Once a contact is made, you must prospect them to have a Bible study. Prospecting is the art of compelling the lost to consider their spiritual condition by the use of kindness, compassion, love, and persuasion. This is where the House to House/Heart to Heart School of Evangelism comes into view. When Jesus sent out the twelve in the Limited Commission He said, “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore as wise as serpents, and harmless as doves” (Matthew 10:16). In short, you need a strategy if you are going to be successful in knocking doors, and Jesus provided the principles in this commission.
First, Jesus provided them a method for going. “He called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two . . .” (Mark 6:7). For numerous reasons, this should be maintained today. There is safety in two persons and wisdom in two heads. It is always a good idea to make one of those persons a female or child. People are more receptive to females and children than to men. Nicole has a way to get those we contact to smile, while I normally generate a concerned or confused look. The proverb writer recorded, “Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety” (11:14).
Second, Jesus gave them a message, “And as ye go, preach saying . . .” (Matthew 10:7). Obviously, our message is different since the Kingdom has already come. Now, we want people to know the Kingdom is here! What better way to do this than by using House to House/Heart to Heart? This publication is designed to introduce the local church of Christ to the community. If you have already been mailing it to the area where you are knocking, then why not ask, “Have you been receiving House to House/Heart to Heart?” “How do you like it?” “Are there any religious topics that might interest you so that we can place it in future issues?” Use it as a survey to create conversation.
Moreover, offer to pray for them or a loved one. Almost no one will turn you down with this request. Prayer is positive and universal, and it offers compassion and kindness. It is opened-ended, meaning that it requires conversation beyond a superficial “yes” or “no.” It offers an opportunity to return to pray again in the future and continue tilling the soils of the heart.
Furthermore, be a servant by offering to serve. Using a service sheet and offering to mow or rake a lawn, clean a house, repair, provide food, or fix a car is a door opener. Benevolence is an evangelistic tool, and it was used by both the Lord and His disciples with extraordinary success. A congregation who offers benevolence without evangelism connected to it is little more than a glorified Soup Kitchen or Goodwill. When you serve others, it opens their hearts as they are able to see what Christianity produces. Open hearts lead to open doors, and open doors lead to Bible studies!
Third, Jesus gave them a manner, “And when ye come into a house, salute it . . .” (Matthew 10:12). Greet everyone as a Christian and leave the same way. Jesus used the “dove” to describe the manner upon which a Christian should approach the lost. The dove was a symbol of gentleness. Simple words like “Ma’am, Sir, and thank you” as well as offering compliments on their property or person help to break down walls. Never forget that you represent the local church of Christ, and we want the reputation of the church to be positive among the people (Acts 2:47).
Fourth, Jesus gave them a motivation. “And if the house be worthy, let your peace come up on it . . . ” (Matthew 10:13). Our motivation is to bring peace to a world that offers no solutions. This peace is found in Jesus and His Word! Our motivation is the possibility of a Bible study, for it is that study that provides the path of peace. We are not there to debate and win an argument. We are there to study and win a soul. Remember the principles of showing instead of telling. Jesus wants the sinner to read the Word (Luke 10:26), as it alone has the power to break down religious error and immorality. Every person who knocks a door should have a Bible study method ready to use. We recommend using Does It Matter? For those who are not home, you should bring the Does It Matter? door hangers. The door hangers provide a SKU and website so the person who finds it has an opportunity to see Jesus.
Having a successful strategy is the key to reach