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Door to door "evangelism" so popular in the 70's and 80's has contributed to many of the challenges we face in evangelism today. Too many people took their Spiritual Laws and turned them into a sales pitch. Why? --Because evangelism is caught more than taught and not enough of the door knockers had the right motive and they were also lacking in preparation for their encounters. --Because they understood quotas and ratios better than their own faith. -- Because they became like their teachers who saw evangelism as a means of keeping a reputation and job to be priority #1. -- Because there is the calling of the legalist in us that says, "You'd better do this! You should be a witness. You don't want to feel guilty, do you? People know why we are really there the moment they open their door and look into our eyes. They resent being a potential statistic and for many who "witness" to others, this is their ambition--another notch on the belt. I think door-to door CARING is in order. Churches may well consider taking gifts of kindness to their neighbors. Go, not asking for something, but introducing ones self and giving. What is somewhat amazing is how people recover from a bad experience of religious solicitation. They so want someone to care for them. Many of these people, in desperation, have turned to the TV Jesus scam artists. They are so hungry, they believe the Mars Rover to be fake and the "seed-faith" guys to be real. Many have given their entire life savings away. Many people within a stones throw of our churches have never had a loving knock on their door. So, let's knock--but have these requirements: -- DON'T INVITE THEM TO CHURCH. -- DON'T LOAD THEM DOWN WITH LITERATURE -- DON'T ASK THEM FOR ANYTHING -- DON'T PROMOTE YOUR GREAT PREACHER -- DON'T PROMOTE THE WONDERFUL MUSIC GO TO GIVE LOVE AND CARING--LISTEN TO THEM. "We are your neighbor and our church cares. What can we do for you? Do you have needs we can meet? EARN THE RIGHT TO PRESENT JESUS. During this period of earning, caring witnesses often discover that this person already has a testimony of faith in Jesus. Life's circumstances and choices have kept them away from church fellowship. Very often, carnal, immature believers within a congregation have damaged people who would otherwise be involved and growing as a disciple in the local church. There is a balance to be had with the "Yal'll Come" approach and the "Turn or Burn" slam. Until we consider "giving a cup of cold water" to be evangelism, I believe we will still be promoting the color coded, salesman dependent Jesus. Here is a refreshing bit to me. I love my Mormon and Jehovah's Witness friends. One thing different I notice from their evangelism and Evangelical Christians: I never hear Evangelicals inviting people to become a Baptist, Presbyterian, Methodist, Assembly, etc. They invite people to become "CHRISTIAN"--a Christ follower. The Mormons and Jehovah's Witness want and NEED us to become a Mormon or Jehovah's Witness. When anyone witnesses to me, I tell them up front: "If you want me to become a Baptist, Mormon, Catholic, Methodist, Lutheran, Jehovah's Witness or any other label---I am not interested. If you want me to know and receive the love of Jesus--to become His child and follower--I Am Listening!" The motive goes to the front. When the time to witness comes, assume your new friend will attend a different church than yours. Assume they may choose yet a different denomination. This will help you to focus on the real message of Christ love as their real need. Thankfully, the Great Commission is not so myopic as to function with only one medium. So by all means, some go door-to door, some go to the jails, some to the children's home, to the hospital, to the food pantry and soup kitchen. Hey, all of these establishments have doors! In reality, each of God's children are door-to-door evangelists, each and every day---each and every door. Glenn W. Harrell
EFFECTIVENESS OF DOOR TO DOOR EVANGELISM; 1 Peter 3:15: "But in your hearts honor Christ, the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you, yet do it with gentleness and respect." Going by this scriptures, evangelism is more effective wihtin a known neighbourhood, where the participants understand the language and the preacher's personality, which actually is desciribing a door to door relationship. Evangelism is the preaching of the word of God or the practice of spreading the gospel of Christ or set of beliefs to others with the intention of converting others to the Christian faith. Evangelism is usually regarded as converting non believers to Christianity, and with the belief that the actual conversion of the soul is made when the holy spirit is effective in the process. Acts 13:47, "For this is what the Lord has commanded us: “I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.” Sharing the words of God is considered as spreading the good news of God's kingdom, then of what use is such an exercise when the closest neighbours cannot benefit from the message? Peaching is better achieved when the preacher understands the basic need of the people, and can use the scriptures as references to indicate the guidance of the Lord in all possible circumstances. Matthew 22:39-40: "And the second is like it, Love your neighbour as yourself; all the law and the prophets hang on these two commandments." Matthew 7:13-14: "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it."
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