Finding Interested Ones by Means of Effective Street Witnessing
1 Jesus instructed his disciples to search out those who deserve to hear the Kingdom good news. (Matt. 10:11) Yet, in many areas today, it is becoming more and more difficult to contact people at their homes. So, what can be done to reach deserving ones who may be missed?
2 Street witnessing can be an effective way to find people missed in the house-to-house work. We can do street witnessing at bus stops, near high-security apartment buildings, in public parks, and in other places where people go about their daily affairs.
3 When street witnessing is mentioned, some have feelings of apprehension. They may be hesitant to share in that work because they tend to be shy or they anticipate being rebuffed by people who resent the Kingdom message. These anxieties are usually unfounded. Those who are experienced in this activity report that it is no more difficult than door-to-door witnessing. In fact, they have found that most people are used to being approached on the street for various reasons, and some may be more inclined to converse or listen than they would be if we knocked at their door. So if we ‘muster up boldness,’ we may be pleasantly surprised.—1 Thess. 2:2.
4 How can street work be done most effectively? It is important to prepare well. Read the magazines ahead of time, and select one or two talking points that you feel will interest the people you meet. A presentation of 30 seconds is about right. Since the goal is to make personal contact with others, choose a location where a considerable number of people regularly pass by. Although it may be advisable to have another publisher close by, it is usually best to work separately. Publishers who stand together may be inclined to pass the time conversing with each other and not be attentive to those of the public who may be disposed to listen to the Kingdom message.
5 Standing in one spot and simply displaying the magazines is not as effective as taking the initiative to approach individuals. Try to establish eye contact. Be warm, friendly, and direct as you endeavor to start a conversation. In some cases, you may have to walk a few paces with the person while speaking with him. If he is responsive, offer the magazines. If the magazines are refused, you may want to offer a tract.
6 Usually it is best to prepare a brief presentation that raises a question or makes a statement that will create interest. If there is a suitable response, try to obtain the person’s name, address, and perhaps even his telephone number so that you can follow up the interest. You might say: “If you would like to learn more, I would be happy to visit you at your home or arrange for another Witness to do so.”
7 An elder engaging in street witnessing approached a woman and learned that she had never had occasion to talk with the Witnesses at her home. She accepted a book and agreed to having a sister visit her in her home at a convenient time. Many more deserving ones can surely be found and assisted if we are effective in street witnessing.—Acts 17:17.