In the first century, a small group, “the apostles and elders in Jerusalem,” served as a governing body to make important decisions on behalf of the entire anointed Christian congregation. (Acts 15:2) When they made a unanimous decision, it was a result of discussing what the Scriptures say and yielding to the influence of God’s spirit. (Acts 15:25) That pattern is followed today.
It is being used by God to do his will. The anointed brothers who serve on the Governing Body have an intense interest in God’s Word and much experience in handling practical and spiritual matters. They meet each week to consider the needs of the worldwide brotherhood. As in the first century, Bible-based instructions are provided either through letters or by means of traveling overseers and others. This promotes unity in thought and action among God’s people. (Acts 16:4, 5) The Governing Body oversees the preparation of spiritual food, gives impetus to the Kingdom-preaching work, and supervises the appointment of brothers to positions of responsibility.
It is responsive to the direction of God’s spirit. The Governing Body looks to the Universal Sovereign, Jehovah, and to the Head of the congregation, Jesus, for guidance. (1 Corinthians 11:3; Ephesians 5:23) Its members do not regard themselves as the leaders of God’s people. They, along with all anointed Christians, “keep following the Lamb [Jesus] no matter where he goes.” (Revelation 14:4) The Governing Body appreciates our prayers in its behalf.
Who were on the governing body in the first century?
How does the Governing Body today seek God’s direction?
Read why Charles Taze Russell was not the founder of a new religion.