Reaching out to people with a Watchtower background whom you already know can expand your witnessing opportunities in another way.
If you wait for Jehovah’s Witnesses to knock on your door, the only ones you will encounter are the ones who are active in the field service ministry. But some Witnesses are relatively inactive, attending meetings sporadically and rarely, if ever, going door-to-door.
If you are going to help them, you’ll need to try to find out why they are inactive rather than making assumptions that may be completely wrong.
Because inactive Witnesses are Jehovah’s Witnesses, they have been trained in Watchtower doctrines and indoctrination in the Watchtower mindset. So don’t assume they are inactive because they have seen the errors in Watchtower teachings. That may be the case, but not necessarily.
Some are inactive because they are upset about something that has happened to them personally, such as mistreatment by the congregation elders.
Still others are inactive because they are worn out trying to live up to the Watchtower’s works requirements, including constant pressure to go door-to-door and attend multiple meetings each week.
They may now be inactive because they are tired of waiting for Armageddon and the “new system,” events which the Watchtower has been proclaiming as just around the corner through its 125 years of existence.
Although many Jehovah’s Witnesses still agree with the Watchtower’s teachings, they have become inactive because of organizational hypocrisy.
One example of that might be its registering with the United Nations as a Non-Government Organization (NGO) after decades of denouncing the UN as Satan’s organization. (It withdrew from this status after its involvement became known.) Another example might be the cover-up of pedophilia by Jehovah’s Witnesses. (Recent hearings and findings by the Australia Royal Commission have caused the Watchtower terrible publicity in this regard).
Some Witnesses have become inactive because of some sin in their life which has left them feeling unworthy to witness door-to-door.
Though inactive, all of these people are still as firmly convinced as ever that the Watchtower’s Bible interpretations and teachings are “the truth.”
Of course, there are a significant number of Jehovah’s Witnesses whose inactivity has been caused by doctrinal differences. They may have seen that the Watchtower is wrong in one or more of its key teachings, but they are staying in the organization because leaving would lead to ostracism and shunning by all of their Witness family and friends.
They have no intention of leaving; they are just cutting back as much as they dare.
Still other Witnesses are PIMO (physically in, mentally out) and are trying to “fade” from the Watchtower by gradually doing less and less without formally disassociating (Witnesses who disassociate are shunned the same as if they had been disfellowshipped for serious misconduct).
Don’t automatically assume they are ready to embrace biblical Christianity. For all you know, they may now be atheists who no longer believe the Bible at all.
My point in explaining all of this is to point out that the best way to get through to inactive Jehovah’s Witnesses will differ significantly depending on where they are spiritually.
The key is how much their Watchtower indoctrination still affects them.
If they believe all of the Watchtower teachings but are inactive for some other reason, you’ll need to relate to them as you would with a Jehovah’s Witness who has come to your door.
If they have substantial doubts about one or more Watchtower teachings, you can focus your attention on that.
You will have to be low key in order to learn these things.
Don’t grill them as if you were a cross-examining attorney.
Be their friend, and listen far more than you talk.
Listen for things like this:
- Do they still believe in God?
- Do they still trust the Bible?
- Are they just burned out?
- Did they have bad experiences in the door-to-door work?
- Have they or a loved one been mistreated in some way at the Kingdom Hall?
- Do they still believe all the Watchtower doctrines but resent the constant pressures the organization puts on them?
- Do they have doubts about specific Watchtower teachings?
- What Watchtower teachings do they still accept?
Try to discover what is going on inside them and only then decide how to proceed.
Granted, this will take time and effort.
But you may be the only Christian in their life who really cares about them and understands to some extent what they are going through.
Because of that, you may be in a unique position to minister to them.