Going from Door to Door for the First Time
AT 8:30 in the morning a woman in North Carolina knocked at the door of one of Jehovah’s witnesses with whom she had been studying the Bible for some time. When the Witness answered, the woman asked her what she was planning for the day. The Witness replied that she was getting ready to visit people with the Bible’s message of truth. “Good,” said the woman, “that is what I came for! May I go with you?” Needless to say, the Witness was delighted to take this enthusiastic woman from door to door for the first time that day.
In Nevada another woman also began going with the Witnesses in their work of preaching God’s truth. After the second time she went out, she said, “I have certainly been missing something precious!” Yes, this woman appreciated what a precious privilege it is to serve Jehovah God in this most joyful way.
DELIGHTFUL WORK STARTED BY JESUS
Jehovah’s witnesses are helping tens of thousands of persons to learn Jehovah God’s will as expressed in the Holy Bible. When these persons have developed an appreciation of God’s purposes, and have brought their lives into harmony with the righteous principles of God’s Word, they are invited to go into the door-to-door preaching work to see how God’s work is being done in their community. In doing this, Jehovah’s witnesses are following the example that Jesus Christ set when he was on earth. The Bible shows that Jesus went from village to village preaching God’s truth, and he trained his disciples to do the same. (Mark 6:6-13; Luke 10:1) No doubt, you would have greatly enjoyed going along with Jesus in his work of preaching God’s kingdom.
Have you been studying the Bible with Jehovah’s witnesses for some time now? If you have, has the Witness who is helping you invited you to accompany him in the door-to-door preaching work? Of course, you will not be invited to engage in this if you have just begun studying the Bible. However, if you are interested in having a part in this activity, why not speak to the Witness who is studying the Bible with you?
Thousands of persons who have begun this Kingdom-preaching work have found it to be a delight. They rejoice to know that they are doing as Jesus and his apostles did. (Acts 20:20) Yes, in all the earth Jehovah’s witnesses are helping people to join in praising God in this way. (Ps. 145:11) Perhaps some who are invited may be a little apprehensive about the idea. There is no reason to feel this way at all, because you will not be asked to go alone. One of the Witnesses, perhaps the one teaching you, will be with you. All you will be doing is merely going along to see a demonstration of the Kingdom witness work, that is all! If you feel that you want to say something, you will be helped to prepare it ahead of time.
THEIR APPREHENSIONS DISAPPEARED
It is only natural, of course, that one has some apprehensions about doing something that one has never done before. Yet experiences of others show that once they share in this Bible-based activity such apprehensive feelings are quickly dispelled. Yes, the exhilaration that comes from knowing that one is pleasing God makes such apprehensions disappear. For example, consider what this person in Brooklyn, New York, says about the first time he went from door to door with Jehovah’s witnesses:
“When I was invited to go out in the preaching work with the Witnesses, I told the one who was teaching me that I did not feel confident to speak to people. He told me that all I had to do was to listen. If I wanted to do something, I could offer to those whom we met handbills advertising the public lectures that were scheduled at the local Kingdom Hall or some tract explaining a Bible teaching.
“That Sunday I was a little nervous when I met with the Witnesses. However, right at the very first door we called on, this was dispelled. The man who answered listened most attentively to what the Witness said and took two magazines from him. I handed the man a handbill; this gave me a feeling of confidence. The man then said that, although he was Catholic, he appreciated someone calling on him to talk about God. This so encouraged me that I wanted to offer magazines at the next home we visited. I did so and, when the householder there accepted them, I was thrilled. Now I regularly engage in this work that gives me such joy.”
Here is how another Witness saw his apprehensions disappear on his first day in door-to-door activity in Indiana: “When I consented to go out in the preaching work, the Witnesses kindly helped me to prepare a short sermon to use at the doors. However, I had some misgivings that someone at the door might ask me questions on the Bible that I could not answer.
“When we arrived in the territory in which we were to preach from house to house, I told the Witness that I preferred to go alone at first. He agreed. As I approached the first door, I said to myself, ‘I sure hope that no one is home here.’ Was I relieved when no one answered. At the next home, I hoped the same thing, but a woman answered. Though I was quite nervous, I managed to explain my purpose in calling at her home.
“She listened and politely refused the Bible literature that I offered her. However, she said that she appreciated that a young man like me would go out and visit folks. She said that she respected Jehovah’s witnesses because the young people among them are interested in the Bible. Her words of commendation genuinely encouraged me, and my uneasiness disappeared. I soon saw that my misgiving about people asking me Bible questions was unfounded. I noted that the average householder rarely asks questions and, if anything, it is you that must usually ask questions to draw him out. I rejoice that I did not hold back from this most pleasurable activity.”
Some persons have qualms about meeting someone they know when they are engaging in the preaching work. If you feel this way, then consider this experience: “I was well-known in my high school. Everybody in the small Tennessee town where I lived knew my family, for my father ran the local airport. That Saturday morning when I went out in the preaching work for the first time with the Witnesses, I was wondering about being seen by my friends. How would I feel?
