Cultivating Interest Through Return Visits
1 Paul wrote the Corinthians: “I planted, Apollos watered, but God kept making it grow.” (1 Cor. 3:6) To what was he referring?
2 Here Paul compares our preaching work to farming. We know that proper watering of newly planted seeds or of tender young developing plants is crucial for survival. Without such watering, seeds may not sprout and grow; plants may never blossom or produce fruit. True, whether we plant literal seeds or figurative seeds of truth, only Jehovah can give life or make things grow. However, in his wonderful arrangement, he invites us to plant Kingdom truths in the minds and hearts of people and to water them, thus granting us the honor of working with him in the spiritual harvest taking place today.—1 Cor. 3:9.
HOW TO CULTIVATE AND WATER WITH RETURN VISITS
3 Just as there are different methods of effectively cultivating and watering, there are various ways to make return visits. Wisely, when making return visits, we want to use the method that will cause the interest of the householder to grow. The following suggestions may be helpful to you in making return visits.
4 Many say that (1) a sincere personal interest in the one being called on and (2) an appealing Bible subject to discuss have helped them in making return visits. With that in mind, they try to lay the groundwork for a return visit before ending the first conversation with the householder. How could you do this? Consider the following examples:
5 After describing the new system of things you could say: “How can we be sure that it will really come in our time? Perhaps I could stop by in a few days when the rest of the family is at home and show you the answer Jesus gave to that question.” Then when you return you may use information on pages 94 and 95 in the Truth book. Or you may say: “You may be wondering how being conscious of spiritual needs can make a person happy in our day. Perhaps the next time I call I can show you the Bible’s answer to the question.” You may review information in chapter 20 of the Happiness book. As you can see, bringing up a subject or raising a question on your first call will pave the way for calling back on those who respond to the seeds of truth sown.
6 Of course, in order to follow up the subject you brought up with the householder, you will need to make notations on your house-to-house record of the subject you plan to discuss on your return visit. By making this a habit you will be better prepared to cultivate the interest you find.
7 If you are having difficulty in making return visits, do not get discouraged. Experience in this field of activity comes with time. Feel free to ask your book study conductor for suggestions and help along these lines. Also, you may want to go along with a pioneer or publisher who does well in this work. The Topic for Conversation this month provides good opportunities for making return visits. Also, those who attended the Memorial could be called on with points from chapter 6 of the Truth book. Perhaps you would like to try some of the suggestions in paragraph 5 of this article to stimulate the interest of those who attended the Memorial.
A JOYFUL WORK
8 The joy of seeing the fruit produced at harvesttime because of what one has planted is gratifying. To see an individual come into the truth brings even greater satisfaction. To watch a plant grow as we water and cultivate it is fascinating. To observe seeds of truth take root and grow in a person’s heart with the aid of our humble efforts is something in which we all can rejoice, knowing that we have the honor of working with Jehovah. May Jehovah bless our work in making return visits.