How to Talk with Jehovah’s Witnesses at the Door

On Christmas Eve a pleasant-looking man in a suit with a cute little girl in a pretty dress came up to the door. They were Jehovah’s Witnesses.

My heart raced. I was a little nervous. I was on an important phone call. I had all kinds of preparations for the big dinner that night. I had a lot of reasons to avoid talking with them, but I got off the phone and gave them my attention. Here’s what I did…

How to talk to Jehovah's Witnesses

9 Steps to Answering Jehovah’s Witnesses

  1. I treated them nicely. They are used to having the door slammed in their faces. Rarely does anyone treat a Jehovah’s Witness with respect. Being kind and respectful goes a long way.
  2. I asked how long he had been a Jehovah’s Witness. He said he was brought up in a Jehovah’s Witness family. That tells me he is earnestly and sincerely seeking to please God, but perhaps has never heard the real Gospel and believes only what the organization has taught him. It is possible he has never rejected the truth of the Gospel, because he never knew it.
  3. I politely let him talk and listened intently. I know that Jehovah’s Witnesses are all about “works” in order to please God. They have no assurance that they are right with God through Christ alone, because that is not what they are taught. There is a lingering doubt in their mind about whether they have measured up and done enough things, enough times, and in the right way.
  4. When a good moment came, and the topic of pleasing Jehovah came up, I told them that I too always want to please Jehovah and I too strive to put Him first…that I too tell others the Gospel: the Good News of Jesus Christ. That I too wish to follow Christ’s teachings.
  5. I listened to him talk about their requirements. He asked if he could read a Bible verse. I went and got my own Bible. The Jehovah’s Witness Watchtower Society Bible—the New World Translation– is not true to the original Greek and Hebrew. They have changed a number of key verses to suit their beliefs, so it is important to read the same passage in your Bible.
  6. I asked if he was confident he was 100% pleasing to God. He hesitated and of course said no.jw1
  7. I said that I wasn’t perfect either but that I wasn’t worried about that. I asked him to read John 3:14-17 aloud. I asked “What is required to get eternal life?” (Answer: Just belief.) Then I asked him to look up and read Ephesians 2:8-9 and asked the same question: What is required for salvation? (Again the answer should be faith not works.)
  8. We discussed that these passages say that faith is enough. I agreed with him that good works are important: they are a clue that we have faith. But we cannot do enough good things to become right with God. We would have to be absolutely 100% perfect all the time. Christians have assurance of God’s favor through Jesus’ sacrifice even though we have weaknesses.
  9. They asked if we could talk again. I said yes. We parted with mutual respect and good will. My goal was simply to have him read these passages (maybe for the first time in his life). It will take time for the Holy Spirit to move in his life. My job was to bring the passages to his attention, but it is the Lord’s job to open his heart to the Good News that he can have assurance of salvation.

You can gain confidence in talking with friends, coworkers or neighbors by reading this pamphlet: 10 Keys to Witnessing to the Cults. This pamphlet is also included in the book: Christianity, Cults & Religions, which goes into more details about the differences between Jehovah’s Witness and Christian beliefs. Both of these are also available as downloads for your computer or iPad.

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3 Thoughts on “How to Talk with Jehovah’s Witnesses at the Door

  1. Reblogged this on newhopechurchbookstore and commented:
    I love how Gretchen treated this young man with respect while presenting her beliefs as they differed from his own. It just goes to show that we can have wonderful meaningful conversations with individuals even when we differ on the big issues.

  2. Carol on March 6, 2013 at 3:00 pm said:

    Thank you for the two good Bible passages. These could help anyone!

  3. Kimberly Ruck on April 3, 2011 at 2:50 pm said:

    What an excellent way to respond when the Jehovah’s Witnesses knock on your door!

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