Presenting the Good News—With Illustrations
1 “All these things Jesus spoke to the crowds by illustrations.” (Matt. 13:34) Jesus appreciated their value. Illustrations can arrest a hearer’s attention and arouse his thinking faculties. And what is equally important to us in presenting the good news, they can stir the emotions and aid in reaching the heart.
2 Some illustrations are verbal; others are actual pictures. Did you know that you have a ready-made source of useful illustrations for your field service? Where? In the Society’s publications. For example, the picture found on the cover of Kingdom News No. 19 can be used effectively in our follow-through work with the “Eternal Purpose” book. How? By taking along our personal copy of Kingdom News and pointing out the illustration to those with whom we speak.
3 After a friendly greeting, we might say: ‘Recently we left at your home a copy of this thought-provoking item, “Is This All There is to Life?” Undoubtedly you noted here on the cover a cycle we are all too well familiar with: A baby grows into childhood, adulthood, middle age, old age, and then . . . Haven’t we all wondered at one time or another, Was it really God’s purpose that man should live on the earth a few years, grow old and then die, leaving only a memory in the hearts of those who loved him? [Allow for householder’s reply.] If you are familiar with the Bible account, you probably remember the Bible’s explanation of how sin and death entered human experience through the disobedience of Adam and Eve. [Allow for any response the householder here wishes to make. If no comment offered, briefly explain how Adam disregarded God’s warning and ate of the forbidden fruit, which brought upon him old age and eventual death.] Notice what is stated in this Bible commentary . . . [Turn to page 55 of “Eternal Purpose” book and read first three sentences. Then continue . . .] Since death was not the purpose of God for mankind, what was? And will that purpose ever be realized? This publication follows the development of God’s purpose from its inception right on through to the promise of its realization in our day, as outlined in the Bible. You may have this copy for 25 cents.’
4 Illustrations can likewise be effectively used when placing magazines and obtaining subscriptions. One traveling overseer presented a Watchtower subscription to a woman only to have her state she was not interested. The brother, prepared for such a response, drew attention to an illustration in the magazine, taking time to explain its meaning as the householder mused over it. She subscribed. Why? The initial conversation had failed to capture her attention in a favorable way, but use of an illustration reached her heart and she “saw” the value of what was discussed.
5 Effectively using the illustrations provided in the Society’s publications can result in honest-hearted ones today ‘getting the sense’ of the Bible’s message, even as did honest-hearted ones in Jesus’ day.—Matt. 13:51-53.