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TrueTomHarley

How the New European Data Law Will Affect Jehovah’s Witnesses - My Take

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Another JW comparing the JW Org to the 'rest of the world'. Oh dear. 

Living in my house is much better than living in a sewer you know. :) 

That is the comparison these people are using.

If Tom wants to quote Forrest Gump so be it.  Quite funny this 'being no part of the world' but quoting a worldly film. 

Oh by the way Tom, whilst you are saying that your wife or friend helped a 16 year old, I'd like to remind you that lots of teenagers are desperate to leave the JW Org and many have already left it. 

And can you be sure that the message you offer today will be the same message you offer next week, or will the GB / writing dept have changed the meaning of scriptures again :) 

 

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The suggestion to lead with a scripture is not something original on my part. From time to time it has been suggested by the theocratic organization. I have run with it as a staple more than is usually emphasized, but the idea is not mine. I mean, how can it be going off on one’s own tangent by leading with a scripture? If one finds that it works well. one tends to do it more and more, and that has been the case with me.

Similarly, 

    Hello guest!
 which leads to the ‘Good News From God’ table of contents & the invitation to the householder to choose any one he/she likes was not my idea at all. That came from the circuit overseer on his last visit. I was at almost every meeting for field service and he worked to make us all familiar with how videos could be used. Not once did he mention the current CLAM presentation of ‘Where are the Dead?’ Was he going off on his own tangent & thinking he knew better than God’s organization? 
    Hello guest!
 and he was putting emphasis on a method that works well.

Q: Recently I went out with one of our elders and was a little disappointed when he was only delivering tracts. He was not trying to initiate conversation at all. 

Q2: Different ones will often fall back on old habits, even bad ones (and even Elders).

Q2, I am going to be very very bold here and suggest that if he is merely offering tracts and making no effort to start conversations it is because he finds the suggested presentations cumbersome and awkward, and he would benefit by trying the scripture-first or the video one. I mean, he is an elder. He wants to be seen taking the lead. Everyone varies the pace and settings vary, as does one’s mood on any given day. Yet limiting one’s ministry to offering tracts with no effort to converse is faithful, but it is not taking the lead, and unless I am very mistaken, his conscience is letting him hear about it (unless he has switched into auto-pilot, turning it off.)

One disadvantage of some of the CLAM presentations is that they require getting one’s head around. They require preparation. One advantage of the scripture-first or the Would You Like to Hear Good News presentation is that they do not—to just read a verse with a sentence or two as to why you chose it is not hard. We all know the experience of working with a new presentation and the first householder or two becomes a lab rat while we work the bugs out. The problem is gone with scripture or video first.

Q3: I also try to talk about something that is interesting to any person, to cite a scripture and direct the person to our website at the end of the presentation

Yes. Whatever works. By all means give the suggested presentations a try, even a workout if you like, but don’t feel that they must be adhered to in order to be following Jehovah’s direction. 

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8 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:

Q: Recently I went out with one of our elders and was a little disappointed when he was only delivering tracts. He was not trying to initiate conversation at all. 

Q2: Different ones will often fall back on old habits, even bad ones (and even Elders).

Q2, I am going to be very very bold here and suggest that if he is merely offering tracts and making no effort to start conversations it is because he finds the suggested presentations cumbersome and awkward, and he would benefit by trying the scripture-first or the video one. I mean, he is an elder. He wants to be seen taking the lead. Everyone varies the pace and settings vary, as does one’s mood on any given day. Yet limiting one’s ministry to offering tracts with no effort to converse is faithful, but it is not taking the lead, and unless I am very mistaken, his conscience is letting him hear about it (unless he has switched into auto-pilot, turning it off.)

Truly disappointing, but maybe he (the elder) is normally very good, but was trying very hard to not make (you or whoever it was) intimidated or feel uncomfortable because of his status. You never know.  The person should work with him another time and see what happens. It is best not to form an opinion on the first instance. 

