CODE OF CONDUCT POLICY FOR EVANGELISM for volunteers using literature from Witnesses for Jesus, Inc.
Since our ministry is a non-profit, Christian charity that seeks to counter the false religious beliefs of Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons with the truth of the Biblical Gospel, we have prepared many evangelistic tracts and brochures to equip Christians to share the truth in love with members of these false religious movements. Since most of our work is done by volunteer Christians who incorporate the resources we have developed into their individual styles of evangelism, we have adopted this Code of Conduct Policy to state which methods of evangelism are suitable for our mission, vision and values.
1. DISPLAYING OUR WEBSITE ON SIGNS, T-SHIRTS, BUMPER STICKERS, FACEBOOK AND OTHER BLOG SITES:
We welcome the display of our websites on multiple media platforms as long as the text posted along with the website URL is respectful and consistent with our approved text given on our Website Banner and Sticker images, Cards or Tracts. Any other text posted along with our website is not acceptable, unless special permission from us is granted. A good example of what a person can post on a public display from one of our Question Cards for Mormons is this text: “Is the Mormon Jesus the Same Jesus of the Bible?” Posting this question from one of our card resources is one way to get Mormon attendees at an event thinking about the differences of beliefs and those who wish to study this topic further will often visit our website and/or speak with the person displaying the sign and handing out our Question Card tracts to those who request them.
2. DISTRIBUTING OUR MATERIALS IN PUBLIC:
Volunteers are free to distribute our tracts, cards and brochures and display signs of website in public areas ONLY. We ask that all volunteers respect the free speech laws of the land and avoid blocking public traffic areas or standing within one foot of private property when handing out our tracts. We also ask that all volunteers refrain from distributing our literature in privately owned buildings and parking lots. This prohibition includes the distribution of our tracts on cars parked in privately owned parking lots such as the lots of Jehovah’s Witness Kingdom Halls and Mormon Church buildings. Likewise, some city ordinances require the acquisition of specific free-speech permits if one is to distribute tracts or carry signs in certain locations, such as along major highways and/or high traffic areas surrounding these events. These regulations often accompany specific “free speech zones” to ensure the safety of both the free-speech Christian evangelist and the general public. We suggest that you take the time to contact the proper governing authorities to ensure that your activities are in compliance with all of the city ordinances in this regard. Likewise, if you place tracts on cars parked in public areas and door-to-door at private residences (provided you have ensured that this activity doesn’t violate any local ordinances) you need to ensure that tracts are affixed in a non-damaging way so that they do not result in litter. Do not leave material at locations that are posted (no trespassing, no solicitation, etc.)
3. EVANGELIZING AT MORMON AND JEHOVAH’S WITNESS EVENTS:
Under no circumstances does our ministry approve of disrupting a Jehovah’s Witness or Mormon event. If the evangelist wishes to attend the event, we would ask that he or she be respectful in demeanor and not openly mock the activities being held. If displays are used to make a point, we ask that those displays be held on the public street or public lot outside the event and that the audio level be kept low enough so that it does not disrupt the services being held inside the Jehovah’s Witness or Mormon event.
4. USING RESPECTFUL LANGUAGE AND TONE OF VOICE:
Since we value grace-oriented, Biblical truth and love, we do not approve of street preaching at Mormon or Jehovah’s Witness events where the evangelist is required to talk loud, over a microphone, or yell at attendees in order to get their attention. Although we have friends in ministry who utilize this type of street preaching in their evangelistic efforts, our ministry does not endorse this activity as it creates a more adversarial atmosphere that we believe hinders real heart-to-heart communication (Colossians 4:6). Furthermore, while people outside private property owned by the Mormon or Jehovah’s Witness religions are free to come and go as they like, people seated within the confines of this private property or who have secured a good viewing area for this specific religious activity cannot however, conveniently escape someone who has targeted them for a sustained oration (shouting a message), that is, if they wish to retain their seating location. Therefore the tactic of yelling at an unwilling LDS audience that is on private property, has some legal parallels with the situation in which harassment charges were directed against abortion clinic protesters, as well as similarities with the Michigan case of Christians witnessing to Muslims.
5. TOUCHING WHEN CONVERSING WITH ANOTHER:
Regardless of the apparent pettiness or absurdity related to the charges of inappropriate touching, there have been situations during some Christian witnessing outreaches that have led to law enforcement intervention over simply touching (or the perception of touching) another person without explicit permission. Even though something like touching another person’s arm or shoulder is often intended to simply and innocently show concern, connection, empathy, or friendship, it is nevertheless recommended that, in most cases, it is better to avoid physical contact altogether.
6. ATTENDING TO PERSONAL BELONGINGS:
In the past few years there has been an increase in the number of reports of abandoned personal equipment, of particular concern to law enforcement are items such as backpacks. If a trip to the bathroom is needed or the food court at some Mormon or Jehovah’s Witness event, and for some reason, it is inconvenient to take along your purse, backpack, sack or whatever, then get a team member, a friend, anyone you know to watch your stuff until you return. If you see someone leaving something somewhere and then walking off leaving it unattended, please let them know politely that they have to be with their property at all times in order to avoid police intervention. This is just common sense, considering general knowledge of recent bombings at public events.