JWS moving into the 2010s: GREATER FOCUS ON "PUBLIC' VENUE PREACHING

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    M steve2 posted Sun, 24 Nov 2013 18:25:28 GMT(11/24/2013)

    Post 6703 of 8768
    Joined 10/31/2004

    Increasingly, JW.org and its print publications show lots of pictures of Witnesses preaching one-to-one to "interested" passersby in public venues in contrast with fewer pictures depicting the door-to-door work. Sure, d-t-d is still the organizatrion's mainstay activity - but clearly it pushes at every opportunity the need for the rank and file to "go" public.

    This push could be a two-edge sword: There is obviously a hard core of Witnesses whose dispositions draw them to this type of social outreach: They almost rush out to do this public-venue work, prefering it to d-t-d. But I'd hazard a guess that for the bulk of those in local congregations, the public-venue witnessing would be a total turn off.

    To date, in New Zealand, I have seen no evidence of JWs doing this public venue witnessing - despite the huge push on JW.org and in the publications. Kiwis just don't seem inclined to put themselves out in public places - or if they do, it is in a kind of very muted way (i.e., almost out of sight and unobtrusive).

    This site has shown that in a few places, including Mexico, at least a few of the more publicly zealous Witnesses are doing the public work big time.

    Is the public venue preaching happening elsewhere, such as Asia? Europe? North America? Australia?

    What are your conclusions about the public-venue push in the publications? Do you think it will revive the Watchtower's stagnating fortunes?

    F Gayle posted Sun, 24 Nov 2013 19:01:21 GMT(11/24/2013)

    Post 4323 of 4502
    Joined 11/17/2006

    Remember back in the day, doing "street' witnessing? Approaching people with WT & Awake, or just standing there personally displaying the literature? It was awful. Most JWs did not like it. Especially, if you lived in a small to middle town size. Also, we went into small businesses to offer literature. They were always too busy, of course. Terrible! Few JWs can handle that kind of "public" exposure. Going door-to-door is so much easier now,,just a walk around the block, nobody home.

    M steve2 posted Sun, 24 Nov 2013 19:17:26 GMT(11/24/2013)

    Post 6704 of 8768
    Joined 10/31/2004

    Yes, I have memories as a preschooler of standing with my JW grandfather on the sidewalk of a small rural town in New Zealand as he displayed the Awake! magazines at passersby - he was actually a very kind-hearted man whom people liked. Apart from the odd occasion as I got older, I did not do street witnessing - and nor was I expected to. The push was always for d-t-d work and you're right Gayle - as hard as d-t-d work is, it is relatively more accomplishable than street witnessing. I had my own magazine route before age 7 - that was back in the day when my JW parents thought nothing of training my older sister and me to go alone on our monthly magazine route. I daresay allowing a child to go d-t-d alone would never happen now.

    J. Hofer posted Sun, 24 Nov 2013 19:20:21 GMT(11/24/2013)

    Post 1119 of 1277
    Joined 1/28/2011

    street witnessing is something only few of the old timers did or still do. i've never seen some young brother or sister standing in the streets holding the mags.

    i once participated in a street witness-style operation, but it wasn't with the mags, it was to announce/promote a JW focussed holocaust exhibition in town. i still hated to stand around and pass flyers to people, i just never got used to this kind of thing.

    M steve2 posted Sun, 24 Nov 2013 20:21:47 GMT(11/24/2013)

    Post 6706 of 8768
    Joined 10/31/2004

    Yes, if it's hard to motivate the rank and file to go d-t-d, it's gonna be even harder to motivate 'em to street witness!

    Phizzy posted Sun, 24 Nov 2013 20:32:11 GMT(11/24/2013)

    Post 4900 of 7449
    Joined 12/17/2011

    I agree that 99.9% of JW's hated the old style street work. I was well known as a "street preacher" doing it in the dolldrum period between when they used to just stand there holding up a couple of mags, and the reborn time when it was advocated that all did it and actually approached people.

    Myself and some friends were the only ones doing this at the time, finding people where they actually were , rather than knocking doors at empty houses.

    We "placed" more mags than any other JW and had some real discussions, even with Vicars and Priests, and once I placed mags with a Bishop ! we used to charge for them in those days, I gave him "trade discount" LOL.

