Presenting the Good News—Preparing for Effective Return Visits
1 Making return visits on persons who are righteously disposed can be a most enjoyable and productive part of our field service. Yet many brothers feel uncertain as to just how to proceed and what to say on these return calls. It is encouraging to know that, if we make the effort in planting and watering the seeds of truth, Jehovah will bless those efforts to aid the interested person to grow spiritually.—1 Cor. 3:6-9; Acts 6:14, 15.
2 The time to start preparing for an effective return visit is while you are still on the initial call. Make an effort to remember the person’s name. Listen carefully to his comments to see what is of interest to him, if he is a religious person or not, what church he belongs to, what you discuss that seems to be of interest to him. Perhaps he remarks that he would like to see the earth become a paradise but does not see how it will ever take place. Or he may say that he will never live to see it happen. Such points give us a lead on how to approach the person the next time we call.
3 So take time, when the call is concluded and before you forget, to make a notation of the householder’s name and other points that you feel would be helpful to you when calling back. For example, what do you know about him or about his family? He may tell you that some member of the family is sick, or comment on some problem the family is facing. When you return, ask about the person’s health or the problem he mentioned. In this way you show your warm personal interest in him and his family, and he can see that your concern for his eternal welfare is genuine. This may help to open the door for a further discussion on a friendly basis. Similarly, if we can show how our message will be helpful or applicable to the householder, it may help him to appreciate its importance in his life.
4 There are some “dos” and “don’ts” about making return visits. When you make the return call it is not good, as a rule, to ask the householder if he remembers you, as this may embarrass him. It is usually better just to tell him who you are and that you have kept your promise to return. If you made an appointment for a time to call but did not find him home, there is no need to question him as to what happened, but simply let him know that you are glad to find him home again so you can resume your discussion. Similarly, it is usually not a good thing to ask the householder if he read the literature you left, as he may feel uncomfortable to say that he did not have time for it. Rather, it is a more positive approach to mention a point of interest and tell him that you would like to spend just a few minutes discussing the matter.
5 Still the question arises, What should you say now? We can be thankful that the publications we have make it so easy to make return visits, usually with a view to starting a Bible study. You know which publication the householder has that would be appropriate for use in a demonstration study, so you may plan accordingly. You may say, “If you have just a moment, I would like to show you how we study the Bible and see what you think of it.” Invite him to get his book or booklet and the Bible and show him how easy it is to find answers to important questions right from the Bible itself by using the Society’s publications. Let the publications speak for themselves as you consider the question, find the answer, check the scripture and read the comment from the paragraph. In this way return visits are not difficult but most enjoyable.
6 For special questions we have the Sermon Outlines booklet and “Make Sure of All Things,” which provide ready Scriptural answers to most questions that arise. Some publishers find it good simply to make a note of questions asked and tell the householder that they would like to do a little research on these points and then visit again to share the information they have found, thus making the return visit far more effective. All are encouraged to share in this most enjoyable work, so start planning now to make some return visits the next time you share in field service.—2 Cor. 3:5.