WHEN in the city of Athens, the apostle Paul went every day to the marketplace to preach the good news about Jesus. (Acts 17:17) Paul chose the marketplace because that was the center of Athenian life.
Almost 2,000 years later, Jehovah’s people still use the marketplace to spread the message of God’s Kingdom. Why? Because many people can be found there. Today, the marketplace may be a shopping center or a mall. After having obtained permission from the manager or owner, some Witnesses have used a table or a booth for displaying Bible literature.
For example, at a shopping mall in New Jersey, U.S.A., an attractive display of literature was arranged on the theme “Maintaining Family Values—How?” The result? In one day, 153 books in six languages were placed.
One woman who approached the literature booth listened attentively to the explanation given by one of the Witnesses. The woman agreed that it is important to have God in our life and in our family. She obtained the following publications: Learn From the Great Teacher, The Secret of Family Happiness, and Questions Young People Ask—Answers That Work.
In the early afternoon, a man passed by the display of literature as he was about to enter the store next to it. His eyes were drawn to the Young People Ask book. The sister standing in the booth noticed a curious look on his face. She asked him, “Is there a book that interests you?” He nodded and pointed to the Young People Ask book. She handed him the book, which he was already reaching for. He said that he has three children. As the conversation continued, he mentioned that he has discussions with them once a week. His two oldest children are teenagers. While scanning the book, he said that he could very easily use it as a guide for some of their family discussions. The publisher also directed his attention to The Secret of Family Happiness, assuring him that he and his wife would find some very helpful advice on making family decisions. The man was grateful for the suggestion, made a donation, and accepted the offer to have someone visit them.
How did the Witnesses feel about their day of witnessing in the mall? “I personally enjoyed this avenue of preaching,” said one sister. “What an experience it was for me!” Another sister said: “Jehovah says that the good news will be preached to the most distant part of the earth. Today, in Paramus, New Jersey, this good news touched people of different languages. It was wonderful to be a part of this arrangement. Everyone who participated in it was happy. None of us wanted to leave at the end of the day.”
Can you expand the ways in which you preach the good news? Our primary method is that of going from house to house. (Acts 20:20) However, would you consider witnessing in the marketplace or in the mall?