Skip to content

Skip to table of contents


The Role of “the Faithful and Discreet Slave”

The Role of “the Faithful and Discreet Slave”

Jesus is the Head of the Christian congregation. (Ephesians 5:23) Today, from his position in heaven, Jesus directs his followers on earth by means of a “faithful and discreet slave.” (Read Matthew 24:45.) Having received an appointment from Jesus himself, the “slave” would have a certain amount of authority but would remain a slave of Christ and serve Christ’s brothers. Who is that slave? How does the slave care for us?

1. Who is “the faithful and discreet slave”?

Jehovah has always used a man or a small group of men to give direction to his people. (Malachi 2:7; Hebrews 1:1) After Jesus’ death, the apostles and elders in Jerusalem took the lead. (Acts 15:2) Following that pattern, today a small group of elders​—the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses—​provides spiritual food and directs the preaching work. This group is “the faithful and discreet slave whom [Jesus] appointed.” (Matthew 24:45a) All members of the Governing Body are spirit-anointed Christians, who look forward to joining Christ in his heavenly Kingdom when their life on earth is over.

2. What spiritual food does the faithful slave provide?

Jesus said that the faithful slave would “give [fellow Christians] their food at the proper time.” (Matthew 24:45b) Just as the food we eat helps us to stay physically strong and healthy, spiritual food​—instruction from God’s Word—​gives us the strength we need to remain loyal to Jehovah and carry out the work Jesus has assigned us to do. (1 Timothy 4:6) We receive that spiritual food through meetings, assemblies, and conventions, as well as through Bible-based literature and videos that help us to understand God’s will and to strengthen our friendship with him.


See why we need “the faithful and discreet slave”​—the Governing Body.

The Governing Body provides spiritual food, direction, and practical help for Jehovah’s Witnesses around the world

3. Jehovah’s people must be organized

Under Jesus’ direction, the Governing Body organizes the work of Jehovah’s Witnesses. A similar arrangement existed among the early Christians. Play the VIDEO.

Read 1 Corinthians 14:33, 40, and then discuss this question:

  • How do these verses show that Jehovah wants his Witnesses to be organized?

4. The faithful slave organizes our preaching work

Preaching was the most important work performed by the early Christians. Read Acts 8:14, 25, and then discuss these questions:

  • Among the early Christians, who directed the preaching work?

  • How did Peter and John respond to the direction of their fellow apostles?

Preaching is the most important work organized by the Governing Body. Play the VIDEO.

Jesus emphasized how important preaching is. Read Mark 13:10, and then discuss these questions:

  • Why is the preaching work so important to the Governing Body?

  • Why do we need “the faithful and discreet slave” to organize this global work?

5. The faithful slave provides direction

The Governing Body provides direction for Christians worldwide. How does it decide what direction to give? Consider how the governing body of the early Christians did so. Read Acts 15:1, 2, and then discuss these questions:

  • What issue caused conflict among some early Christians?

  • To whom did Paul, Barnabas, and others go in order to settle the issue?

Read Acts 15:12-18, 23-29, and then discuss this question:

  • Before making a decision, what did the early governing body consider when seeking God’s guidance on the matter?​—See verses 12, 15, and 28.

Read Acts 15:30, 31 and 16:4, 5, and then discuss these questions:

  • How did the early Christians react to direction given by the governing body?

  • How did Jehovah bless their obedience?

Read 2 Timothy 3:16 and James 1:5, and then discuss this question:

  • Where does the Governing Body look for guidance when it makes decisions today?

SOME PEOPLE SAY: “If you listen to the Governing Body, you’re just following men.”

  • What proves to you that Jesus is leading the Governing Body?


The Governing Body is “the faithful and discreet slave” appointed by Christ. It gives direction and spiritual food to Christians earth wide.


  • Who appointed “the faithful and discreet slave”?

  • How does the Governing Body care for us?

  • Do you believe that the Governing Body is “the faithful and discreet slave”?



See how the Governing Body is organized to do its work.

“What Is the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses?” (Web article)

Learn how the Governing Body makes sure that we receive trustworthy spiritual food.

Producing Accurate Publications (17:18)

How do the members of the Governing Body feel about the work Jesus has assigned them to do?

A Cherished Privilege (7:04)

How do our meetings and conventions prove that Jehovah is directing the Governing Body?

Jehovah Is Teaching His People (9:39)