Do Not Forget Those Who Are Inactive
1. Why should we reach out to encourage those who have become inactive?
1 Are you acquainted with anyone who has become inactive? Perhaps he has stopped associating with the congregation and has drifted away. You may have contacted such a person while engaging in the house-to-house ministry. We must keep in mind that the individual continues to be our spiritual brother. We want to confirm our love for him and help him to return to the congregation and to ‘the shepherd and overseer of our souls.’—1 Pet. 2:25.
2. How may we offer encouragement to an inactive one?
2 Demonstrate Interest: A brief telephone call or visit may assure one who has become inactive that we have not forgotten him. What could we say? We may be encouraging by simply letting the person know that we were thinking of him. Keep the conversation positive and upbuilding. (Phil. 4:8) We might mention a point that we enjoyed from a recent meeting. We could also invite him to an upcoming meeting or assembly and offer to save him a seat or provide transportation.
3. How was one sister reactivated?
3 A sister who had been inactive for more than 20 years was found in the territory. Although she was unwilling to accept a Bible study, the sister who found her called back, leaving the current magazines. After the district convention, the publisher shared some convention highlights with the inactive sister, and eventually she was reactivated.
4. How should we treat someone who resumes his association by attending meetings?
4 When Someone Returns: When an inactive brother begins coming back to the meetings, how should we treat him? Well, how did Jesus treat his disciples after they had temporarily abandoned him? He warmly referred to them as his “brothers” and showed confidence in them. He even gave them an important assignment. (Matt. 28:10, 18, 19) Shortly thereafter, they were busy declaring the good news “without letup.”—Acts 5:42.
5. Mention situations in which we should speak to the elders about someone who is inactive.
5 Before offering to study the Bible with someone who has become inactive or before inviting a brother who has been inactive a long time to accompany us in the ministry, we should seek direction from the elders. If we come across an inactive publisher in the territory, we should inform the elders so that they can render needed assistance.
6. What joy may we experience from helping those who are inactive?
6 As the Bible clearly shows, only those who run the course to the finish will receive salvation. (Matt. 24:13) Therefore, take note of those who may have stumbled or drifted away. If we patiently reflect Jehovah’s love by demonstrating sincere interest in such ones, we may experience the joy of seeing them resume their sacred service alongside us.—Luke 15:4-10.