Contrast in styles - JW cart zombies vs. street preacher

by sir82 3 Replies latest jw friends

  • sir82

    I work in a mid-sized US city somewhere east of the Mississippi.

    Right in the exact center of the downtown area, at the intersection of the 2 primary streets, there is an interesting contrast of proselytizing styles.

    On one corner of the intersection, a young guy has a handful of tracts from some "XYZ Ministry" or some such. He belts out in a booming voice, every 3 or 4 minutes or so, "I have good news! Jesus loves you! Jesus saves!" etc. etc.

    He's been there maybe a month or 2 now. He's been out there every afternoon, like clockwork. In the past couple weeks he's extended his "shift" and works in the mornings, too.

    He is always respectful though - never trying to corral individuals into conversations, offering his tracts with a smile and a gentle "I have good news sir" when a pedestrian passed close by.

    He was largely ignored for weeks. Lately, though, I've seen him more engaged with the public. People come up and start conversations with him. I even saw him praying in the street with a little old lady (who looked like she could have used a prayer or 2).

    He's become a fixture on that corner. Even people who ignored him at first, now smile & exchange a greeting with him. People can tell he is sincere, and harmless, and respectful. And, as the interactions described above show, people are warming to him.

    His "ministry" is starting to work.

    Over the same period of time, right across the street, maybe 40 feet away, is a JW cart.

    It is manned by 2 bored-looking JWs, who never approach anyone, never engage in any conversation (except with each other).

    I have never seen anyone even so much as break stride to look at the title of a book on display. At best someone might swivel their head 20 degrees to the side while rushing past.

    Hour after hour, day after day, week after week, exactly the same: JWs roll the cart out, stand there for 2 or 3 hours, people ignore it, no literature is taken, no conversations take place, and at lunchtime, the cart is trundled back whence it came.

    As an "impartial observer": Which approach appears to be most successful? If you had to determine whether one or the other is most likely engaged in an "urgent life-saving work", which would you choose?

  • undercover

    Well, from my nonpartial observation, they're both to be avoided.

    But, in regards to how they each 'reach out' to the community, the street preacher has been accepted as part of the scene, and since he is pleasant to those passing by, they in return are pleasant to him. I doubt he has a very high conversion rate however.

    The JWs, OTOH, are reaping exactly what they sow... apathy. They stand by their cart, never speaking, never giving greetings or even acknowledging those passing by. But - they have become accepted as part of the scene, just like the crosswalk sign you have to step around to cross the street.

  • freddo

    That is profound undercover.

    "The JWs, OTOH are reaping exactly what they sow... apathy."

  • darkspilver

    Haha! See this motley collection from a couple of weeks ago..... in San Francisco

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