My youth was dominated by meetings which we attended 3 times a week, this has changed slightly since I left, I understand they have dropped the group study which was held at different people’s houses on a Tuesday night for just an hour.
We would go up the road to a “sister’s” house (it’s worth noting that the religion is referred to as an international brotherhood so its members address each other as brother and sister) where we would study a publication that had been chosen by the governing body they thought was most relevant at the time. The publication was split into numbered paragraphs and there would be up to three questions for each paragraph. Usually an elder would host the study group and someone would read the paragraph out loud after which the questions would be asked and we would be invited to answer after putting your hand up, much like at school. So you can imagine it was almost like a family get together with ten to twenty people there who all knew each other very well. Some people would put their hands up a lot whilst others would sit quietly and just listen, for some it was almost a way of showing off their spiritual knowledge and they would have a hand in the air almost every paragraph to give a “highly informed opinion” on the subject matter.
There would also be a longer meeting at the place of worship known as the kingdom hall, this was on a Thursday night, and there was a theocratic ministry school to begin with. This was designed to educate us as to how we might accomplish the ministry set out by Jesus. The witnesses stick to the fact that Jesus commanded them to go out and become “fishers of men” and make as many people aware of God and what he has in store for us all. Many religions believe that this command was put there so we can show the world gods message by means of our actions and the way that we live our lives, however the witnesses take this to the next level by actively knocking on peoples doors to take the message to them, this is why the theocratic ministry school is so important to them. Part of the school was there to enable everyone to develop the skills required to speak publicly to others about god’s message, you were given an assignment (if you enrolled in the school) to perhaps talk for 4 minutes about a given subject, or read a small passage of the bible, for the sisters it was in a home bible study situation, where you had to teach someone or guide them based around their concerns about various different subjects and scenarios. After your assignment was completed and you had returned to your seat you were given pointers about where you went wrong or areas to brush up on by the elder who was the overseer for the school, you were also given praise where it was due so you weren’t ever discouraged from the process.