Why do the JW's report their field service hours each month, turning it in for recognition by an organization...??
JW's love to brag about their preaching efforts. Their very claiming the recognition for this work, is cancelling out their reward from Jehovah God, according to the words of Jesus in Matthew 6. (Don't let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. When you publicize your efforts through a printed yearbook, you are claiming your earthly reward for your efforts. You've been rewarded for your work. Congratulations JW's! You spent millions of hours in field service last year! Yay! Now your score with Jehovah God reverts back to 0, so go do some more!)
How much fruit is being harvested from all these efforts?
I asked my mom, who has been at the same KH for over 4 years, how many new attendees or members they have in their congregation, as a result of the door-to-door preaching work. She said they'd had a few people come and visit, and even attend for a short time, but all of these people lost interest and are no longer at the KH. I know, this is only 4 years or so. I'm not sure how many thousands of hours it takes, to find one new JW. She did say they had new people, but they were all JW's who moved to the area from another congregation. There were also a few young ones and family members recruited, since she has been there.
Considering that the congregation has about 100 active pubishers (and I don't know how many pioneers), they probably spend hundreds of hours in field service each week. I'm just guessing, of course. I don't see their time sheets.
Are the JW's the ONLY ones following the "commands of Christ?"
JW's make the claim that they are the ONLY ones doing the field ministry work, to the corners of the earth. This is not the case.
Both churches I have been affiliated with in the last 3 years, have a strong support system for missionaries. They choose people who are actually well-suited to reach people, and then provide for them to go to the far corners of the earth to spread the gospel of Christ. I personally know a missionary family that has planted 2 growing churches in the tribal jungles of Papua New Guinea. My daughter's piano teacher is getting ready to move her family to Portugal, to be missionaries also.
Our church gets reports on a regular basis, from our missionaries. They tell us of families coming to Christ, churches being planted, outgrowing their buildings and teaching the local people to be pastors and leaders in their own villages. Their efforts are producing fruit, and we enjoy hearing the stories of the special families they are reaching through their efforts.
Both churches also perform outreach ministries to the community. They help to house the homeless, feed the poor... much like the "sheep" described by Jesus. The JW's think they giving magazines and the hope of eternal life, is more urgent than filling someone's belly or keeping their heat on. I can see their point, but people honestly can not focus on the kingdom message, when they don't know where to get their next meal, or are afraid their children will get sick, because they have no electricity or heat in their house (if they have one).
On Halloween night, our church participated in a community "trunk or treat" event. We passed out comic book tracts, with crayons and candy, along with invitations to our children's program on Sunday evenings. The comic/coloring books will actually get read, unlike most Awake magazines they get a householder to accept.
I have also recently met and spoken with a young woman who does campus ministries at Michigan State University. She was talking about her door-to-door preaching work today! I was very curious, and asked her a few questions. She said they get a good response from the students, and they have helped many find church homes and either begin or continue in their own bible studies. She trains students to do the same type of work, and they follow up and help new ones to get closer to Jesus. She didn't have any time cards or report cards to share, so I'm not sure how many hours it takes her to find someone to listen. She only goes out a few times a year, as she has other types of ministry that they also perform. It's not all done with cold-calling on unsuspecting students in their dormrooms. They actually use their talents to draw people to them! (fascinating idea... do what you're good at!)
Most JW's don't actually ENJOY field service, but would be better suited to a different type of service work for Jehovah's organization. They should be allowed to use the talents given to them by Jehovah God, instead of being forced to fit into a certain mold.
Not everyone is created to do the same job. Consider the parable of the talents. Jesus instructed us to use the gifts we have. Some people are good at sales (my dad is actually one who LOVES field service). Most people have other talents, but instead of being allowed to use them, they are forced to fit into this square hole, and perform tasks that are uncomfortable for them. It is no wonder that they do everything they can to "kill time," just to report the hours on a time card each month. It is also no wonder that their work is so fruitless... enthusiasm is contagious. If you aren't enjoying yourself, why would someone want to join you??
The era for fruitful field ministry, done door-to-door in the United States, is past its effectiveness.
In 1914, or whenever they began the field service idea, it might have been a good way to reach people. Women were home all day, and men were home in the evenings. They were receptive to answering the door, and more ready to hear the good news of the kingdom coming soon. People today, if they are home, are suspicious of anyone who comes over unannounced. Especially today, with social media and everyone carrying smartphones, knocking on someone's door, immediately identifies you as a stranger, probably trying to sell something. This sales method is no longer a good use of anyone's time. This is why you don't see anyone else going around to empty houses anymore.
There are a few scam artists, who are still out there... selling security systems or children's encyclopedia sets, but these types of scams have been exposed. People don't trust anyone who comes to the door anymore. Why should they?
I would argue that most of the people they actually do find at home, and willing to answer the door and let them in today, are going to be in less than ideal situations. They are unemployed, disabled, shut-ins, elderly, or maybe just lonely. I'm not saying that to disparage anyone who is a bible student today. I was one for a few years, so what does that say about me!? (I was separated from my husband at the time they first found me. My sister's marriage was about to explode when they found her.) I don't know if this is expressly stated in their ministry school, but the prey on the weaker ones in the world. They love-bomb you, and make you think they actually care about you and want to "save your life." They don't make it clear that they are actually taking notes on every visit, and taking credit for the time they spend with you. I was a jackpot for field service hours and literature placements!
Who really is "following Christ's commands" today?
I am "borrowing" this phrase, from a recording of a convention speech that I viewed, regarding us non-JW-believing apostates. "They CLAIM to be serving Christ, but they do not follow His commands!" I'm pretty sure they are claiming that they are following His commands, when they go out in field service. That is the shiny badge they are so proud to wear and brag about to the world, and what they claim sets them apart from the mainstream or "nominal" Christians (from Watchtower July 15, 2013).
I see a lot more evidence of true service to Christ, coming from "Christendom," than I do from the JW's. I know I am preaching to the choir by bringing this up in such detail, but these were just a few points that have become obvious, as I continue to study Jesus's own words in the book of Matthew.
I won't even bring up the fact, that they are actually denying Christ, and are spreading outright lies, not THE TRUTH.
These are, of course, personal observations. Wondering if anyone here has any thoughts, or if you've ever considered any of these points in your own journey away from the WTS.