Home Jehovah's Witnesses Outreach Strategy

A STRATEGY AND METHOD FOR REACHING JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES

My wife had watched a program on TV about one of the generals during World War II that showed a number of scenes of his campaigns and explained the strategy that he used. The next day my wife and I were out walking and she explained that the reason why the general had been so successful was that he was a “history bug” and had studied the strategy of many military men and also of the general of the enemy he was presently fighting. Therefore, when he went into battle he knew what would work and what would not. General Douglas MacArthur was one who understood the oriental mind and that is the reason he was so successful. Through this discussion I realized that in order to reach those in the cults we also must know about our opponent and their strategy. Next we have to have a strategy of our own in order to counter theirs. (I know that ultimately it is up to the Holy Spirit to bring people to Christ along with much prayer, but we also have to do some studying and preparation on our own. There is not virtue in ignorance.)

 

When reaching out to the Jehovah’s Witnesses we must be aware of their strategy, and theirs is a very good one. We therefore need a clear strategy and method of our own. In this brief article, I would like to present the strategy of the Watchtower Society, how most Christians witness and show how it is not very effective and then present a strategy that can be used to make your witnessing much more effective and relaxing.

 

THE STRATEGY OF THE WATCHTOWER SOCIETY

 

As you have probably noticed, the main way Witnesses reach people is by going from door to door and making the initial contact in the home. As they come to your door, they are always very neatly dressed. (This is part of the deception process.) When you meet them at the door they are usually very polite and have a smile, which is often practiced in front of a mirror. They are well trained as to what they are to say. (They spend one hour in a class every week learning how to approach people on many different subjects.) At the door they do not tell you about the meetings at the Kingdom Hall or invite you to come there, but they try to have a “Bible study” in your home. In this way, they are able to meet you on a personal basis and try to build a relationship. At first, they will agree with you on just about any issue you bring up and will not reveal to you what they actually believe because they have to make you think right from the start that they are “such nice polite people.” This is the general impression that most people have about the Jehovah’s Witnesses. So their first goal is to give a good impression and usually they are very successful at it. People usually do not become associated with the Watchtower Society because of it doctrines, but because of the people. “People are won to people, not dogma.” Many people often think, “Such nice people surely can’t be wrong when it comes to religion!”

 

If you agree to start a “Bible study” with them, which is actually “studying a Watchtower propaganda book,” they seem to really know their Bible and have simple answers to very complex questions. (With most Christians I talk with, they will say, “The Jehovah’s Witnesses really know their Bible!” Actually, they use only 6% of the Bible and know only the verses that seem to prove their points. They do not read the Bible in context on their own.) Thus people are impressed with their politeness and the fact that they seem to have a good knowledge of the Bible.

 

Right from the beginning they begin to indoctrinate people. One of the first things they will tell you is that since you are studying “the truth” Satan is going to oppose you and this most likely will come from your family and friends. Sure enough, when your tell your family or friends they will begin to tell you that the Jehovah’s Witnesses are members of a false cult and try to discourage you from continuing studying with them. This only proves to the new inquirer that the Watchtower Society is correct.

 

Then next thing you will be told is that the Bible is inspired of God, but that it must be “interpreted.” They will explain to you that in order to understand the Bible there is a certain select group of men at the head of their organization that interpret the Bible under God’s direction. They will take you to Acts 8:30-31 which reads: “Philip ran alongside (the Ethiopian eunuch) and heard him reading aloud Isaiah the prophet, and he said: ‘Do you actually know what you are reading?’ He said: ‘Really, how could I ever do so, unless someone guided me?’” Once you buy into this propaganda then they have you. Even though you might read the Bible and it seems to state something very simply and plainly, to the JW’s it can’t mean that because that is not the way their leaders interpret it.

 

The JW’s will tell you that God deals only with an “organization” and not with “individuals.” Thus if you want to have any contact with God and have any communication with Him it can only be done through the Watchtower Society. The men on the Governing Body of the Watchtower Society are supposed to have contact with God since they are of the “anointed” class. Then these men dispense what is supposedly coming from God. Therefore, if you do not get under the umbrella of the Watchtower Society you can’t have any connection with God and if you ever leave the Society then God will have nothing more to do with you.

 

If you accept this propaganda, by now you are quite well under the control of the Watchtower Society.

