
18: 10 )

Elders should also be guardians and protectors of His people.

The basic idea inherent in the Greek word for overseer
(e€pi´sko€pos) is protective care.

Elders strive to be alert to the needs of the individual
publishers and families, willingly stepping forward to as-
sist when there is a need. ( Isa. 32:1, 2 )

Stepfamilies, single parents, and widows may have spe-
cial need for advice and guidance.

Teenagers or young adults who take a false step need
help too. (Gal. 6:1 )

Do not evade their problems.

Give them constant attention and guidance, being
careful not to condemn them.

God gives us the direction we need in order to look after
his people. (Compare Exodus 24:12.)

His Word directs us and his spirit assists us beyond our
natural abilities in caring for responsibilities. (2 Cor. 4:7)

When we make mistakes or fail to handle situations ade-
quately, Jehovah is patient with us.

Many opportunities arise for you, as overseers, to imi-
tate the Supreme Overseer in showing love for others.

Watch for opportunities to help others, even physically.

How may love and patience be shown in the following

A ministerial servant does not handle a matter to

Someone comes to you seeking information but
does not readily understand your explanation of the


A young person shies away from you and other

A young person whose parents are not in the truth
begins to associate.

A single parent regularly seeks advice and encour-
agement. (w80 9/15 pp. 21-5)

A brother or a sister appears to be discouraged or
suffers from depression. (w90 3/15 pp. 26-30)

A pioneer has car trouble.

An elderly widow needs help applying for social

A single parent or a widow has a leaking roof.

The Grand Instructor

Jehovah is the Grand Instructor of his people. (Job
36:22; Isa. 30:20, 21 )

Jehovah instructed his only-begotten Son so well that he
could be described as "a master worker" beside his
Father. (Prov. 8:30)

As a perfect reflection of his Father, God's Son was a
Master Teacher.

The Scriptures relate that those who heard him were
"astounded at his way of teaching." (Matt. 7:28)

It is noteworthy that Jesus himself said: "What I
teach is not mine." "I do nothing of my own
initiative; but just as the Father taught me I speak
these things." (John 7:16; 8:28)

Jehovah has lovingly provided divine instruction and
guidance for man.

He created man with the mental capacity to be taught and
to teach others.

He gave Adam divine instruction in the way of everlasting

Through his prophets and priests, he continued to in-
struct his people, Israel.


"Pay Attention to Yourselves and to All the Flock"

The Levites, for example, were to be teachers of the Law.

Nehemiah described their activity on one occasion,
saying that they were explaining the Law to the
people, reading aloud from the book, putting
meaning into it, and giving understanding in the
reading. (Neh. 8:7, 8)

God provided teachers for the growth and health of the
early Christian congregation. (Eph. 4:11-13)

Christian overseers today also need to teach God's

Today, Jehovah provides instruction by means of "the
faithful steward." (Luke 12:42)

In loyal submission to Christ as Head and Master, "the
faithful and discreet slave" is diligent in attending to the
spiritual needs of Jehovah's people everywhere.
(Matt. 24:45)

Appointed overseers serve as teachers in the congrega-
tion. (Titus I :5, 9)

They must be careful not to give their own opin-
ions but, rather, to teach God's Word exclusively.
(1 Cor. 4:6;2 Tim. 4:2)

Five weekly congregation meetings, two larger assem-
blies within the circuit each year, and an annual district
convention furnish progressive instruction and training
in true worship for the entire household of God.

Gilead School, Ministerial Training School, Pioneer
Service School, and Kingdom Ministry School give
specialized education to equip ministers for particular
fields of service.

Schools or training sessions organized periodically as
the need arises equip brothers progressively to care for
their assignments in the organization.

Help the brothers in your congregation to take full advan-
tage of the schooling provided by our Grand Instructor.

Encourage enrollment in the Theocratic Ministry

UNIT 1 (a)


Encourage those persons who qualify to reach out for
the privilege of receiving specialized training provided
through other schooling arranged by the organization.

In addition to handling parts on the meetings, you have
opportunities to feed your brothers spiritually and in a
loving manner before and after the meetings, in shepherd-
ing work, in field service, and in other ways.

How can love be shown when:

A brother is not prepared for his meeting part?

A shy or inexperienced person needs assistance in pre-
paring talks for the Theocratic Ministry School?

Someone needs help in getting to the Kingdom Hall or
to an assembly?

A child does not behave well in the Kingdom Hall?

