So you went door knocking last week; now what? We do not knock doors just to knock doors, just like we do not send cards to just send cards. If any effort in your local church is not about training the saved or teaching the lost, it is time for an overhaul. The church of Christ is a soul-saving body. To achieve our objective, we must be focused on our mission (Matthew 28:18-20).
Door knocking is an excellent and effective contact creator. If this is your purpose, you can see up to a 40 percent success rate. If your purpose was to get people to visit church services or set up Bible studies, the rate of return is greatly diminished. It is unrealistic to expect trust and commitment from random strangers. HTHSOE has a unique approach to door knocking that we field tested at AMC last summer. We are still developing it, but the future is promising. An elder in Wewoka, Oklahoma recently told me, “The most fertile fields in the world are the fields most neglected.”
Now that you have a handful of contacts, a plan must be put into place to prospect them. Prospecting is Step 2 and should never be skipped. Attempting to set up a Bible study before you have developed biblical “favor” (Acts 2:47; Luke 2:52) is a leap too long and normally results in failure. Evangelism is a strategy (Matthew 10:16) that should be focused on the goal and intentionally implemented. The following are a few suggestions for “now what?”
- Follow up. Follow up. Follow up! What good is all the work you just did if you do not follow up? Yes, it is exciting that we have 10, 20, 30, or more contacts, but a contact does not equal a saved soul.
- Return with something to give. A DVD, book, friendship basket, or some other gift is an excellent way to keep the contact active.
- If the contact is someone who just moved into the area, immediately transition them to your New Movers ministry. If the contact is sick, return with a meal. If the contact just lost a loved one, return and pray.
- Add the contact to your Compassion Card ministry and begin prospecting them. Categories like “Get Well, Sympathy, Praying for You, or Welcome to the Area” provide strategic approaches to each sinner.
- A meal invitation is never wrong. Always eat! Never underestimate the power of a common meal.
- Invest time and be patient. Prospecting is not a fast-food lane. It may take weeks and even months to bring a person to a point where you have earned the right to have a Bible study.
- Do not go it alone! You need to involve the church. Dumping all these contacts on your preacher is not wise. Preachers are not pastors, so do not treat them like they are.
- Aim small, miss small. Never forget your purpose is to cultivate the soil so you can sow the seed. You have one mission and that is to bring the contacts to a point that you can teach them the gospel (Matthew 28:19).
- Make door knocking part of your congregational culture and not a one-time annual event. Do it again! You can get copies of the HTH door knocking edition anytime during the year.
- Pray about each contact and keep the church informed. Do not hide your evangelism work in an elders/preacher meeting. Evangelism is congregational so make it public and talk about it.
Sanford church of Christ, North Carolina: Brian Hull (preacher) reports, “I wanted to update you on the study with the Huntington family. It went well. I first studied with Aaron and his wife, Sherri. We used Does It Matter? since they were already asking to be baptized. Both had their eyes were opened to the truth as we went through a study of the Word of God about the church and how one becomes a Christian. Both believed they were saved before the study. When we got to the end of the study, they reaffirmed that they wanted to be immersed but this time for salvation. So I baptized them. After their baptism, their daughters, both teenagers, expressed their desire to be baptized. I then sat down with them to study the Word of God using Does It Matter? Both girls expressed a lack of knowledge about the Bible as we began the study. However, as we went through the study, they too were open to the truth and desired to obey the gospel. I baptized them into Jesus Christ upon their confession of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior! There is still much work to do in helping this wonderful family to grow in the knowledge and understanding of the Word of God, but what an awesome way to end a Sunday evening!”
Coldwater church of Christ, Kentucky: Luke Puckett (preacher) reports, “We did get our table up. We do not have our table cover yet. Plans are to preach a sermon and teach on the bookmarks and getting names and prospects and using the contact cards. Also, we are organizing our compassion cards and working with our work team and team leaders to be ready to send those out. We have one prospect to whom we are sending cards. He just had surgery, and we plan on sending cards this week and visiting him next week to establish a connection. We hope to start a study with him and his wife soon.”
Peninsula church of Christ, Hampton, Virginia: Ben Phillips reports, “We had 23 souls go out to knock doors Saturday morning. Together we knocked almost 200 doors and made 15 contacts in our community. Our community was very receptive when we asked for prayer requests and offered to send them cards. We began our compassion card work Sunday evening, so it was perfect timing. We are sending cards throughout this week to those we met door knocking, and we are following up personally with those who requested more information about the church. It was a great weekend doing the Lord’s work together!”
Wewoka church of Christ, Oklahoma: Gage Coldwater (preacher) reports, “We did not get to door knock as we have quite a few sick with covid right now. We had two Bible studies this week that were canceled, unfortunately. However just this morning I met a woman over 80-years-old who used to live on the land we just bought. She has been watching me preach online and was interested in coming to worship with us. She agreed to eat dinner and study with us tomorrow night! Please be praying for her. Her name is Barbara Hail.”
East Ridge church of Christ, Chattanooga Tennessee: Charles Cochran (preacher) reports, “We had 35 of our members come Saturday for the door knocking. We knocked over 400 doors. There are about 28 contacts we plan to follow up with our compassion card ministry. Luke Griffin and Alan Pitchford did a great job organizing this effort. I am following up on a compassion card contact this week. We continue to emphasize evangelism. Our monthly elders, deacons, and preachers meeting talked a lot about outreach! That’s encouraging. We know it is lighting a fire in churches.”