“Well, we began working, and after a while some of my friends did walk by, and they just looked at me. I did not feel as uncomfortable as I thought I would. All they did was just look, and that was nothing. Later, when I placed two magazines with a householder, the feeling of accomplishment made me forget about being seen by friends. I am so glad that I began doing this work, for the sense of satisfaction I derive from it is something that I truly enjoy experiencing.”
Another youth found it most advantageous to meet people he knew in the door-to-door work in the state of Washington. “I learned that it was indeed an advantage to meet my classmates. Since they knew me, they felt obligated to hear why I called at their home. They usually listened to me instead of calling their parents as they did when other Witnesses called. They even came to me in school to ask questions about the Bible.”
Of course, these persons who shared in the preaching work were no longer members of a church nor were they attending its services when they were invited to go from door to door. Their conduct permitted them to be identified with Jehovah’s’ witnesses. They accepted the entire Bible as the inspired word of God, and they wanted to help others to learn it. Yes, these were requirements that they had to meet before they could be invited to share in this public Christian activity.
EAGER TO SHARE THE GOOD NEWS
Some persons are eager to tell others what they are learning from God’s Word, the Bible. They do not wait to be invited but ask the Witnesses if they can go with them in their preaching work. For example, one young man was most anxious to go out in the witness work in California. However, he could not do so until his affairs were set in order. When they finally were, he immediately went to the home of the Witness and asked him: “When does the group go out in the house-to-house work?” Elatedly the Witness made arrangements to fulfill this young man’s noble desire.
Here is what the young man said about the first time he went out with the Witnesses: “That Saturday when we met for the preaching work, I felt a keen sense of joy, a joy that comes from being with the Witnesses. I went with an elderly Witness and I was most impressed with his way of presenting the truths of the Bible at the doors. After listening to him at the first door, I was very eager to try one on my own. The Witness felt that I should watch him as he called on a few more doors and kindly encouraged me to do so.”
Why this eagerness? This young man answers: “I was so happy at what I was learning from the Bible that I wanted to go out and share it with others. I derived great satisfaction in doing what I knew was right in Jehovah God’s eyes, and I still do.”
Another person, who had studied for only four months in Massachusetts, relates: “I knew that when I began studying the Bible it was right for me to tell others what I was learning. So one evening after the meeting, I told a Witness, ‘I think that I would like to go out in the house-to-house work with you tomorrow.’
“After a period of time in which I watched other Witnesses work, I took my first door. I think that I gave my entire sermon in one breath; nevertheless, the man listened and took two magazines. What a feeling of happiness! And from that day on I have regularly shared with others God’s truth in this happifying way.”
Do you feel as eager to share the good news as these persons? Then why not discuss with the Witness who is helping you what steps are needed for you to share in this rewarding activity?
HESITANT AT FIRST
Because personalities differ, some persons progressing in God’s truth may be hesitant to go from house to house to share the Bible’s good news. One of these was in California at the time. “When I was asked to accompany the Witnesses in their preaching work I declined to go from door to door. I would go with them, sit in the car and watch them preach. Every so often they would return to the car and tell me their experiences. This went on for four times. Patiently and lovingly they encouraged me.
“Finally I realized that I should be doing what they were doing, and I told them that I would take that house, pointing to one. You can guess which one it was. I purposely chose a dilapidated house, one that appeared to be deserted. However, when I knocked, someone answered and I managed to give a short presentation. I was so delighted by the experience that I have found pleasure in the door-to-door work ever since then, sharing in it as often as I can.”
A mother who was living in Connecticut tells how she felt about this activity: “When I heard the announcements for field service at the end of a meeting, I asked what it meant. The Witness who was teaching me told me that it was the work of going from house to house with the Bible’s message. She then asked me if I would like to see how it was done that weekend. I replied curtly, ‘I would not go from door to door. Only beggars do that!’ Another Witness who overheard me said kindly, ‘Well, Jesus Christ the Son of God went from door to door and village to village!’ His comment made me think, and I decided to go.—Luke 8:1.
“That morning we met opposition at the very first door, and I was horrified. The Witness with me calmly said, ‘Come on, G———, let us take the next door! That woman does not understand why we called.’ Her undisturbed attitude put me at ease, and I continued to go with her. How did I feel after I completed that morning of Christian activity? I was so happy that I had done something pleasing to Jehovah. Now I look forward to going from door to door to tell people about our magnificent God, Jehovah.”
Yes, once these folks began calling at the doors of the people, they found that it was not a continual agony but, rather, an unspeakable joy. It is something that one must experience to appreciate. Are you sharing in this activity now? If not, are you planning to do so? Why not work toward this happy goal. Rely on Jehovah and enjoy an activity that is satisfying to the spirit.—Ps. 34:1, 8; 89:1.
Indeed, serving Jehovah God in this way is a precious privilege. Not only does it please him but it benefits your neighbors. Many are in need of the comfort and hope from the Scriptures. (Rom. 15:4) How urgent it is that we all help them gain this while there is still time! Going from door to door in the preaching work will enable you to enjoy the greater happiness that comes from giving.—Acts 20:35.