The term “pioneer” often refers to those who explore new territories and open up a way for others to follow. Jesus was a pioneer of sorts, having been sent to the earth to perform a life-giving ministry and to open the way to salvation. (Matthew 20:28) Today, his followers are imitating him by spending as much time as possible ‘making disciples.’ (Matthew 28:19, 20) Some have been able to take up what we call the pioneer service.
A pioneer is a full-time evangelizer. All of Jehovah’s Witnesses are publishers of the good news. However, some have organized their life to serve as regular pioneers, spending 70 hours each month in the preaching work. To do this, many limit their secular work to part-time. Others are selected to serve as special pioneers in areas where the need for Kingdom proclaimers is greater, devoting 130 hours or more to the ministry each month. The pioneers are content to live a modest lifestyle, confident that Jehovah will supply them with the necessities of life. (Matthew 6:31-33; 1 Timothy 6:6-8) Those who cannot pioneer full-time may serve as auxiliary pioneers as they are able, increasing their preaching activity to 30 or 50 hours a month.
A pioneer is motivated by love for God and for people. Like Jesus, we notice the desperate spiritual condition that many find themselves in today. (Mark 6:34) But we have knowledge that can help them right now, giving them a solid hope for the future. Love of neighbor motivates a pioneer to give generously of his time and energy to help others spiritually. (Matthew 22:39; 1 Thessalonians 2:8) As a result, his faith is strengthened, he draws closer to God, and he experiences much happiness.
How would you describe a pioneer?
What motivates some to pioneer full-time?
Consider eight ways that pioneering can strengthen your relationship with Jehovah. What can help you to continue in this rewarding avenue of service?