“Hi, my name is Rob Whitacre, and I would like to invite you to a gospel meeting, or would you like to have a Bible study?” Honestly, this approach at a door just does not work. Let me be clear; I did not say door knocking does not work, but this type of approach is ineffective.

Inviting a cold contact to worship or to commit to a Bible study is a throw that is too far down the field, like a 75-yard pass. To find success, we need something more manageable, like a ten-yard pass. We call this approach, “making contacts.”  The goal when we knock on the door is to make a contact. To achieve this goal, we need to reimagine our approach, learn how to use a tool, and assume success.

While walking up to the door, you should be surveying your surroundings. Your goal is to create a three-to-five-minute conversation to create common ground. Look for items like a neatly manicured lawn, children’s toys, patriotic symbols, bumper stickers, or unique vehicles that can be used to break the ice. Do not try to make the sale too soon or you will fail. The longer you converse, the higher your rate of success becomes. Conversation warms up cold contacts.

A good tool used properly makes the difference in reaching your goal. After a brief, enjoyable conversation, transition to your mission. Adding a name to a list of families who want to receive House to House/Heart to Heart creates excellent contacts. Here is a sample transitional conversation:

“Once again, I just love the American flag you have on the porch. Our nation is really struggling, and as Christians, we are trying to do our part to help. We believe our nation needs more Bible knowledge, and that is why we are here. We have this magazine called, House to House/Heart to Heart, and it is all about the Bible. We are trying to send this to everyone in our community, and we just wanted you to know it will be showing up in your mailbox soon. We wanted to hand-deliver the first issue. Be looking for it next month.”

Did you notice that I assumed success? I did not ask if they wanted it. I assumed they wanted it, and my purpose is to tell them they will be getting it in the mail. Now all I need to do is get their name and address.

We have conducted three American Mission Campaigns over the past 12 months. In all three campaigns, we reached a success rate of more than 30 percent. In fact, in just a few days, we created more contacts than a congregation could reasonably prospect. Considering that our traditional door knocking efforts have yielded low single-digit success, this is an exciting development.  Door knocking works, when we learn how to work it!