 

For your “Bible study” they will either give you a 32 page booklet or the book WHAT DOES THE BIBLE Really TEACH? You will be asked to read a paragraph and then at the bottom of the page there are questions that your “teacher” will ask you. These questions have you repeat what you have just read which is subtly propagandizing you into the Watchtower Societies way of thinking. It is very subtle but very effective.

 

When you begin to ask questions, there are several ways they will distract you. (1) Sometimes they will say that the question you are asking will be answered later on so they will wait until that time to discuss it. But you usually never get to it. (2) For the supposed answer to your questions they will go into a long and involved discourse on some subject which often has nothing to do with your actually question. They hope they will loose you and you will forget about the questions and they don’t have to answer it. (3) They might ask you some question, which is really irrelevant to your question in order to throw you off. (Don’t think they are really interested in hearing the answer to the question they ask you because they are not.) (4) Sometimes they will bring you copies of printed material from Watchtower publications that in most cases does not answer you question, but they feel satisfied because they have given you something. (5) If your question has to do with something about a verse of Scripture they will immediately counter your verse with another verse that seems to be on the opposite side. You need to be aware of these tactics and stick to your original question and TRY to get some kind of reasonable answer out of them.

 

Another effective way the Jehovah’s Witnesses have of distracting you and circumventing your question is by asking you some hypothetical question and this causes the conversation to go off on another direction.

 

Let me illustrate what I mean. When you are discussing an issue with JW’s they will often ask a hypothetical question that seems to negate what the Bible is saying. (1) You are discussing what will happen to the people who have heard the WT message and refused to respond at the time of Armageddon. The Witnesses don’t want to tell you outright that these people will be annihilated and never given a second chance, so instead of answering your question they will ask you, “What about the heathen (native tribes) who have never heard?” They might explain that there might be some places in the world where the message has never reached. These are a very small amount in comparison with those who have heard. So you start discussing and try to explain about what happens to these people and in most cases never get back to the fact that most people have heard the Watchtower message and they will all be annihilated at Armageddon. (2) When you are discussing the subject of assurance of salvation, the Witnesses will almost always bring up the subject of those who supposedly fall away. I don’t know about you, but in my experience I have known only a very few Christians who have walked away from the faith, and the greater majority have remained faithful to the end. So in order to avoid how you get salvation in the first place, which Witnesses never can do, they get you discussing the subject of those who fall away and then you never get back to the subject of assurance.

 

Most of the things Jehovah’s Witnesses are acquainted with are memorized and they are very, very poor at thinking on their own. In fact, the Society doesn’t want them to think. Thinking people don’t make good Jehovah’s Witnesses!

 

The next step in the propaganda process is to invite you to the Kingdom Hall. They might tell you they are having a special speaker and they are giving you a special invitation for this occasion. Since you are quite well acquainted with the JW’s coming to your house, it is important for them to introduce you to other Witnesses in this propagandizing process. Your host will make sure that you are introduced to a number of people in the Kingdom Hall and all of them will be VERY friendly to you. They will remember your first name and call you by it the next time you come to the Hall. This friendliness is a very important step in getting you to become a Jehovah’s Witness. You are thinking more of their friendliness than what they are actually teaching.

 

After you have studied with the Witnesses for a while and gone to the Kingdom Hall, they will begin to pressure you into becoming a full fledged Jehovah’s Witness by being baptized. Of course, when this happens you will be obligated to attend the Kingdom Hall twice a week. They have one night where there are three meetings back-to-back and last for two hours and then on Sunday they have a 50-minute lecture and then spend 50 minutes studying designated articles in the Watchtower magazine. From there they will try to move you out to spending at least 10 hours a month going from door to door. Now you are “hooked.”

 

If you are not progressing as fast as they want, in order to stop the “Bible study,” they will say that they are not making any progress (just going on an even plain) and will want to stop the studies.

 

Another tactic they have, when they want to stop the studies and not have to take the blame for it, will be to start attacking you (character assassination) and accusing you of not being sincere, deceiving them, or accusing you of having false motives in order to get you angry on purpose and YOU will be the one who stopped the studies and THEY don’t have to take the blame.

 

 

HOW MOST CHRISTIANS RESPOND WHEN THEY BEGIN DEALING WITH JW’S.

