July 7, 2017 Re: Needs in the Field—Training Others
Anyone else remember the old Pioneer Assist program? Where regular pioneers would be asked to assist the irregular and "weaker" publishers? I think they stopped that around 2006 or 2007.
Sounds like a bit of a resurrection of that "arrangement".
Pioneer's Thought Bubble:
"What an inconvenience - I've got enough to do trying to get my hours in without trying to help others in the congregation get their act together... unless, of course, I can count it as time? I can! Wonderful - I'll pay you a visit to help you within the next hour, okay!"
Interesting sub-text on a few levels
admitting that the pioneers generally do very limited ministry with non-pioneers?
and an indication of how bad (and shallow) most rank-and-file publishers actually are in the ministry?
(What's the 'literature offer' for this month? Do they even know? - see bottom )
the monthly presentation videos can't be helping?
actually IMHO the whole CLAM dumbing down thing isn't really helping?
oh, and literally just standing by a trolley/cart?
and yes - echos of the old 'Pioneer Assist Others' thingy ....
Kingdom Ministry September 1998
Pioneers Assist Others
1 Jesus said: “The harvest, indeed, is great, but the workers are few. Therefore beg the Master of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest.” Since the first-century harvesters were few in number and they had much territory to cover, Jesus could have directed them to reach as many as possible with the good news by sending them out singly. Instead, he “sent them forth by twos.” (Luke 10:1, 2) Why by twos?
2 Those disciples were new and inexperienced. By working together they could learn from and encourage one another. As Solomon put it, “two are better than one.” (Eccl. 4:9, 10) Even after holy spirit was poured out at Pentecost 33 C.E., Paul, Barnabas, and others accompanied fellow believers in the ministry. (Acts 15:35) What a privilege it must have been for some to be trained personally by such capable men!
3 A Fine Training Program: Like its first-century counterpart, the modern Christian congregation is a preaching organization. It also provides us with training. As individuals, our heartfelt desire should be to present the good news as effectively as possible. So that more publishers can improve in their effectiveness, assistance is available.
4 At the Kingdom Ministry School held recently, the Society announced a program for pioneers to assist others in the field ministry. Is there a need for this? Yes, there is. Over one million publishers have been baptized in the past three years, and many of these need training to become more effective in the preaching work. Who can be used to fill that need?
5 Full-time pioneers can help. Jehovah’s organization provides them with much counsel and training. Pioneers receive instruction tailored to their needs in the two-week Pioneer Service School. They also benefit from meetings with the circuit and district overseers, as well as from guidance by the elders. Although not all pioneers are as experienced as Paul and Barnabas were, they have received valuable training, which they are happy to share.
6 Who Will Benefit? Is participation in this program restricted to new publishers or to newly baptized ones? By no means! There are younger ones and older ones who have known the truth for years but would appreciate help in certain features of the ministry. Some do excellent work in placing literature but have difficulty in making return visits or in starting Bible studies. Others may start Bible studies with ease but observe that their students do not progress. What is holding them back? Experienced pioneers may be requested to offer help in these areas. Certain pioneers are effective in cultivating interest, starting Bible studies, and directing new students to the organization. Their experience will be helpful in this new program.
7 Do you find that your schedule does not allow you to support the congregation’s regular meetings for field service as much as you would like? A pioneer may be able to work with you at times when other publishers are not available.
8 Good Cooperation Is Needed: Twice a year, the elders will make arrangements for publishers who are desirous of personal assistance to participate in the Pioneers Assist Others program. If you agree to receive such assistance, get together with the pioneer publisher assigned to help you, work out a practical schedule for service, and stick to it. Keep each appointment. As you work together, observe effective ways of presenting the good news. Analyze why certain approaches are effective. Consider suggestions the pioneer publisher may offer for improving your presentation. As you apply the things learned, your progress in the ministry will become evident, both to you and to others. (See 1 Timothy 4:15.) Work together as often as possible, sharing in all features of the ministry, including informal witnessing but focusing on any particular area in which you need personal assistance.
9 The service overseer is interested in the progress that will be made. Periodically, he will check with the Congregation Book Study conductor to see how you are benefiting from the program. The circuit overseer will likewise help you when he visits the congregation.10 Jehovah wants his people to be trained and “equipped for every good work.” (2 Tim. 3:17) View the Pioneers Assist Others arrangement as a fine provision to help those who desire to improve their ability to preach the word. If it is your privilege to share in it, do so with gratitude, humility, and joy.
I remember when I signed up to be assisted by a pioneer. It quickly fizzled and I didn't get the help I wanted.
This whole video thing seems more awkward than normal? Sounds like it's harkening back to the days of playing phonographs. Householders might quickly take a magazine to get rid of the JWs, but how many actually consent to watch an entire video???
This letter had the following note on the web site :
Note to elders: Please ensure that all field missionaries, special pioneers, temporary special pioneers and regular pioneers in your congregation receive a copy of this letter. At the next quarterly elders’ meeting we recommend considering how the direction in this letter is being implemented.
I was once helped by a pioneer; the help was super effective! :) We were both disfellowshipped, though. Not such a win-win. :(
They are so good at double-speak aren't they.
The 2010 letter says, and I paraphrase, the Pioneer Assist Program has been such as success..... we're discontinuing it!!! Mmmm, don't you usually continue with or even expand something that is a success?
I distinctly remember those years serving as a pioneer Elder and never once being able to successfully implement the program. Every pairing we made never got really got started of fizzled out within a month or two. So when they say it has fulfilled its purpose - I don't think so. I think their other (vague) reason given is the true one - "for other practical reasons..."which are conveniently not specified.
And now here we are only 7 years later and they're re-introducing the program under a different (and perhaps less formal) guise. Perhaps they still remember the lesson form last time - to make it too formal an arrangement just doesn't work.
I was a pioneer elder. I tried to assist but they never showed up for service. I couldn't get any time in tracking down the slackers. I discontinued the program before headquarters got around to it. I was such a stellar example. Too funny. (I was the Service Overseer by the way.)