UNIT 2 (b)

Teaching at
Congregation Meetings

The spirituality of the congregation depends greatly on
the quality of teaching at the meetings. The five weekly
meetings form an integral part of our theocratic education.
The brothers come to these meetings expecting to be instruct-
ed in God's Word and encouraged in his work. You have a
great and wonderful privilege to stand before your brothers,
God's flock "in your care," to feed them and build them up.
Do this willingly, with joy and earnestness. ( 1 Pet. 5 :2 ) This
will motivate them to zealous service and increase your
happiness as well.

Teaching at the Watchtower Study

The Watchtower is the principal means of dispensing
spiritual food at the proper time.

The information it contains can greatly help individuals to
establish and maintain a good relationship with Jehovah
and with fellow worshipers.

The spiritual food is needed to nourish the heart.

To teach effectively at the Watchtower Study, you will
need to prepare prayerfully and carefully.

Look up the scriptures and know how they apply.

Take a keen interest in the material and in your brothers;
reach their heart.

Progressively strive to improve your teaching at the
Watchtower Study.

The opening remarks of the conductor should be brief
and to the point, calling attention to the theme and
stimulating interest in the material.

Be warm. enthusiastic, inviting, and yet specific.


You may ask two or three questions that will be answered
during the study, make a statement to be proved, present a
problem that needs a solution, or focus attention on the
teaching box.

The conductor should not comment excessively.

As a teacher, you do not do the thinking for the congrega-
tion; rather, by pointed questions you help them to think
in an orderly manner and arrive at correct conclusions

When important points are not covered in comments
from the congregation or when the application of a scrip-
ture is overlooked, ask specific questions to draw out the

However, a caution: Do not ask additional questions
unnecessarily, for doing so may stifle comments on
other points that the audience has in mind.

Ask additional questions only when needed.

Avoid talking too much or leading the brothers to
concentrate on details rather than on the main

Tactfully and kindly stimulate the brothers' desire to

This may be done by being warm and friendly yourself
and by commending the brothers for their comments
and efforts.

Promote personal and family preparation.

Encourage the brothers to comment in their own words,
briefly and to the point.

Train the audience to give a direct answer to the printed
question first.

Additional comments by the audience may then draw
attention to scripture application, to supporting argu-
ments, or to practical application of the material.

The congregation should not be scolded if answers are
not forthcoming as quickly as the conductor would
like, for this may stifle future comments.

UNIT 2 (b) 39

Make good use of the Bible during the study. (Acts
17: 11 )

Help the congregation to appreciate that every study has
been prepared to help us understand Bible prophecies,
teachings, moral principles, and so forth.

Encourage the audience to look up and comment on the
scriptures used in the study as time permits.

The conductor may invite all in attendance to look up
selected scriptures as they are read and commented on.

Some scriptures could be assigned in advance for indi-
viduals to read and comment on.

Help the audience to understand how key scriptures sup-
port the theme of the study.

Keep concluding comments brief.

Ask the review questions in the teaching box that appears
toward the end of the lesson.

These draw attention to the main points.

Encourage application of the counsel in our lives. (Jas. 1:
22, 25 )

Teaching at the Congregation Book Study

In conducting the study, seek to build appreciation for
the material being considered.

Help those attending to understand not only the answers
to the questions but also the reasons for the answers and
the value of the information.

Make practical application to personal lives, attitudes, field
service, and so forth.

Conduct the study in a way that will motivate the broth-
ers to act on what they learn and will make them want to
do Jehovah's will. (Ps. 110:3 )

Your opening remarks should be brief and specific.

If material is in verse-by-verse style, you may read the

40 "Pay Attention to Yourselves and to All the Flock "

portion of the Bible that will be considered during the
study if time permits.

Draw attention to the main points and overall concept
rather than to details.

If a comment made detracts from the theme, kindly direct-
the discussion back to the theme and main point.

EXAMPLE: If you are considering John 3:16 and the
theme is the ransom, you would draw attention to the
point that God "gave his only-begotten Son" as a
ransom, rather than become involved in a discussion of
the expression "the world," although this is also men-
tioned in the verse.

Unquoted scriptures may be read and discussed as time

The conductor decides how this is best handled.

Be selective, choosing texts that best illuminate main

Long citations may be read, they may be summarized
by someone assigned in advance, or key verses may be

Carefully observe the response of those in attendance.

