According to the 2008 Yearbook of Canadian and American Churches, produced by the New York-based National Council of Churches, the Jehovah’s Witnesses are the fastest-growing church body in America and Canada. The Jehovah’s Witnesses only ranked 24th out of the 25 largest religious bodies, but they boasted the highest growth rate at 2.25 percent.
How are they growing so rapidly? Just ask any homeowner and they should be able to answer that question, because along with the children selling cookies, politicians calling for your support and the occasional door-to-door salesman are the evangelical Jehovah’s Witnesses. In 1999 alone this religious group spent 1.1 billion man hours distributing materials promoting their own doctrines and beliefs, and they accomplished this going door-to-door.
You may also be thinking of another religious group who attempts to proselytize in this same way only they wear clean white shirts with straight black ties and individual name tags. Perhaps, I will discuss them in another post. In the meantime, I want to ask a few questions of you who are truly regenerate (Born again) in relation to evangelistic fervor shown by this group of people. I also want to propose a few steps to actually sharing the gospel with these traveling missionaries when they do happen to knock on your door.
First, why are these people so willing to sacrifice their time and resources to tell you what they believe? It would appear that they do this because they truly believe it.
Second, how many of us are willing to make similar sacrifices to share the true Biblical Gospel of Jesus, the Son of God, who died to ransom sinners? Do not make the mistake of thinking that Jehovah’s Witnesses are sharing the same gospel as those who are Biblical Christians. Jehovah’s Witnesses set forth a different gospel, a different God, a different Jesus, a different faith altogether.
So what should we do when they come to our front door? Here are a few suggestions…
- Invite them in…no really invite them in and be as hospitable as Christ would command you to be. These people have shown a commendable love for you and me by being willing to stand in our front doors to tell us what they believe to be good news. Think how it will not glorify God for you to say, “Well I am a Christian and you need to take your pamphlets elsewhere!” as you slam the door.
- Serve them if possible. Imagine the shock on the disciple’s faces when Jesus stripped away his outer garments and girt himself with a towel to wash their feet. We display Christ likeness when we do such service to those who are less then on our side.
- Listen to them carefully and respond appropriately to their teachings. This religious group was started on the premise that all other faiths were totally apostate. Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that they are the ones who know the true God and have true faith. But, rather than dismissing their ideas as foolish, respond to them with truth. When they tell you that Jesus is a lesser God than the Father, take them to John 1 and discuss the incarnation. Take them to Philippians 2:5-9 or Colossians 1:15-20 and walk through the Word explaining the reality of Christ’s full deity and oneness with the Father.
- Share the true gospel of peace to be found in the knowledge of Christ as Savior and Lord. “Faith comes by hearing…the Word of Christ (Rom 10:17”
- Ask to pray for them. Pray aloud that God would grant them to “see the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ (II Cor 4:6).”
- Invite them to your church that preaches and believes the Bible is the all-sufficient revelation of God. And if this is not a good description of your church then either begin a work of reform by the power of God or find a Bible preaching church.
This by no means an exhaustive list but I hope it helps to encourage you to be salt and light to a dark and dying world.