Saturday, May 7, 2011

How Jehovah's Witnesses Are Organized

What Does God Require of Us?

Lesson 14
How Jehovah's Witnesses Are Organized

When did Jehovah's Witnesses have their modern-day start? (1)
How are meetings of Jehovah's Witnesses conducted? (2)
How are expenses cared for? (3)
Who takes the lead in each congregation? (4)
What larger meetings are held each year? (5)
What work is done at their headquarters and branch offices? (6)
1. Jehovah's Witnesses had their modern-day start in the 1870's. At first, they were called Bible Students. But in 1931 they adopted the Scriptural name Jehovah's Witnesses. (Isaiah 43:10) From small beginnings the organization has grown to millions of Witnesses, who are busy preaching in more than 230 lands.

2. Most congregations of Jehovah's Witnesses have meetings three times each week. You are invited to attend any of these. (Hebrews 10:24, 25) The Bible is the basis for what is taught. Meetings are opened and closed with prayer. Heartfelt "spiritual songs" are also sung at most meetings. (Ephesians 5:18, 19) Admission is free, and no collections are taken.—Matthew 10:8.

3. Most congregations hold meetings in a Kingdom Hall. These are usually simple structures built by Witness volunteers. You will not see any images, crucifixes, or things like these at the Kingdom Hall. Expenses are paid for by voluntary donations. For those who wish to make a donation, there is a contribution box.—2 Corinthians 9:7.

4. In each congregation, there are elders, or overseers. They take the lead in teaching in the congregation. (1 Timothy 3:1-7; 5:17) They are assisted by ministerial servants. (1 Timothy 3:8-10, 12, 13) These men are not elevated above the rest of the congregation. (2 Corinthians 1:24) They are not given special titles. (Matthew 23:8-10) They do not dress differently from others. Neither are they paid for their work. The elders willingly look after the spiritual needs of the congregation. They can provide comfort and guidance in times of trouble.—James 5:14-16; 1 Peter 5:2, 3.

5. Jehovah's Witnesses also hold large assemblies or conventions each year. At these times many congregations come together for a special program of Bible instruction. Baptism of new disciples is a regular part of each assembly or convention program.—Matthew 3:13-17; 28:19, 20.

6. The world headquarters of Jehovah's Witnesses is in New York. Located there is the Governing Body, a central group of experienced elders who oversee the worldwide congregation. There are also over 100 branch offices around the world. At these locations, volunteers help to print and ship Bible literature. Direction is also given to the organizing of the preaching work. Why not plan a visit to the branch office nearest you?

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