It is sad to say, but in the greater majority of the cases when Christians come in contact with Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Christian actually helps the Witnesses and plays right into their hands. Since the JW’s have one meeting a week, about 45 minutes, in which they have mock conversations on how to answer questions put to them when they go from door to door, in addition to the book Reasoning from the Scriptures that they almost always have with them, and since most of the questions asked are standardized, they are well prepared to answer most questions and objections.

 

Here are some typical approaches.

 

1. Most Christians will begin with the Trinity or John 1:1. The JW’s are very well prepared to discuss this subject and most Christians are not. Usually a JW will twist a Christian in circles when discussing the Trinity. This is the last place you should start. The JW’s are off on the depth and seriousness of sin, thus they don’t feel they need a big Saviour. If a JW does get saved, one of the last bastions to fall is that of overcoming the false teaching they received concerning Trinity. You don’t attack your enemy at their strongest position. I have never heard of a JW leaving because of doctrine. It is because of the Watchtower Society and the unloving atmosphere among the Witnesses.

 

2. A familiar topic when witnessing to the JW’s is trying to show that their Bible, the New World Translation (NWT) is not a reliable Bible, but it is very hard to make much progress along this line.

 

3. Another regular approach is to point out the false prophecies, of which there are many. Some Christians have copies of these false prophecies but usually a JW will not even look at them but will say they are forged so this is not effective.

 

4. Then a good many Christians use apologetics. They want to try to explain away all of the objections that the JW’s have against Christianity. But what the JW’s are actually doing is getting the Christians just defending their beliefs. You can never win a war by “just defending” You have to take the battle (and this is a spiritual battle) onto their territory. A cultist must first begin to question his or her own organization before he or she will consider anything else. I will explain how this can be done in the next section.

 

Most of the approaches that Christians use are not very successful in witnessing to the Jehovah’s Witnesses. But they are very good at driving them away. Very few Christians can keep them coming for more than two or three times. Jehovah’s Witnesses do not have the faintest idea as to what the true Gospel is so if we don’t use patience with them, then how will they hear? Remember, we often witness more by our actions than by words.

 

 

A MORE SUCCESSFUL STRATEGY

If you are ever going to be successful in reaching out to a JW, you are going to have to build a meaningful friendship and this takes time. You need to have a plan and go very slow. From my experience I find that most Christians go way too fast.

 

When JW’s come to your door you must be polite. Listen attentively to what they initially have to say.

 

You want to play a little hard to get. You can say, “I am a person who is very inquisitive and like to ask a lot of questions (which I truly am).” Most questions that Christians ask JW’s are standardized so they are well acquainted with them, thus they will take it as a challenge and it won’t drive them away. They will usually respond by telling you that they don’t mind answering questions.

 

Continue by explaining that you don’t mind talking with them if they understand you will have a lot of questions and therefore it will take a long time. Ask them if they would be willing to come over a long period of time so that you would not be wasting their time or yours? Usually they will agree to come over a long period of time. It is hard for them to have “Bible studies” in order to gain “brownie points,” so at first they will agree to almost anything.

 

A word of caution. In you initial meeting do not let them know you are an active Christian. (You can do this when you give your testimony.) Don’t tell them if you go to church or not and of course don’t give them the name of your church. (They want to pin you down later and can use this information to do so.)

 

You need to play ignorant. You are not deceiving, but you don’t have to tell them all about yourself at the door on the initial meetings. People who can think or have studied the history of the Watchtower Society don’t usually become Jehovah’s Witnesses!

 

When the JW’s do come, you do not have to wear a suit and tie, like the JW men do, but it is best to at least dress in nice casual clothes and be well groomed. Also, try to have you house presentable.

 

Most people who became Witnesses did so because they had an “emotional need” and the Witnesses seemed to have met that need. Some examples of emotional needs are: they just moved into a new area and are lonely, they are out of work, going through marital problems, problems with their children, addiction problems, etc. When the emotions set in the head shuts down. (Most people get married on emotions. Just try to tell a young lady who has fallen in love with her “shining knight in armor” some of the severe defects he has and see how far you get.) The Witnesses seemed to meet these needs but it was only on the surface and they were really never met. Therefore, you are going to have to keep this in mind and one of your first concerns is to meet these emotional needs. The best way to do this is by showing genuine Christian love by building a friendship. I don’t want to discourage you, but this usually takes at least ten times. But this is where the Christian has a real advantage. As a JW, the WT Society is only interested in people as long as they can “produce” for the Society by attending meetings and going from door to door. Among the Witnesses, “one size fits all.” They are not treated as an individual but everyone is the same. Thus, Witnesses have no individuality. Also, JW’s are taught that they must keep “Jehovah’s organization” clean, so they are always spying on one another to make sure they keep in “line.” (By telling on someone advances you in that it shows you are a “loyal” JW.) Therefore, they do not trust anyone. Parents will squeal on their children, children on their parents, even their best friends. So because of this, JW’s are not able to talk to other Witnesses about any of their personal problems. To have any kind of problem is a weakness in faith according to the Watchtower Society.

