WATCH TOWER 1932 6/15 Edit
CONDUCTING STUDY MEETINGS Edit
DEAR BROTHER RUTHERFORD:
While traveling in different parts of the country I notice how different it is in some small companies to get a great deal of benefit from The Watchtower studies, because of lack of order.
If rules for conducting study meetings as suggested in Volume 6, Studies in the Scriptures, are out of date, would it not be possible for you to give us some good advice regarding the best way of cooperating with brother in charge of meeting that we may use the hour set aside for study in the most advantageous manner? I am sure many study leaders all over the country would be glad to get your helpful suggestions on this matter.
Hoping this is not taking up too much of your valuable time, I am.
Your sister in the kingdom service,
Julie Hoffmeyer, Pioneer.
Replying to the above letter, the advice is given that the method of conducting a study in the Bethel home, and which has been in vogue for some time, we believe to be the best. The meeting is led by a brother, usually the president of the Society when present. Three brethren who can read clearly and distinctly in the English language are asked to sit in the front and in-turn read one or two paragraphs at a time of the matter under consideration, and then the leader calls for questions upon the paragraphs read.
Questions are propounded, and various ones called upon to express themselves in answer to the questions; and then the leader sums up by giving a brief and succinct explanation, if further explanation is required. No one speaks until first recognized by the leader. In this way complete order is maintained and the subject matter is considered in the proper way. By first reading the paragraph those in the company get an understanding of the subject matter under consideration; but if their understanding is not clear, anyone is privileged to propound a question.
The purpose of the study is to more clearly understand the Scriptures and the explanation thereof given. This is believed to be the best way to carry on a study, and, indeed, preferable to the propounding of questions to be discussed and then to read the paragraph finally at the end of the discussion. Most companies are small compared with the Bethel family, however. In a small company, the ones who are able to read clearly and distinctly should do the reading. This might be done by the leader himself; and the leader, after reading one or two paragraphs, should say, "Who has a question on the paragraphs read?" Let every one have an opportunity to propound a question that is germane to the matter under investigation, and then proceed with the expressions as above indicated. Questions should always be confined to the paragraph, and not go off on side issues.