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That welcome knock on the door…
Jehovah’s Witnesses resumed their trademark door-to-door ministry on September 1 when a two-and-a-half-year suspension of the work was officially lifted, just in time to begin a global campaign featuring a new interactive Bible study program.
The decision to resume their door-to-door ministry marks the complete restoration of all pre-pandemic, in-person activities for the 1.3 million Jehovah’s Witnesses in the 13,000 congregations in the United States. Houses of worship (called Kingdom Halls) were reopened April 1; witnessing in public places resumed May 31; and in-person conventions are once again being planned for 2023.
“I am ecstatic to return to the door-to-door ministry,” said Devine resident Nora Smith, who is looking forward to returning to the form of public ministry that Jehovah’s Witnesses are known for around the world. “It brings us joy to speak with our neighbors face-to-face.”
The suspension of the public ministry was a proactive response by the organization to keep communities and congregants safe, according to the organization. The move was also unprecedented. Jehovah’s Witnesses had been preaching from house to house without interruption for more than 100 years — through an economic depression, two world wars, and global unrest. But COVID-19 demanded a different response.
“We believe that the early decision to shut down all in-person activities for more than two years has saved many lives,” said Robert Hendriks, US spokesperson for Jehovah’s Witnesses. “We’re now ready and eager to reconnect with our neighbors once again — person-to-person, face-to-face. It’s not the only way that we preach, but it has historically been the most effective way to deliver our message of comfort and hope.”
The move coincides with a global campaign to distribute a new interactive Bible study program available in hundreds of languages at no cost. The program comes in the form of a book, online publication, or as an embedded feature within the organization’s free mobile application, JW Library. Released in late 2020, the interactive study platform combines text, videos, illustrations, and digital worksheets to help learners of all ages.
“This new study program is designed to match the learning needs of the 21st-century student,” Hendriks said. “We’re excited to begin sharing it with our neighbors as we return to making personal visits.”
The pandemic forced Jehovah’s Witnesses to pivot quickly to virtual meetings and conventions while conducting their ministry exclusively through letters, phone calls, and virtual Bible studies. This has led to growth in meeting attendance and the number of congregants, with more than 400,000 newly baptized Witnesses joining the ranks of 120,000 congregations globally in just the first two years of the pandemic, the organization reported last week.
For more information about Jehovah’s Witnesses, their history, beliefs, and activities, visit their official website, jw.org, with content available in more than 1,000 languages.