I remember doing rural territory on the islands in car groups. That was fun! And not much preaching either. On the rare occasions when householders would want to talk you'd have to say, "we'd love to talk to you longer, but we've got people waiting for us in the car".
Witness Carts - A Vehicle for Significant Decline
JWs...in particular pioneers...learn the fine art of "getting time in", that is, in essense, wasting it with nonproductive work.
That what happens when the system is set up to reward "hours" not "results"
Some things don't go together.
Nearly 100% of people who go to prison in the United States have eaten pizza.
That doesn't mean eating pizza makes one more likely to go to prison. It just shows how common pizza is.
JW's are cart/table witnessing now and the number of active JW's is severely down.
I mean, I didn't leave because of the style of recruiting. There are plenty of reasons to become inactive.
I could just as easily say that there has been a decline since the silly overlap generation doctrine or since the 100 year anniversary of Jesus casting Satan out of heaven or YADDA YADDA.
I actually think cart witnessing is much easier than getting doors slammed in your face, and while much rural and foreign language recruiting is pretty easy, just driving from address to address can cost plenty in gas. Better to sit or stand at one spot.
The JWs in my area don't even stand near their carts. They sit in their cars nearby and "cart watch" and "get their time." Really, that's all it means here: an easy way to rack up hours without actually talking to people.
Sit in cars watching carts, wow never heard of that one.
Well, I have a completely different conjecture to offer.
I think the Watchtower rationale has completely changed from balls out evangelizing with blood in the eye to self-preservation.
In the old days (pre-Internet) witnessing was like gunslinging where you stood at the door and shot it out and watched the unindoctrinated bodies fall in a crumpled heap on the doorsill.
Post-internet, however, a conversation with another human being is likely to be more of a death trap for the JW because Ex-JW's have wallpapered with FACTS every search engine pitstop there is.
I go to Google and type the words "Jehovah's Witness" and what do I see in response?
The first 4 responses are PAID links to JW.ORG!
After that--the anti-JW material appears.
The WT Society fears interpersonal contact for the first time in its existence!
Young publishers and housewives are vulnerable to anti-JW factoids and that must be avoided by FEAR and tactical evasion.
I'm close friends with a 21-year-old JW who has made it abundantly clear to me
how terrified every Witness is of encountering the dreaded Apostate Lies and Satanic brain meld!!
I don't think JW's really "witness" any longer.
Most evangelizing is for 3rd world countries just like it is for mainstream Christendom, communists, and anarchists.
I would tend to believe the WTS thought cart witnesses would actually be effective, and that when it comes to their own bs they can be that naive.
My experience in the US was similar to what most on this board say. That pre internet there was little contact with householders. The JWs response? Put carts in public places where there are people.
Ok in cities possibly, lousy in suburbs and rural.
JWs have conditioned the public to not want to talk to them. Easy to forget, but JWs have been around for the entire past century in the USA, much of it with door to door work. They defined the crazy person who wants to talk religion. Most avoid it, because they defined it well as something to be avoided.
JWs will meet defeat wherever they go. The message is outdated and has no relevancy. I think the cart stuff is an inclination how little they actually understand people.
Even bigger point. With post 75 through the current era the "preaching work" (if you can call it work) has become more and more defined by a lack of contact with the public.
Through early 00s lack of contact became the norm within the org. We're talking 3 decades of people that made it a comfortable, not too confrontational, weekly routine.
Short of a major internal cultural shift, I see no avenue for the JWs to increase the quality of outreach they do.
So again, i think its a response to their go nowhere state of affairs.
Also star witnessing is genius. Thanks for that doc
Take the opportunity to challenge JWs at their carts.
I can think of 5 and perhaps even 6 JWs who have rushed off with or without their trolleys a result of me asking questions and presenting information they didn't want to hear. There is no need to be confrontational, in fact it is amusing when you realise the control you have in these situations.
On monday this week I was talking to 2 JWs at a cart in the Royal Mile in Edinburgh. She tried to claim that the bible is scientific and cited Isaiah 40 "circle of the earth". I calmly pointed out that the word means circle and not sphere as at Isaiah 20. She literally turned around and headed off round the corner into Bank Street never to return. Her partner was left aghast. I asked him if she was prone to storming off in the huff. The cart work will backfire on them.