“We Have Worked Our Territory Many Times!”
1 Have you ever felt that your territory is worked so often that there are no more sheeplike people left in it? Perhaps you have thought: ‘I know how the people will respond. Why keep going back to those who are not interested?’ It is true that many territories are worked often. However, this fact should be viewed positively, not negatively. Why so? Note the four reasons given below.
2 Our Prayers Have Been Answered: Jesus said: “The harvest, indeed, is great, but the workers are few. Therefore beg the Master of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest.” (Luke 10:2) For decades we have supplicated Jehovah for more help. In many places, we now have the additional workers needed, and we are covering the territory more frequently. Should not the fact that Jehovah has answered our prayers cause us to rejoice?
3 Persistence Bears Good Fruit: Even in often-worked territories, people are responding to the Kingdom message and are coming to a knowledge of the truth. Therefore, we should keep calling again and again in hopes of finding more honesthearted ones. (Isa. 6:8-11) As Jesus’ early disciples did, “go continually” to the people in your assigned territory, endeavoring to stir up their interest in the Kingdom of God.—Matt. 10:6, 7.
4 In Portugal many congregations cover their territory every week, but they are still finding sheeplike ones. One sister in particular has a very positive attitude. She says: “Before leaving for the service every morning, I pray to Jehovah to help me find someone interested in studying the Bible.” One day she arranged for a study with the workers in a hairdresser’s shop. Later, though, only one person showed up for the study. That person said: “The others are not interested, but I am.” Within a month she was conducting two Bible studies of her own. Soon thereafter she was baptized, and she later entered the pioneer service!
5 The Work Is Getting Done: The good news is being preached, just as Jesus foretold it would be. (Matt. 24:14) Even in places where people do “not want to listen to [us],” they are being put on notice by means of the preaching activity. We expect some to be unreceptive or even opposed to the truth. Yet, such ones have to be duly warned about the coming judgment from Jehovah.—Ezek. 2:4, 5; 3:7, 8, 19.
6 We Are Not Finished Yet: It is not up to us to decide when to stop the preaching work. Jehovah knows exactly when it should end. He knows whether there are people in our territory who may yet respond to the good news. Today, some people say they are not interested, but drastic changes in their lives—loss of employment, serious illness, death of a loved one—may make them more receptive at another time. Because of prejudice or because of simply being too busy to listen, many people have never really heard what we preach. Repeated friendly calls may make them take notice and listen.
7 Those who have grown up in recent years and who now have families of their own are taking life more seriously and are asking questions that only God’s Word can answer. One young mother invited two Witnesses into her home and said: “As a little girl, I could never understand why my mother turned the Witnesses away and told them she was not interested, when all they wanted to do was talk about the Bible. I made up my mind then that when I grew up, got married, and had my own home, I would ask Jehovah’s Witnesses to come in and explain the Bible to me.” That is what she did, to the delight of the Witnesses who called on her.
8 Can You Be More Effective? It may not always be the people we call on who make it seem hard to work the territory frequently. Sometimes it is we ourselves. Do we start out with negative ideas? That can affect our attitude and likely our tone of voice and facial expression. Display a positive spirit and a pleasant countenance. Try a fresh approach. Vary your presentation, and strive to improve it. Perhaps you can alter your opening question or work a different scripture into the conversation. Ask other brothers and sisters what they have found to be successful in working the territory. Work in the service with a variety of publishers and pioneers, and note what makes their ministry effective.
9 The Kingdom-preaching work has Jehovah’s approval and blessing, and our participation in it proves our love for him and our neighbor. (Matt. 22:37-39) So let us carry out our work to its completion, not tiring of working the territory time after time.