These next couple of weeks we’ll all be experiencing history-changing events in our congregation and worldwide. This week will be the last Theocratic Ministry School with student participation. Next week will be the last Theocratic Ministry School Oral Review and the last Service Meeting ever! Isn’t it great that we can all be there for these momentous occasions!I, Jehovah, am your God,
The One teaching you to benefit yourself,
The One guiding you in the way you should walk. - Isaiah 48:17
Join us as we review some of the history of the Theocratic Ministry School!
The publication used was Course in Theocratic Ministry. As you can see by the “list of lessons,” the material has remained roughly the same over the past 72 years.
Brother Carey Barber called the new Course in Theocratic Ministry “one of the most outstanding developments of Jehovah’s dealing with his people in modern times.” Do you think we’ll hear similar comments about the new “Our Christian Life and Ministry Meeting”?
Brother George Gangas (later of the Governing Body) reminisced: “I recall the time I gave my first six-minute talk. I was not confident in myself so I wrote it down. But when I got up to give it, audience fear gripped me and I stuttered and muttered, losing my thoughts. Then I resorted to reading from the manuscript. But my hands were trembling so much that the lines were jumping up and down!” (kr 183, 184; jv 94)
Brother Clayton Woodworth, Jr., who was close to Brother Rutherford said: “It was very difficult for me to give talks. My tongue seemed to grow long, my mouth went completely dry, and my voice became something between a roar and a squeak.... I came to realize that the speaker himself is not important. But if he prepares well and rests all his confidence in Jehovah, he will be heard with pleasure and the hearers will learn something.” (kr 177)
Were you one of the few still around today that had the privilege of being enrolled way back then? We’d love to hear your experience in the blog comments at the bottom of the page!
Timeline... 1959Ever since 1959, both brothers and sisters have been able to enroll in the Theocratic Ministry School.
Timeline... 1971Do you remember the 1971 “Divine Name” District Assembly? That convention put heavy stress on teaching. “The teaching program does not stop with the young ones,” said one convention speaker. “We are all in a school in which there are no graduations. All of us must continue to learn from the inexhaustible storehouse of God. The Divine Name shines with greater and greater brilliance as we learn more about Jehovah’s ways.” He then released the Theocratic Ministry School Guidebook. It replaced the Course in Theocratic Ministry. It was revised in 1992 to bring expressions and procedures up to date. (w71 599; yb72 42; km 11/92 7)
Many secular teachers have been impressed with this little book. When a youth named Terri presented this book to her Speech Class instructor, he told the other students: “After five weeks of class, she finally gives me a book on how to conduct a speech class properly!” (g88 6/8 21)
|Do you still have your old Speech Counsel Slip?|
Timeline... 2001How many of you were at the “Teachers of God’s Word” District Conventions of Jehovah’s Witnesses in 2001? This was another convention with great emphasis on teaching, as Jehovah has continually equipped us to be better teachers. Delegates were urged to teach themselves, to become even better qualified, and to fulfill their commission as teachers.
How excited we were to hear the talk “New Provisions for Our Spiritual Advancement” and to learn that a new book entitled Benefit From Theocratic Ministry School Education would be soon published. Regarding the book’s section containing a number of speech counsel points, the speaker said: “This new textbook does not take a secular approach to presenting the 53 aspects of good reading, speaking, and teaching. The approach is based on Scriptural principles.” It shows how the prophets, Jesus, and his disciples demonstrated good teaching skills. (w02 1/15 27, 28)
Timeline... 2003Congregations begin using the new textbook Benefit From Theocratic Ministry School Education.
Timeline... 2015At the 2015 Annual Meeting, held Saturday, October 3rd and in a letter read to all congregations dated October 4, 2015 it was announced that the Theocratic Ministry School, would be replaced by a 15-minute session for demonstrating preaching presentations.
One day in the distant future, maybe the Theocratic Ministry School will be featured in the “From Our Archives” series in the Watchtower. You never know! Aren’t you glad you had a privilege to be a part of this history school program?
|Have you received your notebook for the|
Christian Life and Ministry Meeting yet?
DID YOU KNOW? Ministry Ideaz provides beautiful notebooks adapted specifically to the new Christian Life and Ministry meeting. Just click here. Also available for kids and in Spanish.