Do You Use an Appropriate Introduction?
1 When a householder opens the door, the publisher of the good news is faced with the challenge of introducing the Kingdom message in an appropriate way. Within the next ten seconds, the householder will often decide whether to listen to the presentation or to dismiss the Witness. As Kingdom preachers, we know the information we bring is vitally important, and we really want to help those with whom we speak. (Rom. 10:14) But we will have the opportunity to share the Bible truths we bring only if our introduction holds the person’s attention.—Col. 4:6; compare Proverbs 25:11.
2 In considering the appropriateness of our introduction, it would be good to ask ourselves if perhaps we have lapsed into using the same introduction repeatedly because it is easy to remember or because we feel comfortable with it. Are there expressions in our introduction that might generate prejudice in some territories? Is it specific enough to arouse interest from the outset, or does it allow the householder to terminate the discussion before we even get into our subject? How can we arouse the householder’s interest early in our discussion? Effective introductions do not just happen. They require hard work, careful preparation, and regular rehearsals.
SELECTING THE RIGHT INTRODUCTION
3 Beginning on page 9 of the Reasoning book, there is an excellent section entitled “Introductions for Use in the Field Ministry.” A review of the opening remarks in this section will no doubt be very helpful. At the outset, we are reminded that different approaches are needed for different kinds of territories, people, and circumstances. Selection of the right introduction requires careful consideration.
4 As you introduce the Kingdom message, can you show how it will benefit the householder personally? As an example, consider the first introduction under the heading “Crime/Safety” on page 10 of the Reasoning book. In the first statement, a subject of vital concern to the householder is introduced. The subsequent discussion would show the Kingdom’s role in eliminating crime.
5 How can we clear out obstacles to the householder’s willingness to consider our message? The headings on pages 14 and 15 in the Reasoning book offer excellent suggestions. For example, think about how you might use the introduction under the heading “When Many People Say: ‘I Have My Own Religion.’” The first statement may arouse the interest of the householder. Can you use this approach in your territory?
6 How can we demonstrate our genuine interest in the welfare of the householder? (Mark 6:34) A sincere, friendly smile can help. Friendliness attracts others and is in keeping with our purpose to help people. Our interest in the householder is also shown by encouraging him to offer his comments. An honest request for his opinion can do much to help him listen to our message. An example of this is seen in the second introduction under “Kingdom” on page 12. Have you used this? In general, people like to give their opinion, and they will be curious about what question you are going to ask. If we are to retain their interest, though, we must listen to their response and then adjust our presentation to take advantage of what we have learned about their views.
BEING ALERT TO CIRCUMSTANCES
7 When you approach the door, observe the surroundings. Are there toys in the yard, clothes hanging on a line, religious articles at the entrance, and so forth? When the householder comes to the door, are we greeted by a man or a woman, someone young or old, a mother, a father, or a child? Any of these factors can help us to select an appropriate introduction tailored to the needs and interests of the person who greets us.
8 The introductions suggested in the Reasoning book have all been tried, and they have proved successful. Why not make an effort to use them in your territory? See which ones are most effective. Likely you will find that with good preparation, including regular practice sessions, your introductions will become more effective and you will have greater success in spreading the Word of life.—Matt. 13:18-23.