 

So this is where the Christian has the advantage. When you bring them into your house you can show an interest in them as an “individual.” Find out as much as you can about them. If you don’t think you can remember be sure to write this information down. When dealing with a JW I always bring up some individual thing that they mentioned the week before (like a sick child, a health problem, out of work, etc.) to show them that I am interested in them as an individual. When JW’s come to your house the head is tightly closed but the heart is empty and opened to a degree. Most people go for the head. Since Witnesses are taught not to trust anyone, at first they will not trust you, but if you continue to be friendly, over a period of time, they will usually respond. If I can deal with a JW for at least ten times we will usually end up being friends.

 

In order to make friends, I strongly urge that you start out by having some light refreshments, coffee, juice, water, cookies, cake, etc. At first, the JW’s might refuse but if you urge them they will usually respond. In this way, you can get them to relax. JW’s are usually very professional and don’t spend much time socializing, but socializing with JW’s IS NOT A WASTE OF TIME but is very important in building a personal relationship which is necessary if you intend to make any progress with them.

 

There is another important thing you need to remember. JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES CANNOT THINK WHEN IT COMES TO SPIRITUAL THINGS. The mind is closed. When certain subjects come up or words are used they have “a shutter” that automatically closes their minds. For this reason, YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE TO TEACH THEM HOW TO THINK. This is done by asking questions that are off the beaten path and then keeping them off. Most of the questions Christians ask JW’s are standardized. The JW’s spend 45 minutes every week having mock conversations on how to answer these standard questions so they are very well prepared to answer most questions and objections. Besides this, all JW’s have the WT book Reasoning from the Scriptures that gives answers to many questions that are put forth to them as they go from door to door.

 

They are very good at getting you “chasing rabbits” when you get them onto new subjects and they don’t have a memorized answer. Therefore, you have to keep them to the subject and not let them get you sidetracked. Also, you will have to take big questions and break them down into very small segments. Because it is hard for them to think it is very difficult to take up one subject, come to a conclusion and then go onto another subject. You have to discuss an issue for a while, then drop it for that discussion but keep bringing it up for many weeks after that.

 

Often when you bring up subjects they are not familiar with they will try to put it on the “shelf.” They will tell you they will look it up, but in most cases they don’t, so there gets to be a lot of things on the “shelf.” But sometimes they will bring you some printed matter from Watchtower publications, that usually do not answer your question, and in this way they don’t have to think it through for themselves. When this happens, do not accept the material. Ask them to read the material and then in their “own words” tell you how the article answers your questions. You want to make them do some thinking.

I very strongly urge you to get a notebook and takes notes as you go along. Often JW’s do not really hear what they are saying because most of what they know is memorized. You can write your question in the notebook and then their answer. After you have written their answer, then read back what you have written to make sure that they agree. If they have a problem with what you write they can correct it. This is very important because later on it is almost certain that they will contradict themselves and then you have what they said in writing with their approval. Also, by taking notes you will slow down the conversation and this will give them a few minutes to hopefully do some thinking.

 

Then it is best to review the notes of the previous week when you begin the discussion the following week.

 

The Jehovah’s Witnesses have a book titled: What Does the Bible Really Teach? that I suggest that you use. (They usually give this to you early in your meeting with them.) In this way, you can go through their teachings in an orderly manner, because often discussions will just keep going off in different directions. I have 85 pages of questions on this book that I will be glad to send to you by e-mail if you don’t already have them. A word of caution. When using this book, the JW’s want you to read a paragraph and then answer prepared questions written at the bottom of the page. YOU ABSOLUTELY DO NOT WANT TO DO THIS. This is just repeating what you have read and enforces their teachings. I usually say, “I like to sleep on important issues so I can be well prepare. I don’t want to waste your time. I will read the material on my own before we meet and then come up with my own questions.” They might say that the way they want to do it is the way they always do it. But if you hold your ground they will usually go along with you and let you come up with your own questions. After all, they are there to answer questions for you and not you answer their questions.

