Psalm 56. The Skin Bottle Psalm
The Service Meeting Part of Which Almost All Missed the Point

Let a Householder Talk Long Enough and He’ll Tell You Why He Needs the Kingdom

In an article from The Watchtower of May 1, 1984, p. 31 under "Questions from Readers" it states that "Jehovah's Witnesses do not go to people's homes in search of truth or clarification. Rather, they have spent countless hours learning the truth from the Word of God and, having learned the "good news," obediently go out to share it with other people.

Coming back to that one:

The idea that anyone would find this “problematic” (as did Bill Brexit) is almost too bizarre to comprehend. In my entire life, I have never opened the door to someone who doesn’t have something to say.

‘Let a householder talk long enough and he’ll tell you why he needs the kingdom.’ If they don’t, then they’re plainly not the type of person Witnesses are searching for. They look for the one who is ‘skinned and thrown about like sheep without a shepherd’—and he knows it, if only subliminally. Anyone who sees the present state of human affairs and says, ‘Things are just hunky-dory here!’—that’s not the person they’re looking for. Do a little pleasant chit-chat, and I move on. As often as not, I’m not called upon to do any pleasant chit-chat. They’re more eager for me to move on than I am to do it.

It’s the notion Brexit seems to have that Witnesses call to shake down whatever people have so as to ‘build back better’ that is crazy. Can he really think that way? Witnesses have no interest in deassembling a person so as to reassemble that one. Their looking for persons who are already deasembled, who know it, and who are dissatisfied with it. Let them talk enough and they’ll tell you why they need the kingdom.

To this end, the ‘read a scripture’ approach works well for me. I’m not a fan of these open-ended questions which all-to-often have the effect of putting the householder on the spot. It’s uncomfortable to be put on the spot. Nobody likes that. Better to say, “I stopped by to read you a scripture, you tell me what you think, and I’m outta here. Good idea?” It’s not much of a request. Quite a few people say ‘yes.’ If they think it is not a good idea, I am true to my word and outta there. If they do an answer that isn’t an answer, such as, ‘I have a church,’ I say, “it’ll still work.” If they hem and haw a little, I say ‘in the time it takes to decide I can just read it,’ and I do. 

Read the scripture, explain why you chose it, in a sentence or two, and give them opportunity to converse on it if they like. If they don’t—hey, I’m happy—I read a verse and it fell flat. This is not the person I’m looking for. Move on with pleasantness. Even people who decline are apt to say, “but thanks for calling,” so pleased are they that you get right to the point and didn’t try to impose on their time. 

Recently I used 1 Thess 5:11, “Therefore, keep encouraging one another and building one another up, just as you are in fact doing.

I explained I chose it for two reasons. 1) that it was the theme of a recent meeting (a witness in itself, because it gives an indication as to what goes on at a Kingdom Hall), and 2) it seems like a big ‘Duh’—a no-brainer—seek to encourage and build up—except we live in a world where that is almost never done. 

You reach this point, by which time a householder may have formed an opinion of you as a reasonable guy, not pushy, not wound up too tight, and then they may go off in a hundred different directions.

A guy I spoke with last week interrupted my spiel of 1 Thess 5:11 with, “You don’t work, do you?” 5023E7D5-EBED-4B2E-AA53-84D8BE2525F3I thought it was an attack. “Well—I’m retired,” I hedged. Turned out to be nothing of the sort. He just launched into how ugly people were at his workplace, how argumentative, how abusive—and, alas, I could detect a personality that would make it ten times worse, but it was a good inroad into discussing kingdom promises and the discussion went on for some time.

Bill Brexit seems to think it’s likely that the householder comes out to talk ‘theology’ with you. It’s not unheard of, but it’s not very common. 

(Photo: Pixabay)

 

******  The bookstore

Defending Jehovah’s Witnesses with style from attacks... in Russia, with the book ‘I Don’t Know Why We Persecute Jehovah’s Witnesses—Searching for the Why’ (free).... and in the West, with the book, 'In the Last of the Last Days: Faith in the Age of Dysfunction'

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