By March or April?
1 This year on Sunday, March 28, we will enjoy the special public talk “Restoration of All Things of Which God Spoke.” And on Friday, April 9, we will observe the Memorial of Christ’s death. In addition to being in attendance ourselves, and having with us Bible students and other interested ones, would it not be thrilling to have in attendance thousands of straying ones, that is, ones who used to be active in Jehovah’s service but who are not now associating?
2 Thousands? Have thousands become inactive? Yes; during the 1967 to 1970 service years a total of 56,532 in the U.S.A. ceased to be active in Jehovah’s service. If they are once again going to have Jehovah’s blessing and favor they need help.
3 But someone may think: ‘They know where the Kingdom Hall is and the time of meetings. Isn’t that enough?’ No, often that is not enough, for, while knowing the location of the hall, from a spiritual standpoint they do not know the way back or they do not have the spiritual strength to come back, as was discussed in the July 1, 1969, Watchtower article, “Return to Jehovah While There is Yet Time.”
4 Many now inactive may well be of the kind described by Jesus at Matthew 18:12 as “one that is straying.” If we can help the straying ones to return to Jehovah, it will mean salvation for them, and it will bring joy to our hearts. Jesus said at verse 14, “It is not a desirable thing with my Father . . . for one of these little ones to perish.”
5 What can we do to help? First of all, endeavor to start a Bible study with receptive ones, as Bible studies have assisted many who once were straying, to regain spirituality. The material to study would depend upon the circumstances of the individual. For example, if one has been inactive for several years, it may be well to review or study the Truth book with him. Straying ones who have the right heart condition will respond to the spiritual feeding and, before long, resume meeting attendance. Of course, if they do not respond after a period of time, discontinue the study and use the time to help someone truly desirous of learning and serving Jehovah. Incidentally, the “Lamp” book, page 104, points out that time spent in conducting a Bible study with an inactive publisher may be reported, also the study.
6 It is suggested that the congregation committee make a list of inactive ones in the territory and arrange for capable publishers, pioneers or servants to call on them. Individuals who know of inactive ones can inform the overseer, and if they do not live in the area, send their name and address to the Society. We will be happy to send the information you submit to the congregation holding the territory.
7 Have many strayed ones been assisted to regain spirituality? We are happy to say that during the 1967 to 1970 period 54,332 were reactivated. Wonderful, isn’t it? You will enjoy the following experience, one of many that could be related: “We arranged for a Bible study with an inactive sister (of six years) and her husband, who had never studied with Jehovah’s witnesses. Almost immediately they began to attend the meetings. Shortly afterward she became active in the ministry again and is now conducting a Bible study with her sister-in-law. During our study we learned that the inactive sister’s daughter was once associated, so a study was arranged with the daughter, and her husband, who had never studied or attended meetings, agreed to sit in. So, as a result of spiritually assisting the strayed sister, not only is she active in Jehovah’s service, but four others are studying the Bible regularly and perhaps one day will join with us in offering sacrifices of praise to Jehovah.”
8 Yes, it may well be that by now giving attention to straying ones many of them will be spiritually assisted to attend meetings with us in March or at least by Memorial time in April.