Some very random thoughts based on 30+ years of field service activity. Would especially enjoy responses by JT, AlanF, Amazing, & others.
Why they do it
1. Guilt. Pure & simple. It is pounded in their heads at EVERY meeting the need to do more, more, more of this activity that really produces few results.
2. They truly believe that by going out in service they are pleasing God, imitating exactly what Jesus did, and earning their salvation. Surely they will die at armageddon if they fail to do all they can in this important life saving activity.
3. A way to establish & prove their spirituality with other JW’s. Go out in service often? That is a spiritual man. Fail to go out often/at all – that is a weak brother
What the average JW thinks of service
No one enjoys the door to door work. Need proof? No one ever says “I can’t wait to go out in field service Saturday morning! There’s nothing I’d rather do.” Need proof that even the most hard core witness doesn’t enjoy it? Ask why does it take 20+ minutes to get a group of 4 out the KH door and into the car to leave for the territory after the meeting for field service. Why do most JW’s feel the need to “take a break” after an hour of door to door work? Do any of them take a break after one hour on their secular job? Why does no one ever want to go back & continue door to door work after taking a break? Why do they always say “let’s go make some calls/RV’s instead”? Why is it you can set your watch with atomic certainty at 12:00 on Saturday at any KH parking lot in the USA when all witnesses quit for the day? If the activity is so important why must they quit at precisely noon?
What Field Service really is the average JW
A social activity. A chance to get together with others in their hall & cruise around town for a couple of hours. The fact that others in the hall saw them engaging in Field Service is enough. They truly don’t care what the results are of their activity. In fact, they usually think the placement of literature is the measurement of success. The average JW never stops & thinks, “OK, they took the magazines. Now what action is the householder going to take as a result of (maybe) reading them? Are they now going to make major life changes & join our faith?” No, they are content to continue making return visits on the person leaving magazines until the end of time. I can’t tell you how many RV’s I’ve gone on with others where the householder CLEARLY had absolutely no interest whatsoever. They just hadn’t reached a point where they said “please don’t bother coming back & because I really am not interested – I just took the magazines from you 5 years ago to be nice. I didn’t realize at the time that you would them come back almost every weekend from then on.”
The last time I went in service a few months ago it was with a 14 year old regular pioneer. (Home schooling, of course) He presented the Awake with a cover article on “Is your food safe?” The householder looked at us & said “are you two with the local PBS station? Because I’m already a member.” That’s how effective his “Kingdom Preaching” work was – the householder didn’t even realize we were witnesses or why we were there. AND YET, God is going to judge mankind, in large part due to their response to this Kingdom message? Sometimes I put myself in the average householders place. It’s Saturday morning, the TV is blaring cartoons, I’m about to take the kids to soccer practice, get groceries, run errands, etc. My doorbell rings. It’s two people in suits talking about world peace & trying to give me two magazines. Am I going to stop all that I’m doing, have a biblical conversation, & change my thinking/religion/outlook on life & the future based on this? Not likely.