Street Witnessing - did you ever do it?

by Muddy Waters 20 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Muddy Waters
    Muddy Waters

    I remember in our congregation, there were a few older pioneer sisters who would start counting their time early - even before the service arrangement - by standing at a street corner and holding the magazines up in front of them and hoping that any passersby might stop to take one on their way to work or whatever.

    Did any of you ever do something like this? As a fresh, new Dub, I had heard about this "street-witnessing" work, but there was only one time I ever actually saw one of these older sisters doing this. And even then I was shocked and embarrassed for her.... Because this poor old sister was standing there, all by herself, holding up the Watchtower & Awake magazines, yet LOOKING AS SAD AND DEPRESSED AS SHE COULD POSSIBLY EVER LOOK, her whole mouth was turned down just totally sad as she stood there, observing all the "dead" people walking around, hurrying to catch buses, get kids to school, get to work, etc.

    And I remember feeling shocked at the way she looked... Her demeanor was so off-putting, and she stood there so mutely, holding up the magazines like they were more important than the Bible (which, to JWs, they are!) and standing still as a statue to boot.

    I could not believe that this was "street witnessing"!! What happened to the scriptures about "boldly speaking in the market places", etc? She looked like a parody from a bad movie set. Yet I later learned that this was how it was done, so that people wouldn't complain about being approached or "solicited"...

    It never made sense to me, especially after all the court cases we had supposedly won about our right to preach and defend the good news, blah blah blah.

    But of course I submerged this unfaithful, disloyal thought. That was about 20-25 years ago. Damn.

  • Finkelstein

    Yes usually early in the morning before 9 am.

    Thought it was a bit silly since it was always Saturday and most people were at home sleeping in.

    The streets were barely used.

    But hey at the time I though this is easy hours to count.

  • tim3l0rd

    I did early morning witnessing many times. We would drive around and find people waiting for buses or otherwise looking unoccupied and offer them magazines or tracts to read (usually older issues). I even had a return visit or 2 with some gas station personnel. Every now and then we would frequent the downtown bus stations (they were all on one street) and walk up and down looking for someone that we could talk to.

    I actually enjoyed these methods of preaching much more as I wasn't normally in the hot sun and I actually found people to talk to and not just another 'not at home'. I'm a very outgoing person and if nothing else have at least been very well trained for public speaking by this org. I try to look on the bright side and get over the anger/hurt.

  • SoCal101

    As a teenager I lived in Vegas and we had a Friday night meeting. Afterwards I would go stay the night at my buddies house. We would sneak out to go buy beer and either buy Playboy or Penthouse whichever was available at the local 7-11. We would drink and oogle the pictures until late into the night and then get up early still buzzing to go do street work in downtown Las Vegas! We probable stunk like booze the same as many of the homeless down there. We went primarily to get our time in early and check out the hotties from other congregations.

    There came a point that there were hundreds of JW's down there and I heard the circuit gave a talk and it was cut way back.

    Yes, I did post a portion of this previously.

  • Finkelstein

    Its obviously easier to sit or stand on a street than waling onto people's properties with barking dogs and whatever.

    Push the literature at someone and see if they respond, most dont, walk over to a coffee shop for a break and then continue.

    Would have been nice to have those literature carts back in the day.

    Certainly easier on the gas bill as well, I'm sure now days there's debate about whose car is going to be used.

  • freemindfade
    Easy time in NYC walk down the street and unload a million old magazines, if anyone tried to talk it was like, woah woah woah sorry we gotta go, lotta people to get to lol!
  • rip van winkle
    rip van winkle
    I preferred street witnessing and other types of informal witnessing. Always walked and never stood still on a corner holding up mags, but I knew an " anointed" ( cuckoo craAzy sister) who did.
  • blondie

    I did street work in the morning and at lunch time. I tried to approach people that weren't obviously in a hurry. I never did the wooden Indian technique. There are jws with carts only a block from where I work....they don't try to converse with anyone.

    Reminds of the good/bad old days when they handed the person at the door a testimony card to read, or set down a small record player and played Rutherford giving a talk. It would be so loud it work up the neighbors. Or sound cards or wearing sandwich boards.

  • James Mixon
    James Mixon

    Yes, the most popular and busiest location in my community.

    Not a born in (JW) so my class mates that saw me standing in

    front of the market thought I had lost my friggen mind.

    Yes boldly preaching God's word. It makes me want to throw up

    just thinking about it.

  • iwasblind

    Yes used to do early morning street work. I remember I had a taxi driver say "I wouldn't wipe my bum with one of those" (meaning the mags) and I repied "Ohh no far too slippery, you would be better with one of these" and handed him a tract.

    I can't imagine doing street work now.

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