Door to Door Visitation?

Discussion in 'Baptist History' started by Squire Robertsson, Feb 13, 2003.

  1. Squire Robertsson

    Squire Robertsson
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    Aka DtD soulwinning. This is purely a historical question. The purpose of this thread is not the discussion of the propriety of the practice.

    When did the current practice of Door to Door "Visitation/Sulwinning" develop?

    I don't think that it existed in its current form until after WWII. But, that is an unsubstantiated gut feeling.
    [​IMG] Anybody [​IMG] with a firmer grasp of the modern history of this practice?
     
  2. Squire Robertsson

    Squire Robertsson
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    Aww, come on folks, I can't believe nobody has a thought on this question. I ask it because in some quarters DtD (as is practiced today) is viewed has having been around "forever". I sure that it is of relatively recent vintage (but then again so are Sunday Schools, pianos in churchs, ect.)
     
  3. Jeff Weaver

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    Squire

    I suspect your opinion is correct, but I don't have any reference to the practice, so can't comment with anything like real knowledge on the subject.
     
  4. Pastor_Bob

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    Acts 5:42 And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ. (KJV)

    The disciples proclaimed Jesus not only in the public arena, but also in the private. Undeterred by suffering and threats, they still preached the cross in the most public place in Jerusalem, as well as from house to house.

    Mark 6:7 And he called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits; (KJV)

    It is my opinion that after Jesus gave the Great Commission, evangelism has proceeded through every means possible. Door-to-door is nothing new. It may have lost its appeal at some point in history, but it is not a new concept.
     
  5. Jim1999

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    Jehovah's Witnesses claim to have been doing door-to-door "evangelism" since 1920.

    In England, I can't ever recall knocking on doors at random, but the pastor and members did home visitation. At time of fellowship combined with evangelism as a means of reaching out.

    When I first came to Canada, Baptist churches were out knocking on doors routinely..so, this covers from the mid 30's to the present on door knocking.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  6. TheOliveBranch

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    What about Matt 10:5-15?
     
  7. Jim1999

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    I think we are well aware of the scriptural injunctions and practices. The question at hand is when did modern door-to-door evangelism start.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  8. Squire Robertsson

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    Brother James is quite correct in his interpertation of my question. I am not ignoring the passages cited above. I am asking when DtD as it is commonly thought of and practiced in 2003 took the form we see today. As James pointed out, a form of DtD was practiced in England. I remember reading of the type of visitation James refers to in Baxter's 17th century work " The Reformed Pastor". But as James points out, this form was not "random" or "cold calling".
     
  9. rlvaughn

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    Squire, I'm not familiar with the historical beginnings of modern door-to-door visitation (cold-calling). In my experience growing up among landmark Missionary Baptists in east Texas, I was not aware of any such practice before the 1970's. I have no doubt that other Baptists were already practicing it earlier or that some of our city churches were engaging in door-to-door visitation. In the country communities there wouldn't have been hardly such a thing as "cold-calling" or random visitation, since everybody knew everybody else and many were related. Much of the push for evangelism in many country churches in the South (Baptist & otherwise) was actually related to the annual protracted meetings (later called revivals).
     
  10. rsr

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    One of the outstanding examples, from the early 1960s, is provided by James Kennedy's ministry. The practice apparently began to grow after that, particularly in new suburban communities that consisted largely of strangers.

    The "cold call" is becoming less and less popular, according to what I've seen. For one thing, it can be dangerous to go house to house -- who knows what's inside? And many people are just not willing to open their door to a stranger for any reason.
     
  11. Terry_Herrington

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    I agree rsr. I remember after I was saved in 1969 in Houston, Texas, our IFB church used door to door visitation weekly. It was not too difficult to find people who would at least invite us in and listen to what we had to say. Now, we live in a different society, at least here in the large city. Very few will even open the door. Because of the nature of our world, I don't blame them.

    Although I do not have anything against this type of visitation, even back in the early 70's we saw very little results with it.
     
  12. TheOliveBranch

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    I have no idea when DtD started for Baptists, but I would delinitely not believe the JW's were out there in the 1920's. They wouldn't know there past if you placed it under their noses.
     
  13. dianetavegia

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    With the new 'Faith Training', our church does door to door, cold calling, every Sunday afternoon. We were doing it on Thursday nights but it got to be too late and so very dark.

    So many are coming to Christ because of this! We had 100 baptisms last year.

    I, personally, love door to door. I did it with Lois Bott back in the early '80's during the work week. We'd knock on doors and witness to housewives.

    Diane
     
  14. rsr

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    http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2002/115/31.0.html

    On the FAITH program:

    http://www.lifeway.com/lwc/article_main_page/0%2C1703%2CA%253D152341%2526M%253D200023%2C00.html
     
  15. Squire Robertsson

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    While the reports of the blessing are of interest, they do not answer the question I posed. So far, we've gotten back to the mid-50s in Canada, (from what I know of Brother James' background). Can anybody push the history of this practice further back in time?
     
  16. Bob Farnaby

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    Can't actually push it back any further for you, but as a teenage I remember taking part in door to door visitation, a systamatic attempt to visit each house in the town, in the early 1960's in England. It was already established then, not someting new.

    Regards
    Bob
     
  17. I Am Blessed 24

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    I think Pastor Bob 63 took it back to biblical times in his post. I doubt you can go much farther back than that! [​IMG]

    Sue
     
  18. Jim1999

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    You are right, Keith. We used to go out every Wednesday evening for an hour by twos. The streets were assigned by a card system covering all of the township, including names and family members. The visitation was plainly to invited people personally to the church and to make their acquaintance. It was a great joy for the people going out and they came back full of excitement. How productive? Only God knows......we only saw a few come out to church.......Still, don't the angels in heaven "sing" over one soul which repents and comes safely into God's arms?

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  19. Squire Robertsson

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    But I wasn't asking a factitious question. Because of its previlence these past few decades, many of the Brethren figure if you do not go door to door, at the very best you're not evangelistic; at the very worst, you're headed into apostasy. So, I am trying put the practice into an historical perspective. As many unnecessary divisions have taken place over this practice, I regret I am relatively humorless.
     
  20. rlvaughn

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    Keith, I have found your question intriguing. What I have not found is much historical information. I found a little on what has already been alluded to - D. James Kennedy and the Jehovah's Witnesses. Here's a quote from Todd Hertz in Christianity Today:
    I also found an article tieing the "present-style" of door-to-door evangelism with the Jehovah's Witnesses:
    I am not familiar with the site, but it is evidently an outreach to Jehovah's Witnesses.

    Those two articles contain the most I have been able to find so far. The three links below make only passing historical reference. The first article is a statistical "encouragement" for the churches of Christ to use the method, and does refer to JW's & Mormons. The other two links are basically doctrinal. Not much help, just found the links and thought someone might be interested.
    Door-to-Door Evangelism Facts
    Soulwinning or Salesmanship?
    Personal Soul Winning
     

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