Witnessing to Jehovah’s Witnesses can be very frustrating. Sometimes you feel like you’re hitting your head against a brick wall. Sometimes the Witnesses just walk away.
I want to make clear that I don’t claim to have an infallible method for getting through to them. No one does. There is no set of Bible passages or collection of cleverly worded arguments that are guaranteed to show a Jehovah’s Witness that the Watchtower is wrong.
That said, there are some approaches that work better than others—and I will be sharing many of them with you based on my more than 40 years of efforts to reach them. I’ll also be asking you to interact with this blog and give us the benefit of your own experiences.
No sooner did I start writing posts for this blog, Getting Through to Jehovah’s Witnesses, than I encountered a Jehovah’s Witness I couldn’t get through to at all.
- He posed a series of rhetorical questions one after the other: “Who else is preaching the good news of the kingdom door-to-door? Who else refuses to celebrate pagan holidays and birthdays? Who else does this? Who else doesn’t do that?”
- When I tried to show him contradictions in Watchtower teaching, he tried to change the subject to the deity of Christ and hell.
- When I showed him a Bible passage that refuted Watchtower dogma, he redefined terms and started hopscotching to unrelated parts of the Bible.
- He admitted that the Watchtower writers are fallible but then informed me that to think independently of the Watchtower is to think independently of God himself.
At one point, I told him that I felt that I was talking to a Watchtower magazine rather than to a human being. The sad thing is that he probably took that as a compliment.
No matter how well you present the truths of the Bible, you can’t guarantee that a person will accept what you are saying. You can’t guarantee that they will understand what you are saying. You can’t even guarantee that they will listen to what you are saying.
Remember that Jesus himself had those same problems, but that didn’t deter him.
If you define success as getting everyone to accept your message or as getting any particular individual to accept your message, all it will take is one person to derail you. You’ll quickly get discouraged and give up.
Instead, define success as being well prepared, sharing Bible truth in the power of the Holy Spirit, and leaving the results to God.
Remember that as Christians “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12). That battle is really the Lord’s, isn’t it?
Do I get discouraged when I encounter a Witness who won’t listen at all? Sure.
At times like that, I go to my desk and reread some notes I received from a couple of Jehovah’s Witnesses who did listen.
One of them wrote: “Dave, we are so grateful for people like you… We all go through discouragement that we aren’t as effective as we want to be. But that’s only because we are blind to the bigger story and what influence we’ve played. I mean think about it. You helped bring me to Jesus.”
Another one wrote me a thank you note, saying: “I’d like to thank you for your continual support in my journey out of the darkness of the Watchtower, the confusion of uncertainty, the awareness of God’s love, and finally my acceptance of Jesus as my Lord and Savior. God bless you!”
Of course, I didn’t save either of those dear people. Jesus did. He graciously let me participate in the process.
You can’t get through to every Jehovah’s Witness. Maybe you can’t get through to most of them. But you can get through to some of them, and those are the ones that keep you going.
Have you had an experience where something you said either did or did not get through to a Jehovah’s Witness? What did you learn from your experience?
Share your thoughts in the comments.
Coming up next: Witnessing to Jehovah’s Witnesses in Love: Prepare Your Heart