Many, including Christians normally do not look forward to a visit from a Jehovah’s Witness, and more times than not, try to find a way to end the conversation as quickly as possible, or even avoid the conversation altogether.
Why is that? Well they are very persuasive, and usually have a slick script to share with you, just like a door to door salesman, and of course it usually is at an inconvenient time, so of course you are at a disadvantage.
But as a Christian, is that the right way to respond? There may be genuine reasons why you would prefer not to talk to them, but perhaps we are missing a real opportunity to disciple to these ones. After all, they are God fearing, well behaved and enjoy discussing about the Bible.
However, of course the problem here is, we may not ourselves be that familiar with the Bible and therefore not able to properly defend our own Faith, or perhaps you are not that familiar with their beliefs, or you simply don’t want to risk being pulled into their Religion.
Whatever the reason, I feel there are ways that we can still strike a conversation that will be effective and really question the witnesses beliefs.
So with over 20 years of being a Jehovah’s Witness, I would like to offer some suggestions on how we can make the most of these encounters.
Before we get into a discussion we need to be aware of a few things that play a very important role in the process
1 Whatever we say it must be in Love
2 JW’s believe a great deal in works, so they will be judging you on your behavior, so we need to ensure we are polite, respectful and impersonal at all times.
3 Be friendly, it is amazing the difference a JW will be once he/she feels comfortable with you. Perhaps make a nice comment about them. Make sure you get their names and you tell them yours.
4 Do not try to argue or come over like you have the truth, or are in any way superior. A JW believes that they are the only ones with the truth, so they will automatically block out any beliefs that are not in line with theirs, as a protective mechanism.
5 Be an “Active Listener”, this is key, provide confirmation back that you understood what they said, or even where possible suggest you understand why they think a certain way. This is based on a tried and tested psychological method to get a positive response from a person.
6 Try to pull out a single point that you feel you could provide a good discussion point, then invite them to come back, that way you can prepare and be ready.
7 Avoid being confrontational, instead express that you find their points interesting and would like to discuss more. Do not talk in the form of “absolutes”, just explain this is what you think/understand.
8 Last but not least, don’t try to win an argument, you just need to sow a seed.
With the above points you are now ready to ask some questions, but please only select a few and ones that you feel are appropriate, based on how the conversation has gone, and what you know of them. Keep it simple noting this is not an ideal forum for a lengthy debate, but rather a platform for a follow up discussion.
Important Note: JW’s generally are uneasy talking to someone that already has a belief, and will try to find any justification to get out of the conversation, which is why it is wise to not say too much on the initial call, and keep to what you are confident is accurate biblically speaking. As soon as they believe you have a strong belief that is unlikely to change, they will act on an elders recommendation to mark your address “Do not call”, and the opportunity is lost.
Also a side note, usually they come in pairs, and it is likely to be a mature witness accompanied by a junior, so do try and get the junior to comment wherever possible.
Now onto my TOP TEN Suggested Questions to ask on the Door:
Q1 What is the main reason why you call on people? Can you describe the Gospel in the Bible?
Follow up with: Can I share with you a scripture 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, and ask what do they think this is referring to? It is unlikely they would have said, this as part of their version of the Gospel. A nice method of approach is to confirm back to them what they said and ask for them to then verbally agree, this way they cannot use the excuse “but that is what I said/meant”.
Q2 Do you believe if someone from reading the Bible turns to God, and wants to give his life to Christ, God will answer him?
They believe that you can only come to truth is through their Org, (Watchtower Organization) so this will be an interesting discussion point, but if the discussion carries on, offer that you would like to discuss more and invite them back.
Q3 How do you think you can be saved?
Follow up with a Question that tries to establish what they mean by that, and what you do in your life that will impact your hope of everlasting life? Then show them Romans 10:9-10 and ask for their comments
Then explain if your salvation is a free Gift, then would it be fair to say, you do not need to earn it. (Eph 2;8)
Q4 Do you rely on the Org to provide you with the teachings of the Bible, and does that mean you fully rely on what they provide in terms of sermons, and literature?
Now ask them, Are they anointed,? Which they will say “NO”, Does that mean they are imperfect and make mistakes? So do you think it is right to put your trust in them, especially over your eternal Life?
Show them the scripture where Jesus says NOT to put trust in man (Jer 17:5) and then ask I thought Jesus way the way, the Truth & the Light? (John 14:6)
Q5 If I became a JW, would I have to obey everything the WT asks of me, even if I don’t believe it is in line with the Bible?
Explain that would that mean we are putting something that is not “inspired” ahead of what “Is inspired”?
Q6 I see you have the NWT, is that the Bible translation of choice? And do you think it is a good version?
This can be quite a delicate point here, so keep it friendly, and explain you use a different version, and it would be nice to compare. Use as an invitation to come back.
Q7 I hear the JW’s talk a lot about what they call “New Light”, can you explain what it means?
Then offer them the point that if “new light” replaces “old light”, where the old light has not been updated but actually replaced, making it now “false”, does that mean that the “Old Light” could not have come from God, as he cannot lie. So how do you ever know “new light” is from God?
Q8 Why does the Org provide many predictions on “End Times”?
Try not to say too much on the door, but if they respond respectfully, offer for them to come back to discuss further.
Q9 Do you have a relationship with Christ? And what do you think the Bible means by this? Do you believe Jesus is our mediator?
Shows scriptures that explain that God is love and through your love of God, you need to be Born of God, and then Christ through his spirit will abide in you, see what they think of these verses. Show that it says this is for “ALL” so would they not be eligible? (1 John 4:7.8 & 5:1) In terms of Jesus being our mediator, show them 1Tim 2:4-6, Heb 7:25,26 & Heb 1:6, and ask for their comments.
Q10 Why do you think the JW’s are the only ones that have the truth?
This is a huge subject and many Witnesses will answer this differently, so pick up what they say and suggest for a follow up discussion.
Please be encouraged that Christ is by your side, so continually speak to him through prayer and ask others to also pray for you.