A man from my church who has been witnessing to Jehovah’s Witnesses approached us after the service to show us the District Convention invitation he’d just received that week.
He was eager to listen to my ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses friends who were visiting for our first annual Mini Midwest XJW Fest. I told him I had attended the convention earlier in the month and we all prayed for his upcoming weekend plans to travel to the next one with his wife, in the hope of planting some seeds. He is new to this type of ministry and one of the interesting things he’s discovered is “it’s not a presentation, it’s a conversation.”
He really cares about the Jehovah’s Witnesses who have been coming to his door and knows it’s probably going to take some time before they’re in a place to accept the gospel of grace. I smiled when I heard that and realized that even though our website and my personal experiences have been equipping him with information; the Holy Spirit has become the best teacher in preparing him to reach out to Jehovah’s Witnesses in love. When we step out in faith, even as a ‘son of thunder,’ God refines our approach and I can see that happening already in him. God is good. Here is what he wrote to me after his time at the convention:
We prayed before arriving and prepared the whole drive up on what to say. When the conference let out for lunch we walked down the path next to the water and approached a man in his 60’s standing alone. As we walked by we commented on the weather and it seemed like he’d be open to talking. My wife asked if he was here for the convention, to which he replied “yes.” Then she asked how long he had been a Jehovah’s Witness.
He said not that long, but that he had read his bible and found out that the Jehovah’s Witnesses were correct. She asked what bible verses lead him to that conclusion and he said Ecc. 9:5-6. He said that he came to the conclusion that we do not have souls. I explained that the verse actually was talking about anything done under the sun, not knowing what’s happening on earth. He didn’t want to discuss so we moved on.
From there I asked him to tell me as a Jehovah’s Witness, “What is the gospel?” He mentioned Jesus briefly without using his name. He talked about the seed, but then quickly jumped into the grace vs. works. The conversation went back and forth and he seemed to agree, but he would contradict himself about works…they mingled but he didn’t want us to think that he believed that.
Then we talked about who is Jesus. This started to get him upset. He still spoke with us but didn’t like that we were Christians and he felt deceived (even though we were upfront with him right away and said we are Christians and have some questions for you).
We talked about the I AM statements and ended with saying “Unless you believe I AM you will die in your sins”. I showed him that in the Greek that the “He” is not there and that Jesus claimed to be God and that unless you believe that, you will die in your sins.
He said that it would be time for us to move along and we agreed, but before that, we said that we care about him. As we walked away, he followed us and started to talk with some other guys while they all followed us. He started to go toward the building and we continued to walk on the sidewalk. Another Jehovah’s Witness followed us from far behind. We stopped in the front of the building and waited for him to get to us. At that point, the other Jehovah’s Witness said, we should just leave. He said that they rent the property and that includes the grounds. He said he would call the cops. We said that wouldn’t be necessary and that we were planning on leaving anyway.
We asked if he would talk with us and explained that we are just Christians not meant to do any harm but just ask some questions. He said “no.” Then we asked if we could get his email address to correspond with him…he said “no” (but did look a bit puzzled by the question).
As we crossed the street, any Jehovah’s Witness we walked past, we would say to visit 4Jehovah.org. 🙂 Pray that God will use those seeds! We figure that the conversation with this Jehovah’s Witness didn’t end there. He laid his head on his pillow and replayed that whole conversation and the Holy Spirit is the one who will draw him.
Also, I’m sure he spoke about the incident with some of his Jehovah’s Witness buddies. Please pray those seeds are planted as well.
Keep yourself in God’s love,