Presenting the Good News—When People Say, “I’m Not Interested”
1 What do you say to a householder who immediately tells you: “I’m not interested”? When this objection is raised, we need to exercise discernment. If you can ascertain the reason for the householder’s comment and respond accordingly, you will be more likely to succeed in continuing with your presentation of the good news. Ask yourself, How does he say it? Adamantly? sincerely? firmly? What is his tone of voice, his manner or bearing? Any one or more of these things may be clues as to what is in his heart.
2 While we do not want to be easily turned aside, if we are overly insistent or “pushy” we may leave an unfavorable impression, which will make it more difficult for the next Witness who calls.
3 If you detect that the householder will not talk with you, you might simply leave a handbill. If his statement is not so firm, you might ask: “Are you interested in knowing why someone you do not know is coming to your door, especially when no doubt you realize it’s not an easy thing to do? [Pause for reply.] Let me leave you with this one Scriptural thought as to why.”
4 One brother tries to get a conversation started by inquiring: “Oh, you’ve had Jehovah’s Witnesses call at your home before, haven’t you?” He advises: “If they answer Yes, that’s the beginning of a conversation!” If the householder says he is still not interested, the brother goes to the next door. Another brother responds: ‘Many say that, but possibly you would be interested to know that very soon now all wickedness will be removed from the earth. Note what is stated here . . . ’ In this way he endeavors to stimulate interest.
5 When the householder recognizes you as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, you might say: ‘I find that some people aren’t much interested in other religions, but many are interested in the Bible. [Pause.] That’s what I came to discuss.’ Another reply might be: ‘Your remark is not unusual, because there is a general lack of interest in religion today, but this doesn’t mean you have no interest in the Bible itself, does it? Many people we meet still have confidence in the Bible.
6 Some find it helpful to bring up the objection before the householder does, by saying: ‘I am looking for people who still love God and what he has to say at a time when many say they are not interested.’
7 These suggestions can be adapted or adjusted to your personality so they are natural for you. When handling such objections show by your manner that you are calling as a friend and are interested in the householder as an individual. A concerned, kind voice often serves to relax the householder. Also, if you can get him to talk and express himself, he will be less defensive.
8 Our concern is to find God’s “sheep” and our methods should attract reasonable persons.