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One Fine Day in the Ministry Just Across the Road


TrueTomHarley

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In field service I found myself working directly across the road from the Assembly Hall during an assembly. What are the chances?

Now, I am always on the lookout for something quirky to say so as the break the ice. An idea occurred to me as I approached a man in his garage. I thumbed behind me and said: “Man, the talks are so boring in there I just had to take a break and come talk to you - you know how religion is!”

Of course, I didn’t leave it there. I registered the impression made and soon added that I just threw that in for his sake – I didn’t really believe it. Though in SOME cases…. Well, no – not usually in the Assembly Hall. It can be the case in a Kingdom Hall, but not usually at the larger gatherings and practically never at the Regionals.

There is a chance – one must always consider – that a householder will quickly close the door and thereafter repeat to others your final and only words – “he said his meetings are dull.” No matter. This fellow will say bad things about us, anyway. Might as well give him an accurate statement to relate.

It is the season of the Memorial invitations, which are very brief. Big event – we’re inviting people – Memorial of Christ’s death – we do it every year. In closing I mention I have a cool video that explains everything in just over a minute, or I can explain it myself and that will take 45 minutes and which works best for him? But I don’t twist arms and it is always clear there is a third option, to pass on both, which most people take.

Our Assembly Hall is unusual in that it is on a residential road, which has only become more so since we built it. Moreover, though it is a network of roads, it is essentially a cul-de-sac. So there has long been a certain tension simply because of the traffic generated.

To several I explained before I left: “Actually, just so you know – I really do go there, and – it is a standard announcement at every meeting that “we have neighbors and they have kids, so make sure to observe the 30MPH speed limit” so whatever speeders there are are the neighbors and not us. One woman was very gracious and said ‘I’m sure that’s true.’

They are only going to get more neighbors. At the end of their cul-de-sac network is a new tract of over 100 homes being built. That is in addition to the Ryan homes on the right before one reaches the Assembly Hall. That was cornfield when we moved in, and later we found out that Kodak bought it as a buffer to their property so we thought we would never see anything but corn or landscaping.

We turned out to be false prophets on that one, didn’t we?

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I'm not into the videos. But I love to talk to people, and I'll take any excuse. I can't do quirky, of course, because a few of the friends know that I'm not in full agreement with some of the less im

You have no idea how avant garde I am about counting hours. It is almost to the point that if I say my goal was 30 or 50, I write down that figure at the end of the month, and I mentally review my act

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On 3/19/2018 at 10:42 PM, TrueTomHarley said:

It is the season of the Memorial invitations, which are very brief. Big event – we’re inviting people – Memorial of Christ’s death – we do it every year. In closing I mention I have a cool video that explains everything in just over a minute, or I can explain it myself and that will take 45 minutes and which works best for him? But I don’t twist arms and it is always clear there is a third option, to pass on both, which most people take.

I'm not into the videos. But I love to talk to people, and I'll take any excuse. I can't do quirky, of course, because a few of the friends know that I'm not in full agreement with some of the less important* doctrines, and therefore a chance report that I'm being flippant in service wouldn't be good. (*Less important to me, I mean, as they might be plenty important to others.) I always try to play to our strengths, such as getting their opinion on why, in general, any Christian might be outside talking about their religion in the first place -- and then moving on to our specific reason for being out this time. If people sense you like what you are doing they are more willing to engage in a natural way. I'm retired and therefore more relaxed, but that isn't really it. I don't ask for commitments of any kind, but always let them know that a lot of people have questions about what Jehovah's Witnesses believe and that we are always willing to spend time and even sit down and explain our beliefs in detail with anyone who has questions, and I let them know that I'd listen to their ideas, too. At least indirectly, everyone gets offered a home Bible study. It was kind of a cheat, but I learned very early on in my pre-Bethel days of regular pioneering that you get in your hours a lot easier with 10 to 12 Bible studies a month. 

Of course, this month, I've been out with Witnesses (most of them auxiliary pioneers) who struggle even to get to their 30-hour goal. Two or three good Bible students would make it impossible NOT to get 30 hours. (For those who don't know it, 30 is the goal for auxiliary pioneers during the Memorial month, and the month of a Circuit Overseer visit, too.)

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6 minutes ago, JW Insider said:

Of course, this month, I've been out with Witnesses (most of them auxiliary pioneers) who struggle even to get to their 30 hours goal. Two or three good Bible students would make it impossible NOT to get 30 hours.

You have no idea how avant garde I am about counting hours. It is almost to the point that if I say my goal was 30 or 50, I write down that figure at the end of the month, and I mentally review my activity - if I have any sense of 'cheating' on the figures, I don't do it again. I witness routinely in a crazy variety of times, places, and methods, and if I have to track everything it will drive me nuts.

My sense is that things will go this way eventually. We all know situations where it seems someone is overly concerned about hours, or where 'hours' can actually interfere with a productive ministry, as you just mentioned, or steering people away from productive times just because you can't accumulate too many hours there. 

It gets silly. It is not a bad idea, for it does make possible an overall cumulative report, which is a good thing, but if people start to obsess over time - how does that help anything. My report is .00000000001% (or so) of the total. If I deliberately lied through my teeth, it would not register. 

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I have been thinking of getting a prominent  artificial strap-on "hunch" for one of my shoulders ...oh ... something about the size of a small watermelon, and getting a custom made, tailored suit to fit.

Then, when the Brothers ask me about it, I would shrug my hunch and mention that the Dry Cleaners lost my three Superman suits.

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