Chase Park church of Christ, Huntsville, Alabama: Pat Cowden (preacher) reports, “We were finally able to get one of our Bible studies started back after having problems with the Covid virus. We still have four others that are waiting for people to get well enough and off quarantine to be able to study. In addition, we have four studies going on that members of Chase Park are holding on their own. We have completed our first round of Compassion Card meetings and have started through our teams again. The response has been great, and the folks are doing a fantastic job reaching out to prospects. Please keep all the folks we are studying with and those who are holding studies in your prayers that the gospel may be falling on open and tender hearts. Lord willing, will have further updates soon.”
Beattie Road church of Christ, New Albany, Georgia: Charles Harris (preacher) reports, “Previously scheduled Bible studies are continuing. A family on our New Mover list visited services today. My next scheduled study is Wednesday, and hopefully that will result in a baptism as it will be BTTB #3.”
Deerfoot church of Christ, Birmingham, Alabama: Richard Harp (preacher reports, “Last week we had our three-month virtual meeting. Spending time with elders is one of the most productive and rewarding experiences of this work. This meeting is normally an eye-opener as we put all the pieces together. I just met Ayanna at a gas station and asked how she was doing. She said she was not doing well. I asked her why. She lost her brother three days ago. We prayed right there. I told her I would be back to check on her. I just so happen to have three books! The awesome work has continued. I talked to one of my elders, and he is headed there now to meet her. He just prayed with me over the phone for her.”
Oak Hill church of Christ, Rome Georgia: Steve Murdock (elder) reports, “The Oak Hill church was busy evangelizing and working for the Lord this past week. Our minister, Michael Farris, taught 149 people from the pulpit. His message was about accepting other people’s opinions while maintaining unity and standing firm in sound doctrine. We had six Bible studies and have scheduled more for next week. We had 15 members who joined the annual door knocking last Saturday. One Bible study was set up, and we had many positive comments concerning our card ministry, which is in full swing with 230 compassion cards sent last month. One lady was so touched by the compassion cards she received while she was so sick that she directed her family to donate the things from her apartment, that they did not want, to Oak Hill. She died recently and three men from the congregation picked up the donation and in turn took it to a lady who had visited last Sunday, who was moving into an apartment and needed furniture. What a wonderful outcome from those cards! Below are the pictures of the donation and the men who picked it up and carried it to the woman in need.”
Siwell Roach church of Christ, Mississippi: Derek Broome (preacher) reports, “We had a great week. We participated in the Door Knocking Day. We knocked about 105 doors and delivered New Movers’ baskets. Right now, we have 11 people who want more information of the church or want a Bible study. Those contacts have been given to teachers, and they will be following up with these this week.”
Hillsboro church of Christ, Tennessee: Shelby Moorman (preacher) reports, “Fourteen gathered Saturday to knock doors in Hillsboro. We made approximately 110 contacts. Many of the contacts were very receptive. We still have two studies going on. Please pray for success as both studies have reached a difficult juncture.”
Caddo Mills church of Christ, Texas: This past week we had our three-month virtual meeting. This is an important part of HTHSOE training. We discussed how to take all the parts and place them together in a working model. Jason Sparks teaches evangelism at Brown Trail and is doing an excellent job setting things up at his local work. Although Covid has slowed them down over the past month, it has not stopped the work. We thank God for them.
Lafollette church of Christ, Tennessee: Ben Shaffer (preacher) reports, “We had a great day door knocking on Saturday. We had four new contacts and have already handed out compassion cards for them. We will begin mailing those this week. It was an encouraging day to know we were working along with our brothers and sisters throughout the world. Hopefully, I am going to be continuing my study with the Mormons this week. We finished book number one and will begin book number two.”
Graeber Road church of Christ, Texas: Doug Thompson (elder) reports, “Our deacon over outreach, Joseph Luna, and our Evangelism and Family minister, Logan Summers, teamed up to plan the distribution of door hanger packets Friday in several surrounding subdivisions. Some of the areas visited I do not recall visiting in past events. We met early for breakfast, stuffed the packets, distributed to approximately 1,200 homes, and when we returned, we were greeted with grilled hamburgers and hotdogs curtesy of some of the other brethren. One couple who helped us stuff the packets and cooked lunch are also the recipients of an active Back to the Bible study. We look forward to the Lord adding them to our number. Lord willing, we plan to knock on the doors of our neighbors in the Spring. Attached is a picture of the group that came to work from ages four to those well into their 70s.”
Jacksonville church of Christ, Alabama: Rob Whitacre (member) wrote, “Last week I visited the wife of Radford Prater. For the past three and a half years, I have been trying to prospect her into her a study. I asked Brother Prater, “What is her favorite food?” On Thursday I brought her wings! She loved them. I finally asked if she would allow me to teach her about the church of Christ. She said, “Yes.” Please pray for Mary. On Saturday, we had over 30 members show up for breakfast and training. After defining our mission, we went out into our community two-by-two to offer love and kindness to our neighbors. We made almost 50 contacts.”
Keith Ritchie (preacher) wrote, “We delivered this care basket to the Edwards family, a contact I made Saturday. They drove to Asheville, North Carolina, to bring their granddaughters back with them. Their daughter and son-in-law both have COVID. They were SUPER receptive.”