AT THE annual meeting of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania on October 3, 2015, Anthony Morris of the Governing Body announced that the Theocratic Ministry School, Service Meeting, and Congregation Bible Study were to be replaced by a new meeting called Our Christian Life and Ministry. Brother Morris also explained that Our Kingdom Ministry would be replaced by a new four-color, eight-page monthly publication entitled Our Christian Life and Ministry
The new meeting is divided into three main sections:
Treasures From God’s Word. The first part in this section is a ten-minute talk based on the weekly Bible reading and artwork from the workbook. The second part, entitled “Digging for Spiritual Gems,” is an eight-minute question-and-answer discussion of the weekly Bible reading, followed by a four-minute Bible reading.
Apply Yourself to the Field Ministry. Generally in this section, three students demonstrate how to teach on an initial call, a return visit, and a Bible study.
Living as Christians. This section considers the practical application of Bible principles in day-to-day life. An important feature of this part is the question-and-answer discussion in the Congregation Bible Study.
Publishers worldwide have expressed appreciation for the practical training the new meeting provides. A brother in Australia wrote: “The Life and Ministry Meeting is so good! The material seems more relevant to our lives now, and the presentations are simple. The evening seems to fly by, as the parts are shorter, to the point, and so captivating, especially with videos and the involvement of the children.”
A body of elders in Italy wrote: “We have noticed that this new meeting has stimulated all of us to prepare more thoroughly and, as a result, improve the quality of teaching. The new midweek meeting is a remarkable refinement of the way Jehovah is teaching his people. A 15-year-old publisher said: ‘Before, it was difficult to concentrate for the whole meeting. But this new meeting has helped me concentrate and prepare better at home.’”
A family from Austria wrote: “Our weekly Bible reading with our ten-year-old daughter used to be a challenge. But the section ‘Treasures From God’s Word’ motivated us to comment more freely. All three of us now enjoy preparing for the weekly Bible reading. What is more, we can see our daughter’s spiritual progress.”
Ines from Germany explains: “I feel encouraged to prepare the material and think about it more deeply. I have never done so much research. I now enjoy a better relationship with Jehovah. Satan’s world makes me feel tired and exhausted. The meetings reinvigorate me and help me carry on.”
Congregations in the Solomon Islands are thoroughly enjoying the new midweek meeting and are making considerable efforts to benefit fully from it. Many congregations are in remote locations without electricity or Internet service, and the brothers live very simply off the land. How are they able to obtain video equipment and access the monthly videos for the meetings? The publishers in one congregation on the island of Malaita decided to work together to sell dried coconut. They contributed the funds to the congregation so that they could obtain a simple video playback system that can be charged by solar power. And to obtain the videos each month, brothers travel to the nearest location that has Internet access so that they can download the files, which they then share with the other brothers in the congregation.
“I seem to be more of a visual learner,” wrote a brother in the United States. “It has been a struggle for me for more than 40 years. I have to read something a few times before I really get to the point where I can explain it to someone else. So I wanted to thank the Governing Body for all the visual learning tools we have received. The video introductions to Bible books are fantastic, and the illustrations in the meeting workbook are exactly what I need! It’s obvious that Jehovah has blessed your efforts in doing this for his people. Thank you so much.”