Sunday, August 30th, 2009
"Search out who in [a city or village] is deserving." (Matthew 10:11)
The perfect man Jesus had discernment that enabled him to identify those who deserved to be taught. We find it much more of a challenge to locate those “rightly disposed for everlasting life.” (Acts 13:48) Like Jesus’ apostles, we must search for people who are willing to listen and to be taught Scriptural truth. We can find deserving ones by listening carefully to one person after another, taking note of the attitude of each individual. After leaving a person who has shown some interest in the Kingdom message, you will do well to continue thinking about his spiritual needs. If you write down what you have learned after conversing with someone about the good news, this will help you to keep on assisting the person spiritually. During return visits, you need to listen carefully if you are to learn more about the individual’s beliefs, attitude, or circumstances.
(Watchtower issue: 11/15/07, 2:11, 12)
*Taking a personal interest in others is always important, because you can tell when someone is genuinely interested in you -vs- being phoney and insincere. In fact, I was impressed by how Sister Tomiyasu (during Br Tomiyasu's first circuit overseer visit to our congregation) actually carried a notebook with her, so that she could write down the names of the members of the congregation as she was introduced to them, and also a brief description of their appearance, so that she would be able to place names with faces later on, (since being in the traveling work requires getting to know lots of new people in only brief increments).
But aside from learning about the personal interests of specific individuals, it's also important to learn about a person's culture and social backround as well (especially since there can be such a wide variety of customs and social manners which are considered 'PC' in a particular area of the world) which makes attentive listening skills even more valuable in the ministry. I'm gonna post some extra info along with the yearbook experience today, about how the missionaries in Samoa needed to not only learn the language, but needed to become familiar with the local customs of the Samoan people...and some of the humorous 'blunders' they experienced while trying to adapt. =)