Presenting the Good News—During Evening Hours
1 Some of the early disciples of Jesus Christ were told by the Jewish high priest, “You have filled Jerusalem with your teaching.” (Acts 5:28) The brothers obviously had done a fine job of witnessing in that city, and doubtless they worked diligently to contact everyone in their territory. They continued to give a thorough witness there and elsewhere.—Acts 8:25.
2 In many areas today, we have filled our territory with the teaching of the truth. There has been an excellent increase in publishers and a corresponding increase in the number of congregations. Territories have gotten smaller and are being covered more frequently. It has become necessary for us to expand our territory in order to reach more people with the good news.
BENEFITS OF EVENING WITNESSING
3 Many publishers have found they can, in effect, expand their territory by calling at homes during evening hours. At that time they are able to contact many householders who are usually not at home in the daytime. Publishers have reported finding someone in almost every home in their territory when they call in the evening. Not only are more people at home but those found are usually in a more relaxed mood and willing to listen to our message. Circuit overseers have been able to help many congregations organize evening witnessing arrangements. All publishers are encouraged to support this regular Wednesday evening feature during the visit of the circuit overseer.
4 Have you tried witnessing during evening hours in your territory? With the sun setting later in the summertime, we have the opportunity to stay out somewhat longer than we might otherwise. A part of the evening can be used for house-to-house witnessing or calling on not-at-homes. Then perhaps later in the evening, we can make return visits or conduct a Bible study. Even when daylight hours are more limited later on in the year, we may be able to use early evening hours for house-to-house witnessing. Of course, we need to use the spirit of a sound mind and show discretion, especially when witnessing in areas where it may not be safe after dark.
5 To be successful in evening witnessing, we need to keep in mind some basic points. For example, since people in some areas may be apprehensive about unexpected visitors coming in the evening, we want to be warm and friendly in our introductions and be quick to make clear the purpose of our visit. If we can convey genuine concern for the welfare of the householders, they will more likely feel at ease and may be more inclined to express themselves openly.
6 In some places, householders have taken measures to guard their security. This may require our using an intercom, or the householder may talk to us through a closed door or want to see us through a peephole in the door. By our respecting the arrangements the householder has, he may be more agreeable to listening to the truths we want to share with him.
7 Many congregations have scheduled group witnessing one or more evenings during the week. This has given publishers who have full-time secular employment greater opportunity to share in the ministry and even work with some publishers they have never worked with before because of conflicting work schedules. Evening witnessing has made it possible for some publishers to increase the amount of time they spend in the field ministry, and this, in turn, has led to their becoming more proficient in sharing the good news with others. Also, many Bible studies have been started as a result of contacting individuals who have not listened to Jehovah’s Witnesses before.
8 Might it be possible for you to share in evening witnessing and enjoy this added opportunity to “do the work of an evangelizer”? (2 Tim. 4:5) If more of us are able to answer that question positively, perhaps we too will be doing a better job of filling our territory with the truth.