Our Simplified Literature Distribution Arrangement
1 The simplified arrangement of distributing literature without charge has now been in effect for one year. Has this arrangement proved successful? Field service reports reveal increased placements in all categories. Literally millions of persons are being given the opportunity to “come . . . take life’s water free.”—Rev. 22:17.
2 However, we are not obligated, nor is it our desire, to hand out literature indiscriminately to just any person who will accept it. Just as we wisely use our own material goods, each publisher has the responsibility to make wise use of the literature he or she receives without charge from the Society through the local congregation. That the Society makes its literature available to publishers without charge certainly does not mean that no cost is incurred in its production and distribution. All should especially appreciate the value of our literature in helping honesthearted persons in their quest for accurate knowledge concerning Jehovah God and his Son Jesus Christ.—John 17:3.
3 How is the Society able to provide its literature to all without charge? The unavoidable costs incurred in its production and distribution are cared for by donations. Jehovah’s dedicated servants are the primary source of this support. Jehovah’s Witnesses have not looked to the public to support this most urgent Kingdom proclamation work. We have never before nor are we now engaged in public fund-raising. However, small donations from sincerely interested and appreciative persons that we meet in the field are appreciated.
WHAT OUR DONATIONS ACCOMPLISH
4 Thus, it is appropriate that we be prepared to explain briefly and clearly how our worldwide Bible educational work is supported by voluntary donations. All funds received are used to defray the enormous expenses incurred in accomplishing the Kingdom-preaching work in this modern era. In addition to producing literature for worldwide distribution, the Society maintains branch offices, Bethel homes, ministerial and missionary schools, missionaries, traveling overseers, literature distribution centers, and numerous other support services necessary for accomplishing the overall assignment Jesus gave his disciples.—Matt. 24:14; 28:19, 20.
5 The momentous growth taking place among Jehovah’s people has moved many to ask what they can do to help. Most are not able to assist personally with the construction of new branches and Kingdom Halls or go to distant countries to assist with the evangelizing efforts there. But in order to have some part in these exciting developments to the degree they are able, many publishers and their families make it their practice to set something aside regularly for contributing toward the worldwide work. (Compare 1 Corinthians 16:1, 2.) In this way, all the Society’s activities are supported, including the distribution of literature. No one should view voluntary donations to the worldwide work as if they were a mere payment to cover the cost of the literature.
6 When approaching householders or others for the purpose of giving a witness, we should be prepared to discuss a Bible subject with them. A wide variety of interesting introductions, along with many appropriate Bible subjects, are suggested in Reasoning From the Scriptures. Or we may use the Topic for Conversation suggested in Our Kingdom Ministry. Depending on the person’s response to the Kingdom message, the publisher must decide how to proceed with regard to offering literature. If there does not appear to be sufficient interest to warrant offering a book or some other publication, you may decide to terminate the conversation tactfully and proceed to the next call. Or you may wish to leave a handbill or a tract if the person promises to read its message. Be sure to make a note of the interest so that a return visit can be made. The same may be done on occasions when there may not be sufficient time to develop a meaningful conversation with someone because he is busy or we have not come at an opportune time.
7 The simplified literature distribution arrangement helps everyone see that our Bible educational work is not commercial in any way. It also helps us to keep to the fore our objective of preaching the Kingdom good news and making disciples of Jesus Christ. In sharp contrast to organizations that engage in “charitable solicitation,” Jehovah’s Witnesses are pleased to see to it that literature can be made available to all without charge. Donations toward the worldwide work are never solicited from those not genuinely interested in our message. (See The Watchtower, December 1, 1990, pages 22 and 23.) One hundred percent of all donations is used to support this worldwide Bible educational work, since all the workers are volunteers and no salaries or commissions are paid to anyone in the organization. The matter of donations to assist with the worldwide work is only considered with those who inquire or who otherwise indicate an interest in our work.
8 As we zealously expand our ministry, making wise use of the Society’s valuable publications, Jehovah will continue to give the increase. Good-hearted people everywhere appreciate our thoughtful explanations of the nature of our ministry and are pleased to express their support through their voluntary donations.