Okay. You’ve broken the ice with some Jehovah’s Witnesses and you’ve built rapport with them.
Now you’re going to get into actual discussions with them about the Bible.
Here’s where you can go astray by coming on too strong and trying to proceed too fast. Some Christians try to confront them up front with contradictions in Watchtower literature or show them evidence of a Watchtower scandal. There may come a time when this will be effective, but if you start out in that fashion, you are only likely to drive them away. Continue reading
My friend, Michael Clark, manages to get into extended discussions with a lot of Jehovah’s Witnesses. I asked him to write this guest post explaining how he does this and offering advice for those of us who would like to do so as well.
When making contacts with Jehovah’s Witnesses, the first impression is the most important. Behavior psychologists call this the “halo effect”. It is extremely difficult to change a first impression once it has been established. In the first meeting do not try to convert the person.
Think about the first time that you met a new friend that you came to admire. Many times we become friends with people because we feel as if we can open up and be ourselves around certain people. We can relate to the other person, and we can “buy-in” to their purpose. If your main purpose is to convert every Witness, then do not be surprised if they do not “buy-in” to your purpose in meeting with them. I prefer a more modest approach, which is to get to know the person that I want to meet with. Continue reading
When I was a boy, a lady came to our door selling World Book encyclopedias. My mother invited her in. Rather than diving right in to her sales pitch, she wisely built rapport by asking me what school subjects I found most interesting. She expressed interest in them, too.
When she finally got into her presentation, guess which World Book articles she showed us first.
Experienced Jehovah’s Witnesses do something very similar. When they come into your home for the first hour-long meeting, they sound you out to see what you’re most concerned about. Is it terrorism? Crime? The environment? Uncertain finances? The job market? Bullying your children face at school? Fear of death?
Whatever it is, they will empathize with you. When they decide it’s time to move into their presentation, they will tell you that Jehovah cares about these matters as well and that soon he will step in and solve these problems.
I recommend that you build rapport with them as well. You hope to get into some pretty deep spiritual discussions later on. They need to know that you care about them as people so they will keep coming back despite disagreements over doctrine. Continue reading
When you first meet someone in a social or business setting, you start out slowly. You engage in small talk. You avoid controversial subjects. You size up the other person, and they size you up as well. As the relationship progresses, you each disclose a little bit more.
Once you develop a certain comfort level, you feel more willing to talk about serious matters. Once you have built a fairly high level of trust, then you get into more controversial topics and open up even more.
If you are going to get through to Jehovah’s Witnesses with the light of the gospel, you will need to follow a similar process.
I believe there are 6 stages to a successful witnessing relationship with Jehovah’s Witnesses. Continue reading