    For a long time I was the only one doing this work, I used to go for an hour or so before joining the normal F.S group. Eventually a couple of sisters took up the work too.

    Then the WT said all should have a go, very few did, and even the C.O who came round pushing the idea confessed to me that he hated it. The reason I liked it was that you could choose who you spoke to, if they looked miserable, or wishing to scuttle past and avoided eye contact etc, I just let them go by.

    Knock on some miserable old sods door and you simply had to talk to him/her.

    Looking back I feel that most JW's are actually slightly embarassed about their religion, and what they are doing, so they prefer to go DtoD where no one but the person they last found at home knows for sure what they are up to or who they are.

    They do not like to stand on a Public street, and display to all that they are a member of a Loony Cult. Hence only that couple of sisters still did the work after I ceased.

    If they were convinced they had the truth and it really was a lifesaving work they would all be out there on the street all the time.

    This new push will only find favour with the few, and they do not have to approach anybody ! just sit there and gossip unless an unwary member of the public asks them what it is all about.

    Pathetic.

    nugget posted Sun, 24 Nov 2013 21:28:47 GMT(11/24/2013)

    Post 3634 of 3915
    Joined 11/22/2009

    I saw one of their stands in Fareham yesterday. The sisters behind the stand were talking to one another and paying no attention to anyone around them. It was early and there were relatively few passersby but they made no effort to engage with anyone. My daughter offered to go and get some literature but since I have recently purged the house of all books and magazines I was adamant I did not want any, plus I didn't want her wasting any time with this cult.

    I don't know whether it is deliberate but those things blend into their surroundings they are not in the least eye catching I nearly missed it. The person selling the "big Issue" was much more effective couldn't miss her.

    M steve2 posted Sun, 24 Nov 2013 23:50:40 GMT(11/24/2013)

    Post 6708 of 8768
    Joined 10/31/2004

    Looking back I feel that most JW's are actually slightly embarassed about their religion, and what they are doing, so they prefer to go DtoD where no one but the person they last found at home knows for sure what they are up to or who they are.

    Astute observation Phizzy. Even at my most zealous, I always felt vaguely uncomfortable about the more 'out there' aspects of being a JW. I think youths in particular are often very embarrassed by their JW-upbringing (mind you, it does not take much for youths to be embarrassed about alomst everything!)

    I don't know whether it is deliberate but those things blend into their surroundings they are not in the least eye catching I nearly missed it.

    You're right nugget. Shoppers are surrounded by myriad sales pitches and loud advertising - which often obliterates from view the smallish literature displays of the JWs.

    M NewYork44M posted Mon, 25 Nov 2013 00:19:04 GMT(11/25/2013)

    Post 2800 of 3790
    Joined 2/21/2002

    Even at my peak of zealousness, I was embarassed of my religion. If presented with the opportunity to "man" a cart, I would rather get a root canal than participate in these public carts.

    I suspect that more than a few current jws feel the same as what i describe.

    Julia Orwell posted Mon, 25 Nov 2013 00:25:27 GMT(11/25/2013)

    Post 2518 of 3333
    Joined 1/26/2013

    We had business territory in my last cong, where we would go into shops and offices and offer the attendants magazines. I really liked that, much better than door to door because I could also look at the nice things in the shops. The staff also had to be nice to JWs walking in because we could be potential customers so there was no expletives or shut doors.

    When I lived in Cairns however, we would do the Esplanade and I hated that, absolutely couldn't approach strangers out on the street with a tract. I can't say I was thrilled about d2d either, but it was much easier to have a door frame around someone when talking to them. Some JWs here love the public witnessing though, like the ones who buy an all day bus pass and spend the day riding the busses and witnessing at the passengers. Most people aren't into that sort of thing; only the more confident and gregarious ones. It's like only certain types of people go into sales and direct selling. Most of us don't have the personality to pull that sort of thing off.

    Now here on the Gold Coast, Australia, I've not yet seen those carts or stands. I can imagine some JWs would like that because they sit there all day doing nothing, and can easily rack up the hours. I personally would not like to sit at a stand because I don't want to be where everyone can see me. People who value privacy would probably be put off that sort of thing.

