Use Our Literature Wisely
1 Our organized use of literature began with distribution of 6,000 copies of the July 1, 1879, issue of the Watchtower magazine. Since then, a great variety of literature items have been printed and distributed in vast quantities.
THE COMPLETE-DONATION ARRANGEMENT
2 At the end of February 1990, it was explained that magazines and literature will be provided to publishers and to the interested public on a complete donation basis, that is, without asking or suggesting that a specific contribution be made as a precondition to receiving an item. When literature is offered, voluntary donations will be accepted to support the worldwide work of publishing the good news. We have faith that Jehovah will bless this arrangement.—Compare Matthew 6:33.
HANDLING SITUATIONS IN THE FIELD
3 We will continue to use Topics for Conversation to stimulate interest. Where no interest is shown, there is no need to offer the literature. We do not want to waste any of our literature by offering it to those with no interest. On the other hand, where interest is shown and the householder agrees to read the literature, it may be offered. We want to use our literature wisely.
4 The following are some remarks you might make after showing the literature: “If you would enjoy reading this publication, I would be happy to leave it with you.” Likely the householder will ask: “How much does it cost?” You could reply: “We are not engaged in a commercial work. We are not selling this literature. The work we are doing in your neighborhood today is being done voluntarily in 212 lands around the world to help people learn the way to everlasting life. If you would care to make a donation toward this work, I would be glad to accept it.”
5 When offering the magazines, you could raise questions about a specific article and then say: “I would like you to note the details in this article. If you would like to read these two magazines, I would be happy to leave them with you.” If they are accepted, you could add: “I am glad to be able to make this information available to you. I think you will find the subject truly informative. In fact, I would like to come back next week to get your viewpoint. You will note that The Watchtower is published in 107 languages and distributed in nearly 14,000,000 copies around the world. This work is all supported by voluntary donations. If you also care to make a small donation toward this educational work, we will be happy to accept it.”
6 In some cases, the subject of donations for our worldwide work may be awkward to discuss. For example, an interested householder may ask: “Are you giving it away?” We might reply: “If you want to read the publication and would like to have it, yes, it’s yours. I would like to stop by next week to discuss what we have talked about and to tell you more about our worldwide work.” On subsequent visits the householder may be informed as to how our work is financed.
7 Or the householder may immediately accept the literature and reply, “Thank you.” You could respond by saying: “You are welcome. I know you will enjoy it. Many wonder how this work is financed, since we do it worldwide. Many who accept our publications have expressed appreciation for what they will learn and have volunteered a small donation to make further distribution possible. If people do that, we are pleased to accept it.”
IS THERE GENUINE INTEREST?
8 It is obviously not our purpose to distribute literature at random. We want the literature to achieve its intended purpose, namely, to help sincere people learn more about Jehovah’s marvelous purposes. It could be wasteful to leave literature with individuals who have no appreciation for spiritual things. (Heb. 12:16) Productive distribution of literature depends upon your ability to identify genuine interest. How might such interest be shown? A kindly willingness to converse with you is a good sign. Or paying attention while you speak, responding to questions, and expressing an opinion indicate involvement in the discussion. Speaking to you in a respectful, neighborly manner suggests a kindly disposition. Following along as you read from the Bible implies a respect for God’s Word. Often, it is helpful to ask if they would read the literature being offered. Also, you might suggest a return visit to continue the conversation. A positive response is further evidence of their interest. When you observe such evidences of sincere interest, likely the individual will make good use of any literature received.
10 With the destruction of Babylon the Great drawing near, there are growing pressures against all religious elements. Our main concern is that the vital worldwide Kingdom-preaching work continues to move ahead without hindrance, bringing many more to salvation.—Matt. 24:14; Rom. 10:13, 14.