How to Use Good News From God!
New Brochure Designed to Help Us Make Return Visits and Start Bible Studies
1. What new brochure released at the “Safeguard Your Heart!” District Convention is designed to help us make return visits and start Bible studies?
1 During the “Safeguard Your Heart!” District Convention, we were excited to receive a new brochure to help us make return visits and start Bible studies. Good News From God! is similar to the Require brochure, which it replaces, in that the lessons are concise. This lends itself to using the brochure for doorstep Bible studies. However, while the Require brochure discussed Christian requirements, which can be challenging for new students to accept, this new brochure focuses on the good news found in the Bible.—Acts 15:35.
2. Why was the Good News brochure produced?
2 Why was it produced? Brothers around the world have been asking for something simple that would attract people to the truth and lead into the Bible Teach book, our primary tool for Bible studies. People who are intimidated by a book are often more willing to study the Bible using a brochure. In addition, a brochure is more easily translated into a large number of languages.
3. How is this brochure different from other study publications?
3 How It Is Designed: Many of our study publications are written so that a person can read it and understand the truth, even without help. This publication is different. It is written as a guide for Bible study with an instructor. Therefore, when offering it to someone, it is best to discuss a paragraph or two. The paragraphs are short, so they can even be considered at a person’s doorstep or his place of business. While lesson 1 is a good place to begin, we can start a study almost anywhere in the brochure.
4. How does the brochure help us to teach directly from the Bible?
4 In many of our publications, the answers to the printed questions can be found in the paragraphs. However, in this publication, the answers are found mainly in the Bible. Most people want to learn from the Bible rather than from our literature. Therefore, almost none of the cited scriptures are quoted. They are to be read from the Bible itself. This helps students realize that what they are learning comes from God.—Isa. 54:13.
5. Why is it important for the conductor to be well-prepared for each study period?
5 The brochure does not explain all the scriptures. Why? It is designed to encourage the student to ask questions and to allow the instructor to use his teaching ability. Therefore, it is important to be well-prepared for each study period. A word of caution: Do not talk too much. We love to explain the Scriptures. But we often accomplish more by inviting the student to explain what he thinks the scripture means. By using questions tactfully, we can help him to reason out the meaning of each text.—Acts 17:2.
6. How can we use the brochure (a) where people are skeptical about God and the Bible? (b) when going from house to house? (c) when using the direct approach to start Bible studies? (d) when making return visits?
6 Like other publications for conducting studies, this brochure can be offered at any time, regardless of what is being featured for the month. Many will enjoy using it with the direct approach to start doorstep studies. In addition, as mentioned at the district convention, using it when calling back on those who showed interest “can really make the return visit work exciting!”—See the boxes on pages 5-7.
7. How might you conduct a Bible study using the brochure?
7 How to Conduct the Study: We could begin the discussion by reading the numbered question in bold print. Next, read the paragraph and the scripture(s) in italics. Use tactful questions to help the householder understand what the scriptures mean. Then, before moving on to the next section, ask the householder to answer the question in bold print, to make sure he understands. For the first few visits, it may be best to consider just one of the questions in bold print. In time, we may be able to lengthen the discussions to include an entire lesson.
8. How should we introduce scriptures, and why?
8 Scripture citations that are preceded by the word “read” are the ones that most directly answer the question in bold print. When introducing a scripture, avoid saying, “The apostle Paul wrote” or, “Notice what Jeremiah foretold.” The householder might think that we are reading the words of mere humans. It would be better to say, “The Word of God says” or, “Notice what the Bible foretold.”
9. Should all the cited scriptures be read during the study?
9 Should we read all the cited scriptures or only the “read” scriptures? Be guided by the circumstances. None of the cited texts are there simply to show where a thought is found in the Bible. Each one contains information that is worth discussing. But in some cases, the student’s lack of time, interest, or reading ability may suggest that we look up only the “read” scriptures.
10. At what point can we switch the study to the Bible Teach book?
10 When to Switch to the Bible Teach Book: After several discussions and once we have established a good routine, we can either switch to the Bible Teach book or continue in the Good News brochure until we have completed it. Publishers can use their judgment to decide when to switch. Once we switch to the Bible Teach book, must we start from the beginning? There are no rules on this. Each person is different. However, most students will benefit by going over the same subjects again in more detail in the Bible Teach book.
