If you’re an outsider considering attending a Jehovah’s Witness convention or assembly, consider the following.
1. Know that you will be welcome. As long as you aren’t disruptive, they’re glad to have you there. During the breaks they will be asking you what you think about the teaching, or whether you’re enjoying it. When they do, that’s when I say, “I’m glad I came, but I have a question.” I then ask one of my talking-point questions (see my previous posts).
2. They will know that you are an outsider visiting. Trust me, they will know. They can pick you out of the crowd. Don’t try to look like them, because something will give you away, and then they will see you as a deceptive, antagonistic spy. It’s better if they see you as a non-threatening, interested student of the Bible.
3. If they ask who you’re studying with, it means they’re trying to determine how much, if any, “accurate knowledge,” (indoctrination) you have been receiving. I have found the best answer to be “I have studied the Bible a little bit with my friend Mark,” or “I have been studying the Bible a lot on my own, and I have been reading a lot at jw.org.”
4. Don’t have as your purpose to “stump the JW.” You’re not there to win arguments. If you’re argumentative, before too long they will all avoid you and not even acknowledge your presence. I see this in many youtube videos of people arguing with JW’s at conventions. You’re there to share the truth of God’s word (especially things they have never noticed before), your testimony of Jehovah’s work in your life, and things that make them think rather than react.
5. You will be bored with the teaching sessions. Bored perhaps more than you have ever been bored with anything before. Seriously. Bored. Because they’re boring, to the point of making you think, “Really?” I can usually put up with only one day of a convention. But you must endure through at least a day, because it will give you some good talking points to use between sessions and during lunch. Example: “I have a question about something the last speaker said . . .”
6. Traveling with JW’s to and from the convention is a good practice. Try to ride along with someone, or offer to drive a group of them. Car time provides for great discussions. I once had a group of 5 guys discussing with me about the great crowd and the covenants for an hour and a half on the way home. It’s the only time you will actually hope for bad traffic.
7. Have fun! Chat, joke, and laugh with them. Be a friend. Share your cookies at lunchtime. Relax and let God lead you with His Holy Spirit. If you get stumped, just go back to your testimony, or something like “I just love Jesus, and I’m so excited about what he has done for me. Jehovah has adopted me as his son!”