Do’s and Don'ts When Witnessing To A Jehovah’s Witness
1) Be loving and caring- It was once said that people do not care what you know until they know that you care. It’s important that the Witness senses that you care about him or her as a person. Don’t witness with a chip on your shoulder or to “prove something to them”. God won’t honor it. Ask God to give you a heart for these lost men and women.
2) Be patient- It takes the average person 6 months to a year, or longer, to become a baptized member of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. They have also had years of indoctrination and training. It may take months or years for them to leave. Many Christians go too fast and bombard them with too much material all at once. This has often been called the “flame thrower approach”. It’s best to stick with 1 or 2 subjects per meeting.
3) Pray that God will open their eyes- Salvation is a work of God. Only the omnipotent power of the Holy Spirit can open their eyes and hearts to understand spiritual truth. Pray that God will be present and active during your encounter (1 Co. 3:6-7; 2 Co. 4:4, 10:4; 2 Tim. 2:24-26).
4) Ask them to “help” you- Witnesses are trained to help people and answer their questions. Ask questions such as, “Can you help me? I have a question about some of the teachings of the Watchtower Society.” By doing this, instead of battling against their training, you will be using their training to your advantage.
5) Control the conversation- The Witness at your door has been trained to be the leader when speaking with prospective converts. Get them to talk about what you want to talk about. Remember, it’s your house. If you let them control the conversation, you won’t get anywhere. This doesn’t mean that you have to do all the talking. Let them talk, listen well, but control the direction of the dialogue into areas that you want them in.
6) Get them in unfamiliar territory- Witnesses are very well equipped to debate on a dozen or so topics. Get them out of their comfort zone. Keep them out! Witnesses will try very hard to get you into their areas of “expertise”. Learn what they are good at discussing and try to avoid those topics. Get them to discuss subjects that they are not well trained in.
7) Focus the conversation on the Watchtower organization- The goal of your witnessing encounter is to get them to question the authority of the organization that dominates them. A Jehovah’s Witness will stand or fall based on his view of the Watchtower Society. Since Jehovah’s Witnesses are convinced that the Watchtower is God’s only channel of communication today, succeeding in undermining the Watchtower’s authority status will be a major victory. See What’s the Problem, Anyway!, for some ways to do this.
8) Be well prepared- Remember, the Witness at your door has studied and rehearsed his presentation. You might want to ask him to return a week later which will give you time to prepare, pray and ask a mature Christian to be with you upon their arrival.
9) Ask thought provoking questions- A well placed question can go a long way in getting the Jehovah’s Witness to think. The question that you ask is more important than the answer that they give. One great book on this subject is Approaching Jehovah’s Witnesses in Love, by Wilbur Lingle. It contains pages of excellent questions that most Jehovah’s Witnesses never thought about.
10) Present Watchtower literature to them- Other than the bible, this is the only religious material that the Witness will look at. They are warned against reading anything critical of the Watchtower organization. Get your hands on some photocopies of Watchtower publications that will show the Witness that the Society is dishonest and unreliable. Feel free to contact us if you need any material of this nature.
1) Discuss the Trinity, the Deity of Christ, the Immortality of the Soul or Hell- Yes, the Trinity and the fact that Jesus is God are two of the most important doctrines of the Christian faith, but the Witness at your door despises these teachings more than any, and is very well trained on how to refute them. So instead of challenging them with doctrines that they can “refute” in their sleep, learn how to challenge them in areas that they are not well studied in or prepared for.
2) Use the Bible too soon- One reason to avoid the bible initially is that the average Jehovah’s Witness does not believe what the bible says, he believes what the Watchtower Society says it means. He is not open to your “interpretation” of Scripture. In his mind, since you are not a Witness, you can’t possibly have a correct understanding of spiritual truth. The authority of the Watchtower Society must be put into question before he will even begin to believe that there may be a true interpretation of Scripture other than what he has been taught. Secondly, he is a master at “bible ping-pong”. You give him a verse.... he gives you one. You give him another verse.... he gives you another one. You score a couple of points.... he scores a couple of points, but in the end no one wins. Thirdly, the natural man cannot understand the things of the Spirit of God; they are foolishness to him (1 Co. 2:14). The Jehovah’s Witness you are encountering is not born-again. He doesn’t have the Holy Spirit leading him into truth. He can’t understand the deep things of God.
3) Get them to agree with you- The Jehovah’s Witness will never admit to you that he, or the Watchtower is wrong. The goal of your witnessing encounter is to get them to THINK! Plant seeds of doubt.
4) View them as the enemy- Remember who the real enemy is (2 Co. 4:4)! Jesus often spoke harsh words to the religious leaders but had compassion on those who were deceived. The Jehovah’s Witness you are encountering is a victim of deception and false religion. In his mind, he is doing a great work for God. He truly believes that his gospel is the true gospel.
5) Get heated or argue- It’s very easy to get into an argument with a Jehovah’s Witness. Be firm and confident without losing your cool. Keep an attitude of Christian love throughout the encounter. That in itself can be a great witness to them. They are used to Christians slamming the door or arguing with them. We as believers in Jesus Christ can do better than that.
6) Put them down or tell them they’re in a cult- This approach actually works in the Watchtower’s favor. Witnesses are told very early in their involvement with the Society, that people will oppose and ridicule their association with the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Because of this, when you mock them or tell them they’re in a cult, the Watchtower suddenly becomes a prophet in their mind. This approach only assures them all the more that they are in God’s one true organization.
7) Try to teach them- Jehovah’s Witnesses are trained to be the teachers when speaking with prospective converts. They will rarely listen to you if you try to instruct them on spiritual matters. It’s best to tactfully ask them questions in such a way that they think they are teaching you. “Can you help me? I have a question about some of the teachings of the Watchtower”.
8) Give them tracts- Jehovah’s Witnesses are strongly cautioned against reading any religious literature other than the Watchtower’s. They will not read anything critical of their organization.
9) Get into side issues- Christmas, birthdays, holidays, voting, war, saluting the flag and blood transfusions are symptoms of the problem, not the problem. The main problem is the Watchtower’s influence on them. You need to undermine the Watchtower’s claim that they are God’s only channel of communication on earth today. See,
10) Give up- You may be making great progress even though it seems futile. Most Jehovah’s Witnesses are poker-faced. It’s hard to see what’s going on inside of them. They will usually remain calm and collect even when presented with damaging evidence that the Watchtower is dishonest and unreliable. Remember, it took 6 months to a year or longer for them to become a baptized Jehovah’s Witness. It may take years for them to finally come out.
We hope that these guidelines are helpful to you. By personal experience, we know how hard it is to witness to Jehovah’s Witnesses. They seem like they have an answer for everything that you challenge them with. Be content with planting seeds of doubt and letting God give the increase (1 Co. 3:6). If you do the physical work, God will do the Spiritual work.
Please don’t underestimate the power of prayer. It is only through the work of the Holy Spirit that these lost souls will ever come to salvation through faith in Christ. Many Jehovah’s Witnesses make great Christians once they get saved. We know many!!
Tower To Truth Ministries