11. Why should we make good use of this new brochure?
11 In a world where good news is scarce, we have the grand privilege of declaring the best news possible—that God’s Kingdom rules and that it will soon usher in a new world where righteousness is to dwell! (Matt. 24:14; 2 Pet. 3:13) We are confident that many who hear this message will echo these inspired words: “How comely upon the mountains are the feet of the one bringing good news, the one publishing peace, the one bringing good news of something better, the one publishing salvation, the one saying to Zion: ‘Your God has become king!’” (Isa. 52:7) May we use this new brochure to bring good news from God to thirsting ones in our territory!
[Box on page 5]
Where People Are Skeptical About God and the Bible:
● In some areas, publishers find that the words “God” and “Bible” are conversation stoppers. In that case, on the initial visit, it may be best to discuss topics that are of local concern, such as the need for good government, where to get practical help for families, and what the future holds. Perhaps the Good News brochure can be introduced after we have had several conversations considering how we know that God exists and why the Bible is trustworthy.
[Box on page 6]
When Going From House to House:
● “I’m calling to show you how easy it can be to find out what God has in mind for mankind’s future. Have you ever wondered whether God will relieve us of suffering? [Allow for response.] This brochure shows where in the Bible you can find the answer to that question. [Hand him a brochure, and read the first paragraph in lesson 1, as well as Jeremiah 29:11.] From this, does it seem reasonable to you that God wants us to have a better future? [Allow for response.] If you like, you may keep this copy. Next time, we can consider the second paragraph to find the Bible’s answer to this question, ‘How will God relieve mankind of the causes of suffering?’” If the householder seems to have more time on the initial visit, you may be able to read and discuss the second paragraph and its three Bible texts. Arrange to return to discuss the second question in that lesson.
● “Many people like to pray, especially when they have problems. Do you pray sometimes? [Allow for response.] Do you think that God listens to all prayers, or could it be that some prayers do not please him? [Allow for response.] I have here a brochure that shows how to find the Bible’s answer to those questions. [Hand him a copy, and consider together the first paragraph of lesson 12 and the “read” scriptures.] Isn’t it marvelous that God is willing to listen to us? But to benefit fully from prayer, we need to know God well. [Turn to lesson 2 and point out the subheadings.] If you wish, I can leave this brochure with you, and at another time, we can read the Bible’s answers to these fascinating questions.”
● “I’m here because people are concerned about where this world is heading. Do you think conditions will ever improve? [Allow for response.] Many people are surprised to learn that the Bible contains good news that can give us hope. Here are some of the questions that the Bible answers.” Hand him a brochure, and invite him to choose a question from the back cover that interests him the most. Then go to the lesson, and demonstrate the study. Make arrangements to return and to consider the next question in that lesson.
[Box on page 7]
Try the Direct Approach:
● “I stopped by to tell you about a new Bible study course. This brochure has 15 lessons that show where in your Bible you can find answers to vital questions. [Show him the front and back covers.] Have you ever tried to understand the Bible? [Allow for response.] Let me show you how easy the lessons are. [Consider the first paragraph of question 3 in lesson 3, and read Revelation 21:4, 5. If appropriate, consider the next paragraph and the “read” scriptures.] If you wish, I can leave this brochure with you. We recommend that you try studying the Bible at least once. If you like it, you can continue. Next time, we can consider the first lesson. Notice that it is only one page long.”
[Box on page 7]
Introduce It on a Return Visit:
● When returning to visit someone who has shown interest, we might say: “It’s nice to see you again. I brought you this brochure that gives the Bible’s answer to many interesting questions. [Hand him a brochure, and invite him to look at the back cover.] Which of these topics interests you the most? [Allow for response. Then turn to the lesson he chose.] Let me show you how this brochure can be used to find the Bible’s answer.” Demonstrate the study by discussing a paragraph or two and the “read” scriptures. You have just started a Bible study! Leave the brochure with the householder, and make arrangements to return. When you complete the lesson, you can discuss another lesson chosen by the householder or start at the beginning of the brochure.