• Overcoming Your Fears - You are wise to be concerned, because if you embark unprepared into discussions with Jehovah’s Witnesses, there is a danger of getting indoctrinated and becoming a Jehovah’s Witness yourself. But the solution to that isn’t to hide behind the curtains and pretend you aren’t at home. The solution is to get prepared.
  • The Role of Prayer - When it comes to witnessing—including getting through to Jehovah’s Witnesses—we need to prepare as if everything depended on us and pray as if everything depended on God.
  • Please Provide Feedback As We Go - As we go through this series on witnessing techniques for getting through to Jehovah’s Witnesses, I’d like to get your feedback. Please share your thoughts with us. I don’t expect anyone to answer all of these questions. I’m just asking them to trigger your thought processes. Share as much or as little as you wish.
  • Choosing the Issues to Discuss - 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.
  • Planting Seeds and Stones - "Seed planting” or “stone in the shoe” objectives are points you intend to make that you hope will stick with the Witnesses if nothing else does. Even if they don’t make an immediate impact, your hope is that they will bear fruit over time (“seed planting”) or keep bothering the Witnesses (“stone in the shoe”) long after they have stopped meeting with you.
  • Objectives Big and Small - You can see that these objectives vary considerably in their scope. The Jesus Isn’t Michael Approach has a narrow focus, and could be covered in one session with a Jehovah’s Witness. It also could be narrowed further into “seed planting” or “stone in the shoe” objectives I discussed in my last post.
  • What is NOT YOUR OBJECTIVE - In my book, Getting Through to Jehovah’s Witnesses: Approaching Bible Discussions in Unexpected Ways , I identify a number of “Watchtower Signature Issues.” These are issues Jehovah’s Witnesses often bring up in order to try to convince us that the Watchtower religion is the only genuine Christian faith, plus a couple of topics that they will never bring up but that might be a fruitful area for you to discuss at an appropriate time. It is especially important with these types of topics to pay attention to what is NOT YOUR OBJECTIVE in the discussion.
  • Listen - If we are going to get through to Jehovah’s Witnesses, we need to listen so we can find out what is important to them. Let me illustrate my point by telling you about a bad experience I had one day when I went shopping for a new car.
  • Should You Give Your Personal Testimony? - 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.
  • How to Avoid Getting Derailed - One time as I was about to embark on a series of meetings with two Jehovah’s Witnesses (or so I thought), instead of getting out his materials the lead Witness stared at me and asked point blank: "What is your purpose in meeting with us?" The tone seemed to me to be accusatory, sort of like my father sitting me down and saying, “Son, don’t you think there is something you ought to tell me?” I quickly realized that the “wrong” answer might derail the whole process. They might tell me there was really no point in going further and head for the door.
  • Think Like a Jehovah’s Witness - In order to get through to Jehovah’s Witnesses, we need to learn to think like a Jehovah’s Witness thinks. I don’t mean we need to agree with them. I mean we need to understand them. We need to know what they believe and why. We need to understand what will put them at ease and what will arouse opposition. We need to understand how our words might be misconstrued so we can avoid those pitfalls.
  • How Witnesses Hope Your Meetings Will Go - When Jehovah’s Witnesses come to your door, they won’t be adlibbing. They have been well-trained in what to say in order to try to set up a series of meetings with you. These will be meetings where they will be in charge and hope to systematically teach you Watchtower doctrine until you are ready to become a Jehovah’s Witness yourself. Today, I’m going to walk you through that process so you’ll know what they will do and why.
  • Let Jehovah’s Witnesses Be the Teachers - Jehovah’s Witnesses must be the teachers, and you must be the student. That’s the only way to get them to continue to have ongoing spiritual discussions with you. You will actually be teaching them things, of course, but indirectly (as a questioning student) rather than directly (as a teacher). Evidence Ministries President Keith Walker calls this “ Student Role Teaching .” Here’s why Jehovah’s Witnesses insist on being the teachers.
  • Student Role Teaching - Jehovah’s Witnesses aren’t allowed to question Watchtower teachings—but you are! After all, you aren’t expected to understand what Witnesses understand already. If you let them be the teachers and you accept the role of being one of their students, you will be allowed to ask questions they would never dare to ask. In fact, you can raise questions they would never even think to ask. But you have to be careful how you do it.
  • Staying on Topic - When you are making headway with Witnesses on a particular matter, often they will try to change the subject. We all do this to some extent, but it’s a special challenge when you are trying to get through to Jehovah’s Witnesses. So how do you stay on topic and avoid getting sidetracked? With Student Role Teaching, you control the situation by the questions you ask.
  • Do the Unexpected - Why should you do the unexpected when discussing Bible doctrine with Jehovah’s Witnesses? Because if you don’t, they will just recite their Watchtower talking points and you won’t get through to them.
  • Take the Wind Out of Their Sails - In last week’s post, I recommended that you get Jehovah’s Witnesses out of their prepared Watchtower presentations by approaching Bible topics in ways they won’t expect. One way to do that is to take the wind out of their sails by bringing up some of their standard arguments before they do and agreeing with the amount of truth that’s contained in them. Then move past that to share your main points with them.
  • Turning the Tables - Many times you can use a combination of witnessing techniques. Here’s an example of how you can combine taking the wind out of their sails with Student Role Teaching to turn the tables when discussing the biblical relationship of faith and works.
  • Emulate Columbo - In order to avoid triggering the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ persecution mindset when you challenge Watchtower dogma by voicing questions they would never dare or even think to ask, I recommend that you emulate Columbo’s non-threatening manner.
  • Pin Them Down - Good investigators know that before you confront a witness with an inconsistency, you first have to pin them down to their basic story. Otherwise, they just wriggle off the hook. A similar principle applies in getting through to Jehovah’s Witnesses.