Why Do Jehovah’s Witnesses Go Door To Door? (Can A Jehovah’s Witness Refuse Going Door To Door?)

In the theology classes I teach, we enjoy exploring different denominations, particularly Jehovah’s Witnesses and their ways of evangelizing.

Having done a robust intensive course on their missionary work and even going on a few rounds with them, I consider myself quite knowledgeable about their door-to-door method of preaching.

Recently, some of my students brought up the topic again. I answered all their questions, but to help them have a future reference, I wrote this article.

It will undoubtedly clear all the mystery around the question: “Why do Jehovah’s Witnesses go door to door?”

Jehovah’s Witnesses go from door to door to spread the word and faith of Jehovah in line with their teachings. According to them, Matthew 10:11-13 calls them to be “publishers” and preach the word from house to house.

Make sure you read this article until the end, as I will take a deep dive into Jehovah’s Witnesses’ culture of preaching from door to door. Let’s get started.

Do Jehovah’s Witnesses Still Go Door To Door?

Yes, they do. Although factors such as the recent Covid 19 pandemic slowed down Jehovah’s Witnesses endeavors in many countries like the United States, they have resumed door-knocking.

However, going door to door is difficult sometimes because they are met with hostility, which is a safety concern.

To combat this, some Jehovah’s Witness communities have adopted less conventional means like making phone calls, sending emails, information marches, postal mail, and evangelizing in public spaces.

What Is The Point Of Jehovah’s Witnesses Going Door To Door?

Jehovah’s Witnesses go door to door because they believe they are exercising the principles taught in Matthew 10:7 and Matthew 10:11-13 where Jesus Christ told his apostles to go out and preach the Gospel from house to house: “Whatever town or village you enter, search there for some worthy person and stay at their house until you leave. As you enter the home, give it your greeting. If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you.”

This denomination takes the Scripture literally and believes its members should follow in the early Christians’ evangelism footsteps to draw people to the faith.

Can A Jehovah’s Witness Refuse To Go Door To Door?

Why Do Jehovah’s Witnesses Go Door To Door?
Can A Jehovah’s Witness Refuse To Go Door To Door? Image source: Pixabay

It is generally believed that refusing to participate is not acceptable. Many members and elders of the Jehovah’s Witness denomination teach that they are all called to become living witnesses for Jehovah and participate in evangelism work.

Andrew Holden, author of Jehovah’s Witnesses: Portrait of a Contemporary Religious Movement, explains that Witnesses are under obligation to act as “publishers” and regularly take part in organized preaching work, including going from door to door.

In the Watchtower book Organized to Accomplish Our Ministry, children are also meant to accompany their parents.

What Are The Consequences For Jehovah’s Witnesses Who Don’t Do Their Door-To-Door Preaching Work?

Laxity in the door-to-door preaching can result in one being rendered an irregular publisher if you do not report for a month and an inactive publisher if it has been over six months.

It is suggested by Jehovah’s Witness religious organization, the Watchtower Society, that evangelism and public preaching are central to the faith and essential for all members.

In the article, Preaching in a Lawless Land, the leaders state that proclaiming the Good News of Jehovah and the Kingdom is needed for one to maintain salvation; therefore, consequences are meted out for noncompliance.

Can You Refuse A Jehovah’s Witness Who Came To Your Door To Preach?

While Jehovah’s Witnesses are unrelenting in their missionary work, people still have a choice.

Witnesses believe that eternal life is promised by Jehovah to all who obey his commands, so they wish to share their faith with others, hoping they, too, can see God’s grace as noted in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

However, individual autonomy is still respected.

Homeowners who feel harassed by door-to-door Jehovah’s Witnesses can employ different tactics, such as putting up signs, not answering the door, and remaining silent during their preaching.

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