Be a Communicator!
1 To carry out our commission to preach and make disciples, we must impart information to others. (Matt. 24:14; 28:19, 20) Communication can be a challenge even among friends. What can help us to reach strangers with the good news?
2 From Stranger to Friend: Try to put yourself in the place of those you approach in the ministry. In today’s world, it is understandable that some might be suspicious, or even fearful, of strangers. This can stifle communication. How can you overcome the initial apprehension of those you meet? Before we ever say a word, one way we communicate is by our modest personal appearance. Our well-arranged dress and dignified bearing help to allay fears.—1 Tim. 2:9, 10.
3 Another aid to communication is a relaxed, friendly manner. This helps put others at ease and makes them more inclined to listen. Good preparation is necessary in this regard. When we have clearly in mind what we are going to say, we tend to be less nervous. And this peaceful frame of mind on our part can draw others to our message. One woman said this about the visit of a Witness: “What I remember about her smiling face was the peace. I was intrigued.” This opened the way for the woman to listen to the good news.
4 Qualities That Attract: We need to take a sincere personal interest in others. (Phil. 2:4) One way to do this is by not dominating the conversation. After all, communication also involves listening. When we invite our listeners to express themselves and we listen with interest to their comments, they sense that we care about them. So when your listeners speak, do not be in a hurry to revert to your prepared presentation. Commend them if you can do so sincerely, and try to build on what they say. If their comments reveal something that is close to their heart, adapt your presentation to address their concerns.
5 Modesty and lowliness of mind lubricate the gears of communication. (Prov. 11:2; Acts 20:19) People were drawn to Jesus because he was “mild-tempered and lowly in heart.” (Matt. 11:29) On the other hand, a superior attitude repels. Thus, although we are firmly convinced that we have the truth, we wisely avoid speaking in a dogmatic manner.
6 What if the person’s comments reflect beliefs that are out of harmony with what the Bible teaches? Are we under obligation to correct him? Yes, in due course, but we do not have to try to do so on the initial call. Often it is advantageous to build on ideas we hold in common with our listener before sharing Bible teachings that he may find more difficult to accept. This requires patience and tact. Paul set a fine example in this regard when witnessing to the judges of the Areopagus.—Acts 17:18, 22-31.
7 Above all, unselfish love will help us to be effective communicators. Like Jesus, we must feel pity for people who are “skinned and thrown about like sheep without a shepherd.” (Matt. 9:36) This moves us to bring them the good news and to help them get on the road to life. Ours is a message of love, so let us keep telling it in a loving way. By so doing, we imitate Jehovah God and Jesus Christ—the foremost Communicators in the universe.