 

As I say in the book I have written Approaching Jehovah’s Witnesses in Love—How to Witness Effectively Without Arguing, before you begin any discussion you want to give your personal testimony as to how you came to know Christ as your own personal Savior. You can say; “I like people. I think it would be good if we got to know each other better so would you please tell me how you became a Jehovah’s Witness and then I will explain to you what I believe. (Don’t say, “How I became a Christian.” If you do they will turn you off because they have a poor impression of Christians. But if they don’t know where you are going and you make your testimony interesting, which all are, then you can gain their interest and they can hear the message of salvation.) I usually take between twenty to thirty minutes to give my testimony and often have them setting on the edge of their seat as they listen with interest.

 

Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t like to meet with people who are well informed about their religion. If you do know a lot and begin to reveal this then it will turn them away. They believe that the only way an outsider can find out about the Watchtower Society it by going to the Internet and anything that is found there is automatically false and forged material. Therefore, it is good to never say that you got some material from the Internet. But you can learn how to ask questions so that they will reveal information about the Society to you. Here is one example:

 

You can explain that you are interested in the history of the Watchtower Society and ask them to tell you as much as they can. Usually they don’t want to talk about their history or will give you very little information. Then you can reply: “I would imagine that your organization has believed and practiced the same thing from the very beginning up until now”! They will usually tell you that there have been changes but they keep getting “new light” and are making progress. Then you can ask them to name some of the things that have changed. They might say we used to believe that you could observe birthdays, celebrated holidays, but now we don’t. We used to use the sign of the cross and have flags in our building but now we don’t. These are just a few of the many things that have changed. Try to “pump” them and get as many things as possible out of them as to the changes that have been made. This is important because you can use this information later on and it was the JW’s who told you that they made changes and what they are.

 

You need to be careful because they will often talk in circles and actually go nowhere. When this happens, just let them go, but when they are finally done come back to your original question. Because of this tactic of the JW’s you will have to be prepared to waste about half of the time you are with them but I don’t know of any other way to do it.

 

Often when you use a verse to try to prove your point they will counter with another verse that often does not have to do with the subject. They will get you discussing the verse they brought up and you will not be able to talk about the verse that you want. When they want to go to another verse, explain to them that you would like to talk about this verse first.

 

As mentioned above, often when JW’s want to stop a “Bible study” and not take the blame for it, they will say: “We are not making progress and just going on a even plain so lets just stop these studies.” From the very start of your meetings it is important to say every week at the end of each session: “We really made a lot of progress today, but this is much more difficult than what I thought it would be and will take a lot of time, but since you are an honest religious person and have promised to come as long as I want you to (this is why it is so important to get a firm commitment for a long period of time at the very beginning) that eventually we will come to some good conclusion.” You need as much time as possible in order to build up this friendship and to get them to think.

 

Dealing with JW’s is very frustrating because they are all “poker faced” and you never know if you are making progress or not. But as I said before, be patient because they don’t even trust their own JW’s let alone us Christians whom they feel are part of false Babylon. You are going to have to plant a lot of good seed and use all the patience you can muster up. You are planting seed and it takes a lot of hoeing, watering, and time to see results. Your love and prayers can do this. It would be a big help if you could get others in the church interested in your witnessing to the JW’s and have them pray for you.

 

I wish I could say there is a high success rate when Christians witness to JW’s. But I can’t. It is very difficult, but God does not reward you by the supposed outward results but by your faithfulness. But I can assure you that it is never a waste of time to witness to these very needy JW’s because you are going to grow tremendously in the Lord. You will be challenged to make your life an example of a faithful Christian before these people. You will see things in the Bible that you have never seen before. You will see verses that clearly show that the Witnesses are on the wrong track and at the same time notice the verses that prove that as a repented sinner who has put your personal faith in Jesus Christ that you are in “the truth.”

 

If I can be of any help to you please call on me. This is the ministry to which the Lord has called me into. I am thankful for the hundreds of people I have been able to help and would be glad to add you to that list.

 

 

 
Joomla templates by a4joomla