The Great Evangelizer, Who
Sponsors the Preaching of the Good News

Jehovah provided good news of deliverance when utter-
ing the first prophecy in Eden. (Gen. 3:15)

Through His angel, He declared good news to Abraham.
(Gal. 3:8)

It was foretold that the Messiah, Jesus, would "tell good
news to the meek ones," and he did that, sharing whole-
heartedly in the work. (Isa. 61:1; Luke 4:18)

Jesus foretold that during this time of the end, the good
news (evangel) of the Kingdom would be preached in all
the inhabited earth for a witness.

In fact, he said: "The good news has to be preached."
(Mark 13:10)

This is the good news that God wants people to hear.

Since overseers of the flock of God are responsible for
taking the lead in this evangelizing work, individual self-
examination in this regard is appropriate.
(2 Tim. 4:5 )


"Pay Attention to Yourselves and to All the Flock"

There is need for you to be present and to participate in
the field service when the rest of the congregation is
sharing in this activity.

Elders need to make definite arrangements to take the lead
in the field and work with the publishers and pioneers.

By such active involvement of the elders, the brothers
are encouraged and the activity of the congregation

Be alert to discern when publishers need help in deve-
loping their field service skills.

Give specific instruction.

Demonstrate how they can improve.

Make sure that the congregation has adequate arrange-
ments for field service for the benefit and convenience of
the publishers and pioneers. Good support will result.

By the example you set, the congregation should learn
that field service is not a burdensome chore but, rather,
can be a pleasurable privilege.

How can love be shown when:

A publisher forgets to turn in his field service

Someone stays too long on a call, causing others to

An elderly publisher has become irregular in field
service? (w87 6/1 pp. 10-12)

A Lover of Justice and a God of Mercy

Jehovah's justice and mercy became evident in the way
he handled the case of the rebellion in Eden.

Justice prevailed in the judgment he pronounced upon
those two unrepentant rebels against his sovereignty.

Yet mercy tempered his judgment, as he foretold a
deliverer for the then unborn offspring of Adam and
Eve. (Gen. 3:15)

(UNIT 1 (a)


In justice Jehovah has allowed mankind to suffer the due
recompense for sin. (Deut. 32:4, 5)

But in mercy he has made provision for their redemp-
tion and has given them hope of everlasting life.

The ransom provision itself satisfies justice‹a perfect
life for a perfect life. ( I Tim. 2:6)

Indeed, what mercy that provision reflects!

It is undeserved kindness to those in desperate need. (John
1:17; Eph. 1:7)

Jehovah shows himself to be just and merciful with
groups of people as well as with individuals.

Jehovah extended to natural Israel the opportunity to
supply the members of the bride of Christ.

But when an insufficient number responded, Jehovah
mercifully extended the invitation to the Samaritans
and then to the nations, the Gentile people.
(Acts 8:14; 10:45; 15:14; Rom. 11:25)

David was worthy of death because of his sin with Bath-
sheba, but he was extended great mercy because of the
Kingdom covenant, the mercy he himself showed to
others, and his own sincere repentance.

However, he did not escape Punishment: The son of
his adultery died soon after birth, and David reaped
repeated domestic difficulties.

Elders must be both just and merciful in their dealings
with others.

In giving counsel and in judging, you should hold to
God's standard with everyone.

What Jehovah expects of you is revealed at Deuteronomy
1:16, 17; Micah 6:8; and Matthew 5:7.

How may your love for impartiality, justice and mercy be
tested in situations involving the following?

Those you may consider more prominent in the Chris-
tian congregation and those you may not consider so.
(Jas. 2: 1-4)


"Pay Attention to Yourselves and to All the Flock"

Those of other races, nationalities, and economic levels.
(Acts 10:34, 35)

Younger members of the congregation as well as adults.
(I Tim. 5:1,2)

Wrongdoers who are sincerely repentant.
(2 Cor. 2:5-8)

Members of your own family who have engaged in
serious wrongdoing and are not repentant.
(I Cor. 5:11)

The example you set in displaying justice and mercy will
be reflected by the congregation.

How may you imitate Jehovah, our Loving Overseer,

Someone who has been a victim of physical, emo-
tional, or sexual abuse seeks your help? (w90 2/15
pp. 21-3; w83 10/1 pp. 27-31 )

A person who has a disfellowshipped family mem-
ber believes she is being avoided by others in
the congregation? (w91 4/15 pp. 23-5; w83 1/1
pp. 30-1)

A teenager is going through a phase of immodest
grooming and dress?

You are dealing with a wrongdoer who does not
appear to appreciate your efforts to help him?

UNIT 1 (a)