Presenting the Good News—Have in Mind Starting Bible Studies
1 It is often true that the results we get when we call at a person’s home depend on the objective that we have in mind. Of course, there are many householders who simply do not want the good news and who reject it no matter how it is presented. But that is not the reaction that we find at every door, is it? When you find a measure of interest, what do you try to do?
2 If your objective is to place the current magazines or a bound book, then what you say is no doubt slanted in that direction, and when the offer is accepted you are ready to go on to the next door. Much good has been accomplished by the distribution of such literature. But could we accomplish more? Perhaps. In most cases, those who accept literature have had some in the past. They would no doubt enjoy what we have with us today, and we are glad to share it with them. But what they need most is personal attention. They need a home Bible study! How can we help them to see that?
3 Well, if the topic of conversation that you bring up interests the householder, then, instead of simply reading a scripture and offering the Good News book, endeavor to do more. First open the book to a point that connects with your conversation and read a paragraph or two. Get the householder’s reaction, but keep it informal. Read together from the Bible any cited scriptures. In other words, where interest is shown, really try to start a study, instead of leaving that for another call. Today the person is at home; today he is showing interest. Who knows when you will have this opportunity again? (With our current “topic for conversation,” you might start with paragraph 2 on page 106 in the Good News book.)
4 Before you leave, offer the book, if appropriate. In many cases, if sufficient interest has been generated, the householder will already have asked for it.
5 Where reasonable interest has been stimulated, however, suggest: “Perhaps I can come by again and we could look up another topic together [or, continue our discussion]. Would that be all right?” If the householder agrees, then, depending on what you find to be practical, either suggest a convenient day and time or say: “When I call, if it’s not a convenient time for you, just let me know. I’ll understand. But I do look forward to talking with you again.”
6 Will the householder be glad for you to return? Commenting on an important factor involved, a circuit overseer writes: “Instead of being willing to listen, some publishers want to do all the talking. But by our letting the other person talk, conversation is opened up, and frequently the householder is willing to let us return. It may take more than one revisit in order to turn the call into a study, but it is important to get the person to feeling that he has the right to an opinion. Instead of trying to correct what they say, I try to find points of agreement and then proceed from there.” That is good advice.
7 Another brother says that his success in starting studies is directly related to his attitude when he calls at the door. When he pauses before taking a door and thinks about how precious life is to us and to those who may listen, and prays to Jehovah for his direction, he finds that he expresses genuine sincerity and true love for the people that he meets. To quote him: “I pray very often when out in the service, sometimes before every door.” This brother has outstanding success in starting studies and in aiding persons to make the truth their own.
8 Are you as deeply concerned about each householder as that brother is? Does the person’s life mean enough to you that you would be willing to call on him regularly to conduct a home Bible study? Not everyone will accept your kind offer of assistance. However, if you really have in mind starting Bible studies, you may be surprised to find how often you are able to do just that.