The organization has always said that if your presentation works for you, continue it.  There are so many suggested presentations that it is hard to remember them all.  But I always endeavour to try them.   Most are practical and well thought out.  But I like my presentations the best. When the presentation is truly you own, it comes alive. When one has enthusiasm and uses practical illustrations and one speaks from the heart the person is spellbound and listens well.   Last Wednesday I found myself saying to a sister, who just joined our congregation, on approaching an elderly lady:  "No don't offer the new copy, offer this one (the one on "Will we Ever Feel Safe?"), the old lady's face lit up when she saw the magazine.  (We were offering it for two months and she did not get  a copy) Then again I got the urge to tell the sister, no don't use that scripture, use this.  Micah 4:3,4.   The lady's face lit up again.  (The sister is a very good reader, you should have heard her read it.) I don't know why I did it, I don't usually do it. But it worked.  We had a good chat and the lady sent love to another Witness who is known to her.  I plan to remind the sister to go back to the lady and will go with her if she wants.  We have all ammunition in our bags, magazines of all subjects, tracts, videos, etc.  But I think we are the ones that make the presentations successful, because we can light up the day for people by our zeal and conviction, enthusiasm, our loving interest, etc.  Imagine Jesus giving the sermon on the Mount. He was not dead pan or robot--like. 

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16 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:

Q: Recently I went out with one of our elders and was a little disappointed when he was only delivering tracts.

I suppose most of us feel that we want to make some sort of impression when we witness to people. I don't mean "impress" in the sense of "bigging ourselves up" (although, sadly, maybe some seek to do this), more in the sense that we want them to take note of what we are sharing with them.

We do actually care about the people we talk to and the fact that the way of life we recommend  will bring them immediate benefits, let alone the promises for the future. I currently study with a former heroin user. They are almost clear of drug dependency now, on a managed program, and this will be completed by the end of summer. This is completely due to motivation from Jehovah, provided through the Bible Study program, and in the year's duration of the study there have been no relapses to the amazement of support workers. Tobacco, cannabis, and other substance abuse have also been left behind. To see the tangible benefits enjoyed by this person physically, mentally, and spiritually as they get their life back is a real joy.

So it does not matter what method or media is used to bring a person into contact with Jehovah and the healing power of his spirit as expressed through his living word. (Heb.4:12). "True worshippers will worship the Father with spirit and truth". Remember, "the Father is looking for such like ones to worship him".John 4:24. 

Don't underestimate the power of a tract to spark a fire in an honest heart that cannot be put out . (Compare James 3:5:  "See how small a fire it takes to set a great forest ablaze"). My first encounter with Jehovah's Witnesses was by means of a tract that got into my house. It escaped my mother's predatory Roman Catholic surveilance of all things sans Imprimatur and fell into my curious hands. The information it presented piqued my curiosity for the next 12 years until I finally sourced a contact with those who had produced it. Oh yes, it may fall into the category of literature that now embarasses the likes of John Butler, but for me it was the key to a better life with immediate benefits, and a future hope. Here is an extract from the tract. What intrigued me most was who on earth were these sheep that Jesus died for, and what was the creature in the tree with Adam and Eve?

From the day I got that tract, I registered every media mention (and otherwise) of Jehovah's Witnesses, but I never met one until finally I sought them out over 12 years later.

I was 8 years old when I got that first tract. 

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16 hours ago, Outta Here said:

Don't underestimate the power of a tract to spark a fire in an honest heart that cannot be put out .

I don’t like the present series of tracts, but that does not mean that they are no good. I am very far from being typical. Nobody on this forum that claims to be a Witness is typical. I’m just carrying on some because I would love to see the ministry more fruitful that what it seems to me to be.

