From the early 1880’s the Bible Students saw that, in addition to local meetings, it would be beneficial for them to become acquainted with their fellow believers from other areas. So they began to arrange yearly conventions of Bible Students from all over the United States, and later from Canada. These were periods of spiritual refreshment; for several days intensive Bible instruction was provided, and all enjoyed a delightful interchange of encouragement. Baptism of new believers became a regular feature at conventions. Conventions were also used to give a more extensive witness to the public.
Today Jehovah’s Witnesses enjoy regular assemblies. Once a year, larger three- or four-day conventions, called district conventions, are arranged in each country, where thousands can be gathered together at one place. These conventions provide spiritual upbuilding for Jehovah’s Witnesses and others interested in their activities, and they also give a public witness.
The program for these assemblies and conventions is prepared by the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses and is based on the needs of the Witnesses worldwide. It consists of talks, discussions, and true-to-life presentations called demonstrations, presented by traveling overseers and qualified Witnesses from congregations. Various ones also relate experiences about how they are meeting the challenge of living as Christians in a godless world or what results they are having in the ministry. At district conventions there is an additional feature—live presentations in the form of Bible dramas or dramas in how Christians cope with problems they face today.