The School & Service Meeting: How to sell mags and influence people

by truthseeker 7 Replies latest jw friends

  • truthseeker

    The Theocratic Ministry School, which started in 1943, has to be the most boring and dullest meeting of the 5 weekly meetings that witnesses have to attend. This is also probably the least attended meeting, with the book study group coming in a close second.

    Having sat through possibly a thousand of these monotnous meetings, I wonder how anyone can possibly be excited about joinging the TMS.

    There has been little change in format, except for a revised school book and a speech quality talk lasting 5 minutes.

    This is what I don't get - they go to such enormous lengths to get brothers to dress neatly and speak fluently - for sisters to use the reasoning book and their notes - for elders to tell us how to speak and what to speak - yet Jesus' disciples were "unlettered and ordinary."

    In the course of 1 day, Jesus' "unlettered and ordinary disciples" helped to baptized more than 3,000 people. Did they need to know about pitch, power and pace?

    Did they have to think about "Gestures and Facial Expressions", "Scriptures Effectively Introduced" and "Extemporaneous Delivery"?

    So after the Theocratic Ministry School you are now ready for the Service Meeting.

    This is a cleverly disguised sales meeting. The first thing you hear are the Announcements (TM) Then you usually get two witnesses to stand at the front of the platform and do their demonstration "What to Say about the Magazines."

    Don't forget the [allow for response] but please remember not to respond to their [allow for response]

    Notice that the "voluntary donation arrangement", the arrangement most least understood and least practiced, is not to be found in the "What To Say About The Magazines" topic.

    Then you get two 15 minute talks on why the Witnesses are being persecuted, or "Are you attending all the meetings?" and then close with prayer.

    Repeat 52 weeks of the year and then you can sell mags and influence people.

    Next time a dub comes to your door - ask him if the time and magazines he is giving to you will be counted as part of his monthly quota - watch his expression.

  • kls

    I don't know if your post was supposed to make us laugh but it made me. I am going to print this out and keep it.

  • freedom96

    I personally didn't hate this meeting as bad as the Watchtower study. That had to be the worst hour of the week.

  • L_A_Big_Dawg


    Among the frequently listed fears of persons, speaking in public is usually No.1 or 2.

    During my training for lay-ministry at the church I attend, I was so far ahead of the folks that had been involved with the church for decades. People would come up to me after I spoke and asked how I got so good. I have never, ever been nervous giving a talk/presentation/sermon. The TMS gave me a greater sense of confidence, in that I could do something that most people are afraid of doing, and doing it well. All that I can attribute to the TMS.

    With all that said, I will say that I had to learn how to speak in public in a more exciting and attention grabbing manner. I learned that it was ok to not be cemented behind a rostrum/pulpit. I learned that I didn't have to stay within the bounds of an outline, though all my sermons are meticulously outlined. I learned that it was okay to show genuine emotions, not just speaking in flacid, flowing monotones. I learned how to step off the stage, and into the audienc. To talk directly to people, whatching their facial reactions, and body language. I learned more about interacting with my audience, than simply talking at them.

    The TMS school was great, however it needs to be changed.


  • metatron

    Public speaking is a worthy topic, useful to anyone's employment.

    The problem is: for what? In most Western countries like the US, the "ministry"

    prepared for is almost purely a fantasy. Nor is the Ministry School generally effective

    in creating great numbers of Witnesses who can defend the "truth" with any degree

    of depth - they're about as bad as 'born agains' were in being unable to find scriptures

    or offer anything meaningful that isn't read out of a "Reasoning" book.

    And the Service Meeting is simply an Amway sales gathering without the enthusiasm.


  • Room 215
    Room 215

    I cast my vote for the Service Meeting, amply (and accurately) described above by Meta and others as the absolute worst meeting of the five; for me, it ain't even close!

  • dorothy

    The Watchtower study is definitely the worst. I always try to busy myself doing something else, (i.e. re-orgaizing stickers in my daughter's sticker book) then checking back to see what paragraph we were at. Becoming especially proud of myself if I had managed to pass over 3 or 4 paragraphs. A few weeks ago there were only 18 paragraphs instead of 21. I almost cried with joy.

  • NewYork44M

    I would place the meeting in the following order from most horrible to least horrible:

    Wt Study - Boring, boring, boring. What else can I say.

    TM School - Although I enjoyed giving talks, some talks were tedious. Especially the #2 bible reading.

    Public Talk - They all follow a very strict outline format so they were easy to give. Not so easy to listen to.

    Book Study - As boring as it was at least it was only an hour. Plus there might be treats after the study.

    Service Meeting - this was always my favorite meeting. Some of the parts were very ad lib - and you could expect a few bizarre moments. You could always guess about what the gossip was based upon the special needs talk. That was always important. Especially when you have no live except for the meetings.

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