For some, door knocking is the answer to all our problems. For others, door knocking is the problem. The truth is somewhere in between these views. There is no doubt, heaven’s roster is full of those who were taught the Gospel because of a knock on the door. My family has been part of a few of these blessed occasions and have learned a few practical tips that we would like to pass along.
The aim of this article is to go beyond the standard training of be respectful, stand back from door, and never leave a bad impression.
First, having something in your hand to form a bridge between you and the cold contact is essential. Why not hand deliver one route of House to House/Heart to Heart? After mailing it for awhile, the recipients will recognize it and even look forward to it. We have personally been involved in several conversions by using HTH in this way. Here are a few responses we have received.
- “You’re not Jehovah Witnesses! You are from House to House. Come in!”
- “Oh, we love HTH. In fact, I am the church secretary for the Methodist church, and we place it in our church bulletin.”
- “Are you from the church of Christ? I grew up going but have not been in over 30 years.”
- “I am so glad you came as I have been praying this morning for God to send someone to help me.”
You never know who you will find behind a door!
Another bridge-building tool is utilizing the New Movers program. Many congregations are unaware that HTH has access to a list of everyone who moves into your area. For $5 a month and a $1 per address, we send two special invitations from you to them to worship with you. If you add to these mailings a personal visit, it greatly increases the likelihood of a visit. Put a “New Movers” basket together full of cleaning supplies and other practical items needed during a move. When you knock on the door, you have a bridge builder. This welcome basket may be just what they needed to bring them for their first visit. Remember, people are most receptive to changing churches when they move.
Furthermore, delivering tracts, DVDs, and other “free offers” to the door instead of through the mail is much more effective. Recently, we received a request for free literature. Nicole and I hand-delivered the material. It took several attempts to find someone home. This one door knock has led to four baptisms, and additional prospects are still resulting in Jacksonville.
Second, being prepared with a response (strategy) can turn a cold contact into a Bible study prospect. One of the biggest mistakes we make at the door is pushing too hard and having unrealistic expectations. Cold door religious conversions are very rare. The knock on the door and the bridge-building device are designed to cultivate the soil, not plant the seed. Here are a few things you can say at the door:
“May we come back and give you additional information?”
“May we come back to see how you liked this free material?”
Third, cultivate the relationship with an invitation for lunch or supper in your home. Meals provide a comfortable and friendly environment to ready the soil for the seed. This is a time when personal information is freely exchanged and gathered. Marriage, children, religious background, and other details will begin to emerge. Invite them to worship or Bible study. A simple visit allows you to add them to the compassion card list. The church can now overwhelm them with love and help to soften the heart.
Fourth, ask a simple question: “Could we spend some time talking about the (insert your congregation) church of Christ?” This is called the Bible study. By now, you have earned the right to ask, and the answer should be yes! Be ready with a method like Back to the Bible and patiently lead them to the cross. Remember, Bible study is the key for conversion and not the friendly conversation or the literature you leave.
Perhaps you have had a bad experience at the door. Please do not become discouraged. Jesus said the fields are white unto harvest (John 4:35). Door knocking will not find all, but it will find some. Making door knocking your only evangelistic strategy is unwise. Making door knocking one of many evangelistic outreaches is wise and will win souls to Christ (Proverbs 11:30). – Rob Whitacre