These are notes passed on to me, I thought I would share.
Be Successful in Coping with Change
Special Talk Given after Watchtower Study at Brooklyn Bethel December 5, 2011
MONDAY NIGHT - Monday night we had a special lecture to attend after study of The Watchtower entitled "Be Successful in Coping with Change". Ever since the news was announced that, if Jehovah wills, the headquarters here in Brooklyn will be moving out of the city to upstate, a lot of bethelites have had mixed feelings. Many are from the city, they have been here their whole lives and even have family right here, others just view the older buildings that make up the complex as their home, and still others struggle with concerns of being reassigned out in the field because the new plan will most likely require less bethelites. So much uncertainty brings a feeling of uneasiness that has to be fought off and the family received help to do that in the lecture Monday night. It started out with some amazing statistics, including that there has been an increase of publishers, 953,575 in 5 years! Almost a million people came into the truth in 5 years! And our literature is printed in 559 languages!
Highlighting the progress he said we should not be surprised for 3 reasons
A. Jehovah's organization is progressive Ezekiel 1:20 (his heavenly organization is like a speeding chariot, symbolizing that it is on the move).
B. Revelation of truth would become abundant in the last days and the light would get brighter (Dan 12:3, Prov 4:18), so we should expect refining and our understanding to be clarified.
C. Jesus Christ is a progressive leader and not stagnant (Rev 6:1,2) Jesus is riding forth to complete his conquest. Yet, because we are imperfect, we need help, so we considered 3 specific areas, giving a biblical example and a modern day example.
1. From advancing spiritual light - it can be difficult if a teaching is especially close to our heart. Peter was the biblical example, adjusting to accepting uncircumcised gentiles into the congregation. The modern day example was Brother Macmillan, one of Brother Russel's associates who were all sure they were going to heaven in 1914. In fact, in a famous address at a convention he said: "This will be the last time I talk to you", however, when the due date passed that was supposed to bring them to heaven, Brother Macmillan got right back on stage and gave another address saying they had been mistaken and needed to wait on Jehovah. Later, when asked about how he coped with the disappointment, he said that the fundamental truths were the same, any adjustments that needed to be made did not affect the provision of the Ransom and hope given.
2. Assignments - Needs change and we have to be willing to be adaptable and willing to be used in any way possible in Jehovah's service. The biblical example was Jesus who accepted the largest change ever. He went from serving at Jehovah's side in heaven to becoming an infant who had to learn how to speak. But Jesus chief concern was not on what he did or where he did it, but on who he did it for. He was more concerned about Jehovah's will than anything else. Our modern day example was Brother Francis Edwin Skinner, and how he accepted his change of assignment by asking "when do you want me to go?" without hesitation. He said there is no question in mind and heart what he wanted to do with his life. So much detail to his story, so look it up - January 1, 1990 Watchtower starting pg. 28
3. Personal circumstances - sometimes it means taking on more responsibility, sometimes it means taking on less. Moses was the biblical example provided. He faced grave disappointment of not being allowed to enter the Promised Land after erring. But we know he dealt with it successfully because in Numbers 27:15 he asked for a successor, showing that he was progressive. Also, in Deut 3:28 and Deut 31:7, he listened to Jehovah's direction to encourage Joshua. So, even though he may have been very disappointed, he put Jehovah's will first. The modern example was that of Brother Robert J. Martin (type his name into WT Library to learn more about him, paragraphs in Proclaimers book, etc., about his overwhelming job of getting printing presses running without any education on them) . He was one of those imprisoned with Brother Russel. He later became the printing factory manager and did tremendous work there for years. In the 1930's he became terminally ill while only in his 50's so he wrote to Brother Rutherford to recommend a successor, nicknamed "Brownie". He wrote that Brownie could do the job as well as he could and that he was his choice for a replacement. Then he wrote to Brownie to let him know "I have confidence in you and it's the Lord's spirit anyhow, you can look after it just as well as I could." Well, Brownie did do a fine job with his new assignment, in fact, he went on to be used considerably in Jehovah's organization, for "Brownie" was none other than Nathan H. Knorr.
What did it take for all 6 of these people mentioned to cope successfully with change?
- A humble and meek attitude
- Spiritual discernment to put Jehovah's will first
If we concentrate on these two things, we will transition smoothly as we experience change.