How Do You React to Apathy?
1 Apathy is a lack of feeling or emotion, an absence of interest or concern. It is one of the more common and more difficult attitudes we encounter in the ministry. How do you react to it? Has it caused you to slow down in your ministry? How can you overcome it so as to reach people with the Kingdom message?
2 First, determine why the people in your territory are apathetic. Is it because they are disappointed with their political and religious leaders? Do they feel that there is no way out of the problems facing them? Are they skeptical about promises of something better? Are they unwilling to think about spiritual matters unless they can see immediate tangible benefits?
3 Highlight the Kingdom Hope: There is no problem that the Kingdom will not solve. So when we can do so, we should speak about Kingdom promises, referring to key Scriptural statements, even if it is not possible or practical to show a Bible text. (Heb. 4:12) However, how can we get the conversation to that point?
4 People need to understand the purpose of our call. They need to realize that we are there out of love of neighbor and concern for the community. We could ask a well-thought-out question such as, “What do you think is the solution to [a problem affecting the community]?” If one approach does not work, try another.
5 In one very affluent territory where householders were indifferent to the Kingdom message, publishers endeavored to find an introduction that would arouse interest. When featuring the Knowledge book, one couple tried this introduction: “Do you feel that a good education is important for success in the world today? Do you agree that a well-rounded education would include knowledge of the Bible?” In one afternoon they placed three books, one of which was with a woman who later said she had read the entire Knowledge book and agreed to a Bible study.
6 When you encounter apathy, try different approaches, ask thought-provoking questions, and draw upon the power of God’s Word. You may thus be able to help others embrace our marvelous Kingdom hope.