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Discussion in 'Forum for Polls' started by Joe, Jun 1, 2008.
Does your church organize groups to go door knocking (witnessing) in neighborhoods?
Yes, we go door-to-door three times a week.
The Ladies Group (Caring Hearts) go on Saturday.
The Teens go on Thursday nights.
The Men's Group go on Tuesday nights.
Students from the seminary (Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary) come through the neighborhood from time to time (I live about a mile from campus), but they like to ring the bell, pause for about three seconds (literally) and go to the next house. About a month ago, I was home early from work (about 4 p.m.) and I heard the doorbell right. I was loading clothes into the washer, so it took me about 30 seconds to get to the door. By that time, they had already crossed the streets, rung the neighbors bell and were walking away from it to the next home. I stood outside my door and waved at them, but they saw me, turned away and hurried down the street. A neighbor a couple of houses down actually caught them (opened her door immediately) and they stammered through a very short conversation with both young men looking like they had someplace to be. It was rather comical, except for the fact that the two young men obviously didn't actually want to talk to people, yet they were going door-to-door. I've heard that Southwestern requires seminarians to go door-to-door, although I don't know if that is actually true. It seems clear that they picked 3:30-4:00 p.m. to go through the neighborhood, since most people will not be home, or will be busy with the children coming home from school.
Wouldn't it be better if:
(1) They were motivated by joy and compassion, and actually wanted to share their lives with others who were different from them?
(2) They invested their lives building trusting relationships with people instead of being strangers, trying to introduce another stranger (Jesus) to someone they have never met (random person who answered the door) using a sales presentation lifted straight from the heyday of 1950s door-to-door salespeople?
Now I'm not bashing door-to-door witnessers... I've done it many times over the years. But through my experience with it in urban areas of Texas, I am convinced that it is relatively ineffective. Our congregation instead hosts community "thank you" parties in our church parking lot, thanking the neighborhood for putting up with cars parked curbside up-and-down the streets when we have a large crowd in Sunday morning. We set up a carnival atmosphere of games (all free) and refreshments (almost completely free - charging $.10 for sodas or candy keeps the little ones from overindulging without their parent's permission) and built relationships and foster goodwill. The week before the events, church members go door-to-door with flyers, informing everyone of the party. Often, conversations begin because they know we are not trying to strong-arm them into conversion, but are sharing of ourselves because we care about the people who live nearby. Our children's ministry has grown as a result of these activities and we have had the opportunity to witness a number of local residents come to faith.
We do this twice a year in addition to door-to-door knocking and our bus ministry.
We used too, we have covered the whole town this way. But fact is, it doesn't work, at least here it doesn't. We visited hundreds of homes, most went to church, none ever visited church, and of course, there was not one salvation. It is not the way God chose to work here in our town.
We don't as far as I know. It's generally associated with Jehovah's Witnesses here and that's not a good image. But I/we have done some leaflets for Christmas services, that's about it.
I'm not sure if any groups from my church go knocking on doors randomly in a neighborhood, but I haven't done it myself in a lot of years, and I don't think I intend to do it that way again. It's not that I can't take a door being slammed in my face, or being looked at with suspicion or worry (as if I'm 'undercover' about something). But as the years go by, I just have a more negative opinon of people who solicit, by knocking on my door or by 'coldcalling' on the phone, and I don't react very well to it any more. So if it's between doing something to spread the gospel and doing unto others as....., I opt for the latter and seek some other way to share the good news without being personally imposing.
Same here, when we knock on someones door they think it is the JW's. Which is probably why knocking on doors here doesn't work.
I am glad to be out on the street -
Acts 20:17 - And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church.
Act 20:18 - And when they were come to him, he said unto them, Ye know, from the first day that I came into Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons,
Act 20:19 - Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews:
Act 20:20 - [And] how I kept back nothing that was profitable [unto you], but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house,
Act 20:21 - Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.
Some people often think that we are JW's as well but that only gives us the opportunity to show that person the difference in what we believe and why, but also we have had the opportunity to witness to the JW's and the Mormons by going house to house.
My sentiments exactly..
Where we live relational evangelism works much better than pretending to be JWS or MOrmons... or what it really is.. Salesmen.
I won't talk to anyone who cold calls on me at my house, why should I expect others to talk to me if I went to them?...
Everyone has enough unsaved friends to witness to, and if you don't have any friends that are unsaved... get some new friends!
