Kingdom Proclaimers Report
Kingdom Halls Open to Everyone
WHILE training his disciples for the public ministry, Jesus Christ encouraged them to “preach from the housetops.” (Matthew 10:27) Yes, they were to perform their Christian ministry openly, in full public view. In the spirit of this counsel, the activity of Jehovah’s Witnesses is also conducted openly. This openness has enabled the Witnesses to overcome opposition and to gain favorable notice.
Although congregation meetings of Jehovah’s Witnesses are open to the public, prejudice makes some people feel reluctant to enter a Kingdom Hall. This is true in Finland. Others are simply timid about going to new places. When a new Kingdom Hall is constructed or an existing hall renovated, an open house is usually arranged. A special effort may be made to invite neighbors to visit the Kingdom Hall and get acquainted with the activity of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
In one area, the Witnesses arranged to have a magazine campaign on the same day that they held an open house at their new Kingdom Hall. Two Witnesses met an elderly man who said that he enjoyed reading the Watchtower and Awake! magazines. The brothers told him about the open house and offered to take him to the Kingdom Hall. The man said that he would be happy to join them. His wife, having listened to the conversation, cried out, “Do not leave without me!”
Upon entering the Kingdom Hall, the man looked around and said: “This is not black at all. Why, this is beautiful and light. I was told that the Kingdom Hall would be black!” The couple stayed for some time and requested some of the literature that was on display.
One congregation wanted to announce in the local newspaper an open house on the occasion of the dedication of their Kingdom Hall. Upon receiving notice of the event, the editor in chief suggested that an article be written on the subject. The brothers agreed, and a short time later, a favorable half-page article appeared in the newspaper, covering the event and describing the activities of the local congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
After the article was published, an elderly Witness met a neighbor who said to her: “There was a wonderful article about Jehovah’s Witnesses in the newspaper today!” The sister was able to give a witness and later to place with her the brochure Jehovah’s Witnesses in the Twentieth Century.
In addition to clearing up some misconceptions about Jehovah’s Witnesses, such arrangements in connection with open houses and dedication programs at new Kingdom Halls have stimulated the publishers by encouraging them to invite more people to attend the meetings. Yes, in many lands, including Finland, people have learned that the Kingdom Halls of Jehovah’s Witnesses are open to everyone.