Presenting the Good News—By Street Witnessing
1 Proverbs 1:20 says: “True wisdom itself keeps crying aloud in the very street. In the public squares it keeps giving forth its voice.” These words are especially true today as Jehovah’s servants zealously preach the good news of the Kingdom wherever they can find people. Like Jesus and pre-Christian prophets, our genuine love for people moves us to present the truth to everyone, everywhere.—Jer. 11:6; Mark 6:56; Luke 13:22, 26.
2 Although a person’s home is usually the most desirable place to speak to him about the truth, not many people are at home when we make house-to-house calls. When householders are home, often it is the same person we spoke to before that answers the door, and other members of the family are not contacted. Thus, street witnessing should have a definite place in our ministry. You may find that street witnessing is, as one pioneer expressed it, “an exciting, fresh, and at-home territory.”
A WARM POSITIVE ATTITUDE
3 Why not try doing your street witnessing in the same area on a regular basis? One sister who does this says that she has become acquainted with most of the shopkeepers and other people who are frequently on “her” street. A good rapport has developed, which has opened the way for many productive Bible discussions. An auxiliary pioneer who thoroughly enjoys street witnessing said that he tries to approach window-shoppers, people sitting in their cars, people waiting for buses, and even those who have said no on previous occasions. Courage and good judgment are needed so that we are bold and persuasive, yet not overly persistent.
4 The key to effective street witnessing is to have a warm, cheerful, and sincere approach. Smile. Catch the person’s eye if you can, but if not, go ahead and make a friendly approach. Observe the circumstances, and make use of them. One sister observes women laden with grocery bags and says, “I see you have been food shopping. It certainly is expensive these days. How about some encouraging food for the mind and heart? I enjoyed this article . . . .” To someone with children, she says, “I see you have two lovely children. Did you know that the Bible says children are a blessing from God? Here, let me show you . . . .” Approaching a person deep in thought, she says, “I see you are thinking about something. The world is so full of trouble today, don’t you agree? Do you think a time will ever come when . . . ?”
5 If a person is rushing down the street, you may just hand him a tract with the comment, “Here is some good news for you to read when you have time.” If people do not seem to be rushed, offer the magazines, and explain the donation arrangement. It is good to get the literature into the hands of people whenever possible.
6 Many publishers who were at first nervous about street witnessing now view it as their favorite form of preaching. Of course, caution must be exercised when working in dangerous areas or at times when it is unsafe. Even in small towns, there are usually busy areas, public transportation centers, or public parking lots where people can be approached with the good news. Seize the opportunity, and with wisdom let your voice give forth the good news in the streets and public squares, to the blessing of the hearers and to the honor of Jehovah.—Prov. 1:20.