Read your anecdotes made me think of these "helpful" suggestions from the WTS.
? ?May I ask, Do you mean that you are not interested in theBible, or is it religion in general that does not interest you? I ask that because we have met many who at one time were religious but no longer go to church because they see much hypocrisy in the churches (or, they feel that religion is just another money-making business; or, they do not approve of religion?s involvement in politics; etc.). The Bible does not approve of such practices either and it provides the only basis on which we can look to the future with confidence.?
? ?If you mean that you are not interested in another religion, I can understand that. But more than likely you are interested in what kind of future we can expect in view of the threat of nuclear war (or, how we can safeguard our children against drug abuse; or, what can be done about crime so that we won?t have to be afraid to walk the streets; etc.). Can you see any prospect for a real solution??
? ?Is that because you already have a religion? . . . Tell me, Do you think we will ever see a time when everyone belongs to the same religion? . . . What seems to stand in the way? . . . For it to be meaningful, what sort of foundation would be needed??
? ?I can appreciate that. A few years ago I felt the same way. But I read something in the Bible that helped me to view matters in a different light. (Show the person what it was.)?
? ?Would you be interested if I could show you from the Bible how you could see your dead loved ones again (or, what the real purpose of life is; or, how it can help us to keep our families united; etc.)??
? ?If you mean that you are not interested in buying something, let me put your mind at ease. I?m not engaged in a commercial work. But would you be interested in the opportunity to live on a paradise earth, free from sickness and crime, with neighbors who really love you??
? ?Is that your usual reply when Jehovah?s Witnesses call? . . . Have you ever really wondered why we keep calling or what we have to say? . . . Briefly, the reason I came to see you is that I know something that you should know too. Why not listen just this once??
? ?I can understand how you feel. Frankly, the churches are not making this world a safer place to live, are they? . . . May I ask, Have you always felt the way you do now? . . . But do you believe in God??
? ?There are a lot of people who share your view. Religion has not really helped them. That is one reason why we are calling?because the churches have not told people the truth about God and his wonderful purpose for mankind.?
? ?But I am sure that you are interested in your own future. Did you know that the Bible foretold the very conditions that exist in the world today? . . . And it shows what the outcome will be.?
? ?Have you always felt that way? . . . How do you feel about the future??
? ?Many folks tell us that. Have you ever wondered why people like me volunteer to make these calls even though we know that the majority of householders may not welcome us? (Give the gist of Matthew 25:31-33, explaining that a separating of people of all nations is taking place and that their response to the Kingdom message is an important factor in this. Or state the gist of Ezekiel 9:1-11, explaining that, on the basis of people?s reaction to the Kingdom message, everyone is being "marked" either for preservation through the great tribulation or for destruction by God.)?
? ?I can appreciate that, because I used to feel the same way. But, just to be fair, I decided to listen to one of them. And I found out that I hadn?t been told the truth about them. (Mention a common false accusation and then explain what we believe.)?
? ?Not long ago I said the same thing to a Witness who called at my door. But before he left I raised a question that I was sure he could not answer. Would you like to know what it was? . . . (As an example: Where did Cain get his wife?)? (For use by those who really had such an experience.)
? ?If you are a religious person, I can appreciate that. Your own religion no doubt means much to you. But I think you?ll agree that we are both interested in (name an appropriate topic).?
? ?Then no doubt you have your own religion. Do you mind my asking which religion it is? . . . We enjoy talking with people of your faith. How do you feel about (mention your topic for discussion)??
? ?Yes, I understand. But the reason we are calling is that we are a family that would like to see people live together in peace. We?re sick and tired of the news every night with reports of fighting and suffering. I suppose you are the same. . . . But what can bring the needed change? . . . We?ve found encouragement in the Bible?s promises.?
? ?I appreciate your letting me know how you feel. Would you mind telling me what there is about us that you don?t like? Is it what we show you from the Bible, or is it our coming to visit you??
? ?Would you mind telling me, Does your religion teach that the time will come when people who love what is right will live on earth forever? . . . That is an appealing thought, isn?t it? . . . It is right here in the Bible. (Ps. 37:29; Matt. 5:5; Rev. 21:4)?
? ?I agree that in this matter each person must make his own decision. But did you know that God himself is looking for a certain kind of people to be his true worshipers? Notice here at John 4:23, 24. What would it mean to worship God "with truth"? . . . What has God given us to help us to know what is true and what is not? . . . (John 17:17) And notice how important it is to us personally. (John 17:3)?
? ?Have you been a religious person all your life? . . . Do you think mankind will ever be united in one religion? . . . I?ve thought a lot about that because of what is recorded here at Revelation 5:13. . . . What is needed in order for us to fit into this picture??
? ?I was hoping to find someone like yourself who has an interest in spiritual things. So many today do not. May I ask how you feel about the Bible?s promise that God will clear out all wickedness and make this earth a place where only people who love righteousness will live? Does that appeal to you??
