Presenting the Good News—By Making Good Use of Literature
1 How thankful we are for the publications Jehovah provides through his organization to keep us well fed spiritually. We eagerly thumb through new releases at conventions or the magazines when they come in the mail. Then we read them to gain the knowledge that aids us to know Jehovah and his purposes better. But this literature is not just for us. It is valuable in our preaching and disciple-making work.—Matt. 24:14; 28:19, 20.
2 While our goal is not just to place literature when we go in service, nevertheless, when we are well acquainted with what is in the publications we are anxious to get them into the hands of as many people as possible so they may be aided to learn the truths they contain. If we view the publications as God-given instruments to spread the truth, we will put forth conscientious effort to place them with the public.
3 Sometimes people are genuinely very busy when we call. Have you ever replied saying: “Since you do not have time to talk now, perhaps you would accept these two magazines? You can read them when you have some time and learn more about God’s promise of something new. They are yours on a 20-cent contribution.” Many magazines have been placed this way, and experiences have been related about individuals who have been aided to recognize the truth by reading just one of our magazines.
4 There are obviously times when it may not be appropriate to offer literature. But if we remember that someone may read the literature and benefit from it, whether it is the person we talk to or another member of the household, then we will want to offer the literature whenever it is appropriate.
5 During March we are offering one of the 50-cent books in our regular house-to-house activity. After introducing ourselves we might say: “Our purpose in visiting you today is to share God’s promise of something new. When we see crime, violence and warfare in different parts of the world, it makes us long for a change to new and better conditions, doesn’t it? [Allow for reply.] In 2 Peter 3:11, we read the promise that all wicked things will be done away with. And, notice here in verse 13 what is to come. [Read verse.] God promises a new system of things, one wherein righteousness is to dwell. [At this point, if it seems advisable, you may go on to Revelation 21:1, 4 to aid the householder to learn more about God’s promises.] We are interested in helping people like you to learn more about God’s promises, and an aid to doing so is this publication.” Then show the book you are offering and highlight some point in it on God’s promises.
6 There are times when we meet individuals who tell us that they are having family problems. There may be little ones in the home or teen-agers. We may feel the Great Teacher book, the Youth book, or some other publication would be particularly appropriate for the person. (You decide.) A householder may express doubts about God’s existence or the value of the Bible. The Evolution book or the Word of God book will likely be helpful here. If the person we are talking to mentions that someone in the family has died, he may be comforted by thoughts in Is This Life All There Is? In any case, have in mind the objective of starting a study, perhaps right on the initial call.
7 Let us use the publications as a supplement to our oral testimony, to help answer questions, or so the householder can learn more at his own convenience. We can use them as an outline for discussions and as study aids. Yes, the publications come in handy in our house-to-house work, on return visits, for Bible studies, in street work and when doing informal witnessing.
8 What if we meet people who are genuinely interested but cannot contribute for the literature? There may be occasions when we conscientiously feel it is proper to give them a publication. However, we would not want to make a practice of giving literature away, especially if no real interest is shown. And while we may at times put a back issue of a magazine under the door if someone is not at home, this may not be appropriate in frequently covered territory. When it is done, be sure that the magazine is put completely out of sight so thieves are not made aware that no one is at home.
9 Continue to show appreciation for and use the fine literature Jehovah’s organization has provided.