    TheOldHippie posted Mon, 25 Nov 2013 09:42:11 GMT(11/25/2013)

    Post 2180 of 2370
    Joined 1/31/2001

    "I saw one of their stands in Fareham yesterday. The sisters behind the stand were talking to one another and paying no attention to anyone around them. It was early and there were relatively few passersby but they made no effort to engage with anyone."

    They did what they are trained or told to do, my friend. Those behind the stand are informed NOT to approach those passing by or those looking at or taking some of the literature. They should only respond to questions etc, but not take the initiative themselves. That is the point of these stands - people should feel free to have a look and take whatever they want without being constantly asked "can I help you?" as in shops.

    M dozy posted Mon, 25 Nov 2013 10:00:44 GMT(11/25/2013)

    Post 1350 of 1524
    Joined 2/18/2006

    A relative of mine does the same - she puts up a JW literature stand with a friend & stands behind it in the city centre for a couple of hours every week. She told me that some weeks nobody takes any literature but is pleased that they are "giving a witness" as thousands of people see the stand every day.

    I felt a bit sorry for him really - just standing every week with a friend for 2 hours freezing with only each other to chat to. She says they usually grab a coffee from Starbucks and drink it there but I can imagine that usually the only ones they talk to are any JWs who happen to be in the centre of town. Just seemed really pointless to me. I think back to some of the really educated JWs of my childhood who really knew their bible , were skilled at starting conversations & really engaged with people at the doors. Just seemed really sad to me - symptomatic of a slow decline.

    F blondie posted Mon, 25 Nov 2013 13:50:30 GMT(11/25/2013)

    Post 35798 of 37820
    Joined 5/28/2001

    In the past that was almost all they did

    CTR columns in the newspapers

    Handing out tracts in front of churches

    Testimony cards

    Phonographs

    Sound cars

    Placing literature (for a price) but coming back to study with them

    CTR debating religious leaders of his time

    Radio stations in JFR's day

    Wearing placards in the public venues (Religion is a Snare and a Racket)

    (Do they even turn in bible study slips any more?)

    PS the WTS has said many times that a personal witness is not necessary. Maybe walking by a cart will count as your one chance for everlasting life on earth.

    eyeuse2badub posted Mon, 25 Nov 2013 14:03:31 GMT(11/25/2013)

    Post 166 of 643
    Joined 7/8/2013

    Let's see if the 8 Popes of Brooklyn get out there and do street witnessing or cart witnessing. You know--set the example.

    eyeuse2badub

    F blondie posted Mon, 25 Nov 2013 15:34:01 GMT(11/25/2013)

    Post 35802 of 37820
    Joined 5/28/2001

    They need a snappy banner like

    MILLIONS NOW LIVING WILL NEVER DIE

    ohnightdivine posted Mon, 25 Nov 2013 15:49:25 GMT(11/25/2013)

    Post 123 of 224
    Joined 9/27/2013

    I'd rather hand out bills for real estate projects out in the sun than stand there looking like a fool with these ragazines.

    Watchtower-Free posted Mon, 25 Nov 2013 17:43:58 GMT(11/25/2013)

    Post 578 of 1286
    Joined 4/4/2013

    They make themselves sitting ducks for anti-witnessing. They can't run away

    M steve2 posted Mon, 25 Nov 2013 18:03:02 GMT(11/25/2013)

    Post 6714 of 8768
    Joined 10/31/2004

    Perhaps the push for public-venue witnessing is a clever ploy by the GB to make d-t-d appear less difficult by putting the d-t-d work in a contrastingly better light? As much as your average Witness struggles to keep up the d-t-d requirements, those requirements now appear more tolerable than going right into a public venue to advertise your religious identity.

    bats in the belfry posted Mon, 25 Nov 2013 18:11:33 GMT(11/25/2013)

    Post 702 of 799
    Joined 7/19/2011

    From the December 2013 to January 2014 Elders meet with Regular Pioneers, Special Pioneers, and Field Missionaries sheet:

    The faithful and discreet slave has indicated that our primary way of spreading the good news continues to be the house-to-house ministry (km 7/13 4 par. 1)

    redvip2000 posted Mon, 25 Nov 2013 18:11:47 GMT(11/25/2013)

    Post 344 of 772
    Joined 12/14/2011
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