Missing that knock on your door? Jehovah’s Witnesses are too
The Jehovah’s Witnesses community is known for its door-to-door outreach but have you noticed that there hasn’t been an unexpected knock at your door on a Saturday afternoon in a while?
Like religious organisations the world over, its members have had to pivot in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
What they have missed most is the opportunity “to build lasting relationships with others”, said Alexander Mosley, the local media contact for the organisation.
“Physically not being out in the community and helping people in person is certainly something that we miss,” he said. “We found a lot of joy meeting people face-to-face and seeing their reactions to our message, physically assisting [people] with tasks they may have needed for themselves or their families, and even returning to visit ones that have shown interest in the Bible.”
However, having to switch their focus to different forms of outreach has provided other benefits.
Said Mr Mosley: “We decided to shift our ministry to telephone witnessing and letter writing primarily. This has also proved to be fruitful as we have had an increase of fellow believers participating in our efforts to provide comfort through the scriptures during these challenging times.”
The change in outreach has also meant that Witnesses have not been able to distribute physical copies of their magazine, TheWatchtower. Instead they are sharing it electronically, in more than 300 languages online.
It has been nearly a year since Bermuda’s faith community unexpectedly shifted to virtual fellowship. While some church denominations resumed in person services briefly during the summer the local Jehovah’s Witnesses community continued with virtual services, uncertain how the coronavirus pandemic would play out.
“All meetings are virtual now, so we no longer meet in a physical building,” Mr Mosley said. “This has actually allowed us to have even more participants at our meetings as many can join from the comforts of their homes and not have to worry about their safety.”
The Jehovah’s Witnesses community base their ministry on Matthew 28: 19-20, where Jesus instructs his disciples to make disciples of people of all the nations. Witnesses model their outreach after this instruction and the example of first century Christians.
“We certainly hope that for everyone we are able to get back to normal as we were before Covid-19, but currently we are focusing on what we can do now in reaching the hearts and minds of those wanting to study the Bible and provide comfort in these times of need as best we can,” Mr Mosley added.
For more information on the Jehovah’s Witnesses community in Bermuda, or to gain access to virtual materials and meetings, visit jw.org