Witnessing to Relatives—How?
1. Why is discernment needed when witnessing to relatives?
1 What greater joy could we have than to enter the new world with our loved ones, united with them in worship of Jehovah! By our witnessing to relatives, this joyful prospect may become reality. To do so in a refreshing manner, however, requires discernment. A circuit overseer observed: “The best results are achieved by those who awaken curiosity in their relatives by witnessing in measured doses.” How might we do this?
2. How can sincere interest in our relatives help us to awaken their curiosity?
2 Awaken Their Curiosity: Give careful forethought to how you might stir the interest of your relatives. (Prov. 15:28) What are their concerns? What challenges are they facing? Perhaps you could share an article or mention an appealing scripture on a subject that is of special interest to them. If your relatives do not live nearby, perhaps you can do this in a letter or by telephone. Without overwhelming them, sow seeds of truth, and look to Jehovah to make those seeds grow.—1 Cor. 3:6.
3. How might the interest that our relatives have in us open the way for a witness?
3 Jesus instructed a man from whom he had expelled many demons: “Go home to your relatives, and report to them all the things Jehovah has done for you and the mercy he had on you.” (Mark 5:19) Imagine the impression this must have made on his relatives! Although you may not experience anything quite so dramatic, likely your relatives have an interest in your activities or those of your children. Mentioning a talk you had in the Theocratic Ministry School, a convention you attended, a visit to Bethel, or a personal milestone might open the way for you to share with them something further about Jehovah and his organization.
4. What pitfalls should we avoid when witnessing to relatives?
4 Be Discerning: When witnessing to relatives, avoid telling them too much at once. Recalling the time when he began to study the Bible, one brother admitted: “I then showered my mother for hours on end with explanations about almost everything I had learned from the Bible, and this often led to arguments, especially with my father.” Even when a relative expresses interest in the Bible’s message, answer in a way that leaves the person wanting to know more. (Prov. 25:7) Always show respect, kindness, and patience, just as you would when speaking with strangers in the ministry.—Col. 4:6.
5. What should we do if relatives do not respond favorably when we witness to them?
5 At one point, Jesus’ relatives thought he had lost his mind. (Mark 3:21) Later, however, some became believers. (Acts 1:14) If your initial efforts to share the truth with your relatives are not well received, do not give up. Circumstances and attitudes can change. Continue to look for another opportunity to share a point that may awaken their curiosity. You may have the joy of helping them start on the road to everlasting life.—Matt. 7:13, 14.