If everyone in church would evangelize and disciple just one person this yr, the church would double in size! Just ONE person...
So pick ONE out.. get to know them... build a relationship with them, and share Jesus with them.. not the Jesus of the Evangelism Explosion salespitch, but the real Jesus.. the one living inside you... The one you know personally.. .allow your lost friends to SEE this Jesus through you... Talk to them about what Jesus has done for you... and then show them how they can have a personal saving relationship with Jesus...
Once they understand they NEED Him... they will come to him.
Be there to introduce your friends to your best friend...Jesus.
I grew up in churches that promoted "soul winning" in a way that was competitive... actually it was the Hyles way...
On Sundays, the preacher would try to make everyone feel guilty enough to show up on Tuesday evenings... and if you didn't show up, the preacher, the next Sunday, would say stuff like, "Well, only 9 people showed up for soul winning last Tuesday, and 3 of them were the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost! So I guess no one wants to see people go to Heaven!" Then he would preach on the evils of something or other....
If you did show up.. here is what would happen...
Say 10 people showed up... they would be teamed up by gender.. .in groups of 2 each... (after being drugged up by our favorite drug of choice... Caffeine)
OUr group would take a route, and off we would go.. Bibles under our arms, ready to "Save-uh" someone!
There were times people would let us in the house, and a good night, would be seeing 3-5 people saved...
We would then meet back at the church's fellowship hall to have snacks... (cookies and coffee) Everyone would compare notes, and talk about our experiences...
Then the discussion would always turn to the "uncommitted" church members that didn't show up that night... And how we would wish everyone in church was as serious about Jesus as we were...
Looking back, we were nothing more than hypocrites, playing the soul winning game. I refuse to play that game again!
I have seen times where 5 groups won 20 souls... (funny thing was, they never showed up to church the next Sunday) But hey, we were the Godly people... we won their souls!
OK, rant over... I have seen my share of door to door salesmans selling Christianity via the Roman's Road... for free...
Most always feel they are better than the ones they are visiting...
And better than other Christians in their church...
No Thanks... I will share my faith with the people day by day... and in a way that is not contrived to make me feel prideful.
The last time we did it we walked up to a house that had a large bay window that looked into the den with no drapes. The front door was just about 2 feet from the window. As we approached the door the amorous couple of the house were on the sofa. We turned and walked quickly back to the car.
I had been an advocate of scheduled visits from then own. If we are going to work a certain area we look up the addresses and mail out fliers that explain and introduce our Church plus the Church's email and phone number. This lets them know that we will be visiting that area. We ask for a return call or email if they would like to schedule a visit from the Pastor and his wife. If no response is heard then we do not visit. We will do this over and over. Most often they show up at Church services and then they initiate the visit.
That's a genius of an idea! Thanks.
I hope the outreach works for you Tim.
God Bless, brother.
I don't like it when people I don't know show up on my doorstep trying to sell me something, and I don't want to impose myself or the church on them.
We go and greet those who are new in the neighborhood.
We encourage our members to meet their neighbors and invite them.
We follow up on all who visit our church with a personal visit after calling beforehand to make an appointment (and we get quite a few visitors).
But we don't go door to door, and we're not going to start.
Here too, door to door is usually associated with JWs not Christians. In our environment, relational evangelism works much better.
At one time, our church used the EE material -- but that was only in follow up to those who had visited our church.
The gospel blessed in every method of spreading it; however, times change, and so does society. It is no longer well-favored to go to others' houses unsolicited in some areas (in my neighborhood, everyone is freindly and fairly open).
I believe that if you will study the customs and accounts of the apostles, you will find not only that their 'house to house visitation' was by invitaition (if not by virtue of the fact that the churches met in the members' houses), but also that their 'street preaching' was often in the marketplace where all other vendors were yelling at passers-by as well, or in the temple, where people gathered to hear the scripture anyway.
What I'm trying to say is that I am wary of methods that tend to be somewhat obnoxious to the public, as opposed to interesting or even attractive. Sometimes they are promoted as a requirement for spirituality, while I know that many preachers of the past had no such custom.
I feel that the best way to spread the gospel is to continually talk to friends, neighbors, and coworkers (with whom you have a relationship) and live a life of impeccable testimony. This, along with being sensitive to the Spirit's leading in all conversations with people makes for a 'light that so shines' in the darkness of the world.