I ended the first post in this series by asking you to consider how much you care about getting through to Jehovah’s Witnesses and how much time you are willing to invest preparing. I asked you to make this a matter of prayer.
After doing an honest self-evaluation, some of you may have concluded that you only have time to prepare thoroughly on one particular issue. If so, that’s fine. I’m glad you’re willing to do that much because doing something is better than doing nothing.
Most Jehovah’s Witnesses never receive a Christian witness from anyone.
There are a lot of possible topics you could choose, and the challenge you have is which issue to select.
Others of you—particularly those who have loved ones in the Watchtower—will be motivated to prepare to discuss as many topics as it takes to get through to the Jehovah’s Witnesses in your life.
Your challenge is how to “eat the elephant”—that is, where to start and where to go from there.
First, let’s look at the big picture.
My book, Getting Through to Jehovah’s Witnesses: Approaching Bible Discussions in Unexpected Ways, covers the following issues:
- How can we become righteous before God?
- The need to come to Jesus
- The role of faith and works
- The nature of the resurrection
- The new birth
- The Nature of God
- The Trinity
- The deity and humanity of Jesus
- The identity of the Holy Spirit
- Watchtower Signature Issues (Issues Witnesses bring up)
- The name “Jehovah”
- Neutrality (war/military service)
- Birthdays and holidays
- Paid clergy
- The cross
- Blood transfusions
- 1914 and end times prophecies
If you only have time to prepare one issue, I recommend choosing one from the first two categories—Salvation and the Nature of God—because those are matters that are critical to the salvation of the Jehovah’s Witnesses you will be witnessing to.
I recommend that you do a brief overview of those topics. Pray about it and select the one you are most willing to study in depth. This will be your topic. When you encounter Jehovah’s Witnesses, tell them that this is the one subject you are concerned about most.
The only exception to starting with salvation related issues is the situation in which the particular Witnesses you are going to meet with will insist on discussing a particular subject. That’s rare, but it does sometimes happen. One Witness I encountered only wanted to talk about paid clergy. That’s not a subject I would have chosen, but it was so important to him that I decided to get into it with him.
Agree with the Witnesses on the topic you’ll discuss. Before you meet with them, study up on that subject. Become as much of an expert on it as you can.
When you meet with the Witnesses, stick to that topic. If they try to change the subject, bring them back by reminding them of the topic you had agreed to discuss and politely refuse to discuss anything else.
After you have finished covering the issue (however many meetings that takes), review how you did. If you made some mistakes or if your efforts fell flat (that happens to all of us), don’t give up. Study your issue further and determine how to do better next time.
At this point, you’ll need to decide whether to go on to other issues or whether to stop meeting with the Witnesses.
If you decide you want to cover further issues, decide what issue you want to study next. You can scan as many subjects as you like, but then choose one to focus on and become an expert on that subject. Make that the first issue you discuss with the Witnesses. After that, you can expand to other topics.
In your give and take with the Witnesses, you may find that it’s necessary to go on to a topic of their choosing. Decide if you’re willing to do that.
In any event, always agree with the Witnesses in advance as to what you will discuss in your next meeting with them. Schedule the meeting for a date which will allow you adequate time to study and prepare..
Don’t let them switch subjects on you. It’s perfectly legitimate to tell them that you’ll be glad to discuss other topics with them, but only after you’ve had time to do your own private study on what the Bible has to say about it.
If necessary, reschedule the meeting.