Observations from an Ex-Elder Part 2 - Cart Work
Up until I left recently I was participating in the cart work. In the location where we used to set up near our local mall we never had one person stop and take literature or stop and chat - other than fellow brothers. I thought maybe it was just a bad location or something.
I have an office in the centre of my city and I have recently been having lunch near where the brothers set up their carts and have been observing them for an hour or two at a time during the busiest lunch time traffic. And.... NOTHING!
In all the weeks I have been doing this I have not seen so much as ONE person stop or take anything. I sometimes stop for a quick chat with them on the way home, if it is someone I know, and ask them "how was business today?" They usually confirm that they had no interest, but try to spin it with the positive "but people are seeing us."
I feel so sad for these capable brothers and sisters (some of who are my friends) who sit there for hours on end doing nothing, just baby sitting a cart. How mindless and unproductive. Surely they would be better to get permission from council to just leave a "self-service" rack somewhere, and spend their time doing something more active and productive. I guess they see it as an easy way to get time in compared to the door to door work.
How meaningless and unproductive the ministry has become. In the last 10 years in the one I belonged to only one person came in for thee field - not much to show for the thousands of hours spent in the ministry which are apparently "blessed" by Jehovah.
Take note of the path traveled on the "map" below. We referred to "Star Pioneers" as those who would travel from one distant end of the Cong territory to the other opposite end and back to the original area visiting "Not-at-Homes" or "magazine placement RVs" without ever opening their Bibles. At the end of the day, they had driven the "star" pattern noted below. (Plus taken an hour for each "break".)
Cart Witnessing has the same productivity, but does save on gasoline consumption.
It's all about the hours. Nothing else. That is all they measure you by. So glad we are out!
How meaningless and unproductive the ministry has become
Compared to actually talking to people at their front doors , the effectiveness is diminished dramatically.
I used to stand on street back in the 1970's without a cart and the response was about the same.
But hey some people like doing it, less walking and getting in and out of vehicles.
When out in the ministry, decades ago, and we had no apparent success, we comforted ourselves with "At least we got to say Jehovah's name!"
We just knew that someday those uncooperative householders would finally have that "Aha!" moment. Of course, by then it was too late.
Every Thursday morning there are two carts set up outside the main doors of our local library. Each cart has 2 JW's manning it. I can see from my office window that dozens and dozens of people pass by without so much as a glance. As others have said, the JW's look at their phones or chat among themselves. Then they pack up at noon just when things begin to pick up in terms of people coming and going and off they go.
Last week it was in the 20's around here and 4 women stood there stone cold in their skirts, freezing their magazines off. I thought to myself, "what a colossal waste of time" they could just leave the carts there and it would have the same effect. People almost seem intimidated by the crowd of over dressed people hanging oddly around a bunch of religious brochures.
In my city there is an area with a pedestrian bridge, with a different congregation territory at either end of the bridge. So of course both congregations put their cart at their end of the bridge resulting in the pedestrian being faced with a cart on entry and exit of the bridge...from what i hear there is not much of a response...what a surprise. They set it up and then sit on a park bench a few metres away, chatting with their cart partner and sipping on coffee where i'm from, knowing that they are 'doing their part to get Jehovah's name out there'. I have to stop myself from rolling my eyes into another dimension.
Hell, our dubs are so lazy that they park in the KH lot, drag their cart(s) to the entrance by the road, and chat with each other between 8:30 and 9 a.m, Meanwhile, a couple dozen High school students walk by the cart every morning from the church next door to the KH. The students got permission to park at the church and walk to the school a few blocks away because the school lot is full. I know the elders refused to let the kids park at the KH.
The same students, five days a week. NEVER once stop at the cart. Been more productive to let the kids park at the KH. YA' THINK?
The cart work is unproductive ---the only people that stop by are JW`s.
The D2D work is unproductive ----very few if any converts are made compared to the hours involved.
Apart from that if you did a survey among the householders of any street or community about what JW`s believe all they would say is that they dont believe in blood transfusions or they are bible bashers .
No one would say they are preaching a paradise earth with Jesus Christ as King.
The Public talks are a waste of time -------None of the public ever attend.
It's all about Keep them bussy (tm).