Do not comment excessively; rather, by pointed ques-
tions endeavor to draw out answers from the audience.

At times persons who tend to read their comments may
be kindly encouraged privately to put them in their
own words.

Be discerning; it might be offensive or discouraging
if this is done after a new or timid person has made
a comment.

Be alert to commend the brothers for what they do.

Strive to make the material reach both the mind and the

To help the brothers understand points that are not clear,
various types of questions may be employed.

UNIT 2 (b) 41

You might use true-or-false statements as well as
multiple-choice, leading, or viewpoint questions.

Help the brothers to see the practical value of the mate-

Watch for points that the brothers can use in field service.

Are there points that would be helpful to those in divided
households? or information that could be used by the
brothers at their place of employment, by the children at
school, or by Christians in other situations?

Encourage all to participate--young ones and new ones
as well as mature ones.

Keep the atmosphere respectful, yet friendly and inviting.

Perhaps you may be able to help some individuals prepare
for the study.

Timid persons may be willing to read a scripture.

Others may be given assignments or may be kindly
encouraged to comment.

Keep the concluding review brief and specific, highlight-
ing main points learned.

If practical, have the closing review from the Bible rather
than from the book, especially if the material was consid-
ered verse by verse.

Continue to work at improving your teaching at the
Congregation Book Study.

Teaching at the Public Meeting

The Public Meeting generally features a discourse, al-
though slide presentations produced by the Society are
also used.

All the elders, and especially the presiding overseer,
should be concerned with maintaining high-quality pub-
lic talks.

The presiding overseer will consult with other elders and

42 "Pay Attention to Yourselves and to All the Flock"

schedule talks that will be most beneficial for the congre-
gation and for new ones that attend.

The information should be spiritually upbuilding to
both new ones and regular attenders.

Request speakers from other congregations who are
known for their effective teaching ability.

Those who are assigned to give public talks should regu-
larly work toward improving their teaching ability.

Do thorough research in the Society's publications to
bring the material to life.

Be sure that your outline is kept current.

Periodically update your statistics, experiences, illustra-
tions, and so forth.

Points from recent articles in The Watchtower and
Awake! may be worked in when appropriate.

Apply the information to the needs of the congregation.

Visiting speakers who are not familiar with the particu-
lar needs of a congregation should be cautious in at
tempting to give pointed counsel to the audience on
local situations.

When preparing a public talk, ask yourself: Why is this
information needed? How will I present it and illustrate it
so that all will benefit by understanding how the informa-
tion can be used?

Present the information so that an unbeliever in the
audience can see the reasonableness of it.

We want to help people, not ridicule them; we
want to appeal to their reason and better judgment
and not belittle their intelligence.

EXAMPLE: If your talk is on the subject of
evolution, you would not want to present the
material in such a way as to ridicule those who
believe in evolution. While the brothers might
consider such a presentation humorous, it would
not appeal to a person in the audience who
believes in evolution.

UNIT 2 (b) 43

Help the brothers in the audience to see how
they could present the material in a way that
would appeal to those in the territory who
believe in evolution.

Use terms that are easily understood by all.

Involve your audience by the use of rhetorical questions.
Make good use of key scriptures.

Not only read scriptures but also explain, illustrate, and
apply them.

Do not read all cited scriptures; focus on key ones.
Rather than have persons in the audience read scrip-
tures, the speaker should read them with proper
emphasis, sense stress, and enthusiasm.
Enthusiasm is very important in your teaching; without
it, well-prepared material may not be clear.

Put your heart into your talk.

Adhere closely to the material and the timing set out in
the Society's outlines.

Accept and appreciate constructive counsel offered by
other elders who are interested in helping you to improve
your speaking and teaching ability.

Elders should not hold back from kindly offering help-
ful counsel and suggestions to fellow elders when such
is needed for improving the quality of public talks.

If it is decided by elders that a visiting speaker needs to
improve, suggestions may be provided through the
presiding overseer of his congregation.

Be sure that your aim is to teach the audience and not to
entertain them

Teaching at the Service Meeting

The purpose of the Service Meeting is to equip and
stimulate the brothers to share fully in the preaching
and disciple-making work.

44 "Pay Attention to Yourselves and to All the Flock"

Either the presiding overseer or another elder, after
analyzing the material, assigns the various meeting parts
to qualified brothers.

Impartially using various qualified members of the con-
gregation on the Service Meeting program stimulates in-

To teach effectively, prepare carefully and rehearse all

Endeavor to follow the suggestions outlined in Our King-
dom Ministry

These have been well thought out, and when adhered
to, they will assure well-balanced and upbuilding pro-

When preparing to present material, consider the needs of
the local congregation.

Help the brothers to see how the information presented
is practical and how it can be helpful to them in their

Ask yourself: Why does our congregation need this
information? What points will be of greatest value
to the publishers? Then highlight these points.

For your instruction and counsel to be most effective, you
should first of all appreciate the value of field service and
set a good example in the work, taking the lead. ( 1 Tim.

The Service Meeting should be 45 minutes in length,
excluding the songs and prayer.

The brothers appreciate having the meetings conclude on

If someone before you on the program takes too much
time, try to reduce your part to compensate.

If someone habitually goes overtime, the presiding
overseer or another elder should speak to him in a
kindly way, give practical suggestions, and help him to
see the need to make adjustments.

UNIT 2 (b) 45

Perhaps he should have less material.

Perhaps he should spend less time on introductory
remarks and get right into the assigned material.

Periodically the elders should discuss what they can do
to improve the Service Meetings.

Each one should work at being a more effective teacher
when he has a part on the Service Meeting.

Teaching at the Theocratic Ministry School

The Theocratic Ministry School has done much to train
God's people to present the Kingdom message in a clear
and effective way by:

Providing useful training for the field ministry.

Helping students progressively to improve their field pre-

Training brothers to become effective public speakers and
teachers. (om p. 73)

Progressive training offered by the school helps public
speakers improve speaking and teaching ability.

The Theocratic Ministry School overseer should prepare
well to conduct an effective school.

Use good judgment in making assignments, having in
mind the student's age, educational level, time in the
truth, and so forth.

Give good, constructive counsel.

As time permits, draw attention to practical points not
covered by the students.

Introductory remarks may call attention to points that
the congregation can look forward to learning during
the school.

At times this can be effectively done by raising anticipato-
ry questions and inviting the brothers to look for the

46 "Pay Attention to Yourselves and to All the Flock "

Oral counsel should encourage the student and further
help him to develop speaking and teaching skills.

Warmly commend the students for what they do.

Consider each student's emotional state and education
al level.

If a main point is not covered by the assigned student,
draw attention to it during the two minutes allotted for

Explain why a particular speech quality was good or why
it needs improvement.

Give specific counsel on areas needing improvement, not
necessarily in the order outlined on the Speech Counsel

Explain or show how to improve.

If time permits, explain how a particular speech quality
can improve the field service ability of the congrega-

When returning a student's Speech Counsel slip, it may
be possible to encourage him and further discuss points of
counsel; or this may be done at another time.

When someone needs additional help hut you cannot
give this yourself, arrange for another member of the
congregation to do it.

Some students may need help to improve their reading

It is important that everyone in the congregation be able
to read well and understand what they read.

Arrangements might be made to help some improve
their reading skills.

Perhaps an auxiliary room could be used for these
classes when the school is being conducted, or they
could be held at another time.

All meetings should always be conducted in such a
way as to honor Jehovah, spiritually build up those in

UNIT 2 (b) 47

attendance, and cause us to grow ever stronger in our
love for Jehovah, his service, and our brothers.

All meetings should begin and end on time; this requires
thorough preparation on the part of every participant.

Public speakers should adhere strictly to the 45-minute
total timing indicated on the Society's outlines, exclud-
ing opening song and prayer.

one hour is allowed for the Watchtower Study, includ-
ing the review but excluding songs and prayer.

When held in conjunction with the Public Meet-
ing, both meetings are to be concluded within the
allotted two hours.

The Theocratic Ministry School and the Service Meet-
ing are allotted 45 minutes each.

When one of these two meetings follows the other,
both should be concluded within one hour and
45 minutes, including songs and prayers.

on special occasions, such as during the visit of the
circuit overseer, content and timing of meetings may
be adjusted in accord with published instructions.

When elders and others participating in meetings prepare
well and use only the time assigned for their respective
parts, they show loving consideration for all those attend
ing the meeting and respect for Jehovah's arrangement for
meetings that encourage and instruct.

48 "Pay Attention to Yourselves and to All the Flock "