As a part of Student Role Teaching, it’s perfectly acceptable for you to clear up misconceptions about what it is that you believe. Don’t assume that Jehovah’s Witnesses already understand your beliefs.
In fact, often they misunderstand what you believe because they are relying on the Watchtower instead of checking things out for themselves.
The only way to know is to ask them. Then you can clear up misconceptions before continuing your discussions.
Here are two examples. Continue reading
As you listen to Jehovah’s Witnesses talk, you will find them using Watchtower lingo—phrases like “the ransom sacrifice” and “Jehovah’s arrangement for salvation.”
After you get them to define their terms, it often helps to use the Watchtower expressions yourself, so long as you aren’t agreeing to doctrinal error by doing so. Continue reading
The Watchtower uses Bible words and phrases but often attaches very different meanings to them. In talking with Jehovah’s Witnesses, therefore, it is critical that you get them to define the terms they are using. Likewise, define the terms you are using.
If you suspect that you have conflicting definitions of words or phrases, explain your understanding of the terms and ask them to explain theirs.
Make clear which definition is being used at various points in the conversation. That way, you will avoid the pitfall of appearing to communicate when in reality you are miscommunicating.
Don’t take anything for granted. Continue reading
When I recommend Student Role Teaching, you may be asking, “Are you saying I should never tell Jehovah’s Witnesses what I believe and why?”
No, sometimes you have to do that in order to get your point across.
But if you aren’t careful, you will come across as trying to take over their “rightful” role as teachers. You’ll arouse opposition, and the Witnesses may decide to stop meeting with you. That’s bad—you want to get through to them, not to drive them away.
So what can you do?
Follow your statements immediately with questions asking the Witnesses for their input.
There are a number of phrases that I’ve found helpful in doing this. Continue reading
I used to think that having Jehovah’s Witnesses read aloud a passage of Scripture would be enough to get through to them. I’d wait for them to concede the point the Scripture was making. Instead, they would often give me a blank stare.
They read the words, but the words didn’t sink in. They didn’t get the point.
What do you do if that happens?
Ask follow-up questions to bring out the meaning of the passage.
Let me give you an example. Continue reading