When I first became a Christian, mentors told me that one of the best ways to share the gospel is to give your personal testimony of what Jesus has done for you.
Is that method effective in getting through to Jehovah’s Witnesses?
Ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses who have become Christians disagree on this, so I’ll give you the pros and cons.
A personal testimony of a transformed life can be very powerful.
For one thing, it can’t be refuted directly; no one can tell you that you haven’t had the experiences that form your testimony.
It’s something you know well and feel comfortable with.
Moreover, it can show Jehovah’s Witnesses what they are missing—a personal relationship with the living Christ.
I personally tend not to give Witnesses my testimony—at least not at the beginning.
Because Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that only the Watchtower religion has “the truth” and that all other religions are false and satanic, even if you give a great testimony, they will think you are deceived or deluded.
I mean, your experience can’t be genuine, can it?
That’s how they will think.
When I first tried to witness to Jehovah’s Witnesses back in 1972, I did start by giving them my testimony, and things went badly. I told them that several years earlier I had realized that I was under condemnation as a sinner, that I had repented of my sins, was born again, and because of that I knew I was going to Heaven when I died.
They listened to me and then politely rejected everything I had just told them. They used my testimony as a springboard to launch into a prepared Watchtower presentation.
My use of the term “born again” and my reference to going to Heaven led them into a lecture on the Watchtower’s two-class salvation system in which only 144,000 “anointed” Witnesses of Jehovah are born again and will eventually end up in Heaven.
If You Do Give Your Testimony…
Be aware that if it is a part of your testimony that you have been saved by grace through faith apart from works, they will misunderstand. They think justification by faith is too easy to be true—a denial of the importance of works as well as a license to sin.
In order to correct these false views, you will almost have to follow up by going into “The Faith and Works Approach” from my book, Getting Through to Jehovah’s Witnesses: Approaching Bible Discussions in Unexpected Ways.
Maybe that’s a good thing—a good lead-in to that approach.
My point is that your personal testimony won’t be enough.
Because of this, my preference is to begin by discussing Bible doctrine using the approaches I’ve set out in my book. Only after I have laid that foundation and built credibility do I give them my personal testimony.
If you decide to give Witnesses your testimony, it’s important that you communicate effectively by defining terms that you use.
It’s also important that you avoid using Christian jargon Witnesses won’t understand.
Author Ted Dencher says that Christian testimonies made no sense to him when he was a Jehovah’s Witness:
They used expressions like, “I know Christ as my personal Savior.” That orbited over my head! What did they mean—knowing the Lord? What did they mean by personal Savior? No one ever bothered to explain, so I concluded they did not know! (emphasis original)
If you do give your testimony, be sure to avoid conveying the condescending attitude, “I’m saved and you’re lost.”
Your testimony will only help them if you let them know how to get the relationship with Jesus that you have. If your testimony includes how you had to give up on a previous reliance you had on membership in a particular religious organization, make sure you include that in your testimony.
Jehovah’s Witnesses are completely organizational in their thinking, so it’s vital to get across to them that salvation is not about joining the “right” church.
What works best for me may be different than what will work best for you. Also, what works best for getting through to one Jehovah’s Witness may be different than what will work best for another Witness.
Consider the pros and cons I’ve just given you.
When you are about to meet with Jehovah’s Witnesses, pray for guidance in that specific circumstance, and do what you believe the Holy Spirit is leading you to do.
 Ted Dencher, Why I Left Jehovah’s Witnesses (Fort Washington, PA: Christian Literature Crusade, 1966, 1975 printing), p. 73