? ?Are you quite active in church affairs? . . . Is the church usually well filled for services these days? . . . Do you find that most members are really showing a sincere desire to apply God?s Word in everyday life? (Or, Do you find that there is unity of thinking among the members as to the solution to the problems that face the world?) We find that personal home Bible instruction helps.?
? ?Evidently you are satisfied with your religion. But most people are not satisfied with world conditions. Perhaps that is true of you too; is it? . . . What is it all leading up to??
? ?Are you a person who enjoys reading the Bible? . . . Do you find time to read it on a regular basis??
? ?I appreciate your telling me that. I am sure that you will agree that, no matter what our religious background, we are all very much interested in world peace (or, ways to protect our children against bad influences; or, having a neighborhood in which people really love one another; or, enjoying good relationships with other people, and that can present a challenge when everyone feels under pressure).?
? ?I?m glad to know that you are religiously inclined. Many people today do not take religion seriously. Some even think there is no God. But, according to what you have been taught, what kind of person do you think of God as being? . . . Notice that the Bible gives us his personal name. (Ex. 6:3; Ps. 83:18)?
? ?When Jesus sent out his disciples to preach, he told them to go to every part of the earth, so they would meet many people whose religion was different from theirs. (Acts 1:8) But he knew that those hungering and thirsting for righteousness would listen. What is the particular message that he said would be delivered in our day? (Matt. 24:14) What does that Kingdom mean to us??
? ?I?m glad to know that. Then you no doubt know that Jesus himself did a work like this, calling on people in their homes, and he commissioned his disciples to do it too. Are you familiar with the theme of the preaching they did? . . . That?s what we came to talk about today. (Luke 8:1; Dan. 2:44)?
? ?Then I?m sure you will appreciate the seriousness of what Jesus said here in the Sermon on the Mount. He was being very straightforward but also loving when he said . . . (Matt. 7:21-23) The question that we need to ask ourselves, then, is, How well do I know the will of the heavenly Father? (John 17:3)?
? ?Then I?ll be very brief. I called to share just one important thought with you. (State the gist of your topic for discussion in about two sentences.)?
? ?All right. I?ll be glad to call at another time, when it is more convenient for you. But before I leave, I?d like to read just one scripture that really gives us something important to think about.?
? ?I understand. As a mother (or, workingman; or, student) I have a full schedule too. So I?ll be brief. All of us are faced with a serious situation. The Bible shows that we are very near the time when God will destroy the present wicked system of things. But there will be survivors. The question is, What must you and I do to be among them? The Bible answers that question. (Zeph. 2:2, 3)?
? ?You know, that?s exactly the reason why I?m calling. We?re all busy?so busy that really important things in life sometimes get neglected, isn?t that so? . . . I?ll be very brief, but I?m sure you will be interested in just this one text. (Luke 17:26, 27) None of us want to find ourselves in that situation, so we need to make time in our busy lives to consider what the Bible says. (Make literature offer.)?
? ?Would it be more convenient if we called back in about half an hour, after we have visited some of your neighbors??
? ?Then I won?t keep you. Perhaps I can call another day. But before I leave, I would like to give you the opportunity to obtain this special offer. (Display the offer for the month.) This publication contains a study course that will acquaint you with the Bible?s own answers to such questions as (mention just one or two).?
? ?I?m sorry that I caught you at an inconvenient moment. As you may know, I am one of Jehovah?s Witnesses. I wanted to share with you an important thought from the Bible. But since you don?t have time to listen right now, I would like to give you this tract, which discusses (name the subject). It won?t take long to read, but you will find it very interesting.?
? ?That?s not hard for me to understand. There just does not seem to be enough time to get everything done. But have you ever thought how different life might be if you could live forever? I know that may sound strange. But let me show you just one Bible text that explains how such a thing is possible. (John 17:3) So, what we need to do now is to take in this knowledge of God and his Son. That is why we leave this literature.?
? ?Because we believe that we are living in the last days referred to in the Bible. We feel that it is important for all of us to think about what the outcome of present conditions will be. (Mention one or two recent events or current situations.) The question is, What do we need to do if we are to survive the end of this system of things??
? ?Because we love God and our neighbors. That is what we all should do, isn?t it??
? ?I am very glad to hear that. Do you have a close relative or a friend that is a Witness? . . . May I ask: Do you believe what we teach from the Bible, namely, that we are living in "the last days," that soon God is going to destroy the wicked, and that this earth will become a paradise in which people can live forever in perfect health among neighbors who really love one another??
? ?We are not soliciting funds. But we are offering a free home Bible study course. One of the subjects that it covers is (use a chapter title from a current publication). May I take a few minutes to show you how it works? It won?t cost you a penny.?
? ?We?re interested in people, not their money. (Continue with discussion. Show them one of the publications and explain how it can benefit them. If they manifest genuine interest and promise to read it, leave it with them. If appropriate, explain how our worldwide preaching activity is financed.)?