I and many others here write more in a day that most people write in a month. So I can hardly expect the tracts to cater to me. The last CO cited figures from somewhere that the average youngster today spends 7 minutes with print (as opposed to 10 hours or so on some form of screen time) Going simple is obviously the way to go. The fact that I do not like it does not mean that it is not just the ticket for reaching the majority. Education is usually a last-place priority in today’s world. 1/6 of the world’s population cannot read. Most people barely know that these persons exist, and count them as nothing. Watchtower produces simplified versions of material already written simple so as to reach them. 

I defend the use of (vastly) simplified writing, even as I do not personally like it. “They can learn to read a few grade levels beneath them, if they are not too full of themselves,” is a line I put somewhere. I’ve learned to work around what is unpalatable to me, telling the high-brow people to consider this or that bit of writing as an outline, nothing more. Or telling them to not worry about whether this or that in the Bible is literal, but instead to take it as a metaphor and see if they can discern the underlying meaning of it. Mathematicians do something similar all the time: assume that this or that condition is true just to see where that assumption leads them. If it proves fruitful, then they come back and reconsider any initial objection to it.

Just after 911, when people were unusually subdued, I grabbed that tract ‘Who Really Rules the World’ and had several good discussions with it. I’ve always liked Luke 4 for its clear explanation of Jesus declining Satan’s offer of gov’t control but acquiescing that it lay in his power to make the offer. Yes. There is a place for tracts.

Everyone here beefs about everything under the sun, so I have joined in on what is our main mission—the ministry.  I probably shouldn’t. It really is true that ‘bad association spoils useful habits.’ I’ll put it all on this thread and then do my best to zip it. The Bible is not a template for democracy, with every Tom Dick and Harry telling HQ how it ought to be.

 

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51 minutes ago, TrueTomHarley said:

Watchtower produces simplified versions of material already written simple so as to reach them. 

You wrote interesting things in comment.  

Apologize for my going this way :) but that is what exJW doing as mandatory task :)))

Simplified editions of text in WTJWORG publications is normal result and normal need, not just for poorly educated secular people, but because  WTJWORG advises only few years of standard, basic education for JW members as something that is ALL they need in this World without Future. If this trend of Organization  come to be More Successful in future period of time, they would only have to organizing some simple seminars about how to using smartphones and tablets for meetings and field service with simple cartoons and simplified text for study.    

I see that you not supporting this trend in Organization, but that is how it is :)))

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1 hour ago, TrueTomHarley said:

I don’t like the present series of tracts, but that does not mean that they are no good. I am very far from being typical. 

This is my own personal bitching thread, after which I will get back to my normal supportive self, with only occasional caveats.

What nettles me about the tracts, and many other things, is how we go on and on and on about what a blessing from on high they all are, as though THIS Item is the magic bullet that will turn the preaching work on its head, exactly what is needed at this particular time— and doubtless it will completely energize the work and swarms will thereby be attracted to the truth.

I wish we wouldn’t do that. I wish we would just say “Here’s a new tool. We worked hard on it. Give it a try and see how it works.” I even think that our failure to do it that way is where a lot of the underlying conception that the JW organization is “smug” comes from.

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44 minutes ago, TrueTomHarley said:

This is my own personal bitching thread, after which I will get back to my normal supportive self, with only occasional caveats.

What nettles me about the tracts, and many other things, is how we go on and on and on about what a blessing from on high they all are, as though THIS Item is the magic bullet that will turn the preaching work on its head, exactly what is needed at this particular time— and doubtless it will completely energize the work and swarms will thereby be attracted to the truth.

I wish we wouldn’t do that. I wish we would just say “Here’s a new tool. We worked hard on it. Give it a try and see how it works.” I even think that our failure to do it that way is where a lot of the underlying conception that the JW organization is “smug” comes from.

Well you are all still 'in the wilderness' on manna, but you get bored with it and ask for something different. Hence those you serve give you different things to play with. A bit like parents trying to please their children i suppose :) .

Shame none of it is really the 'truth' that the Org pretends it is.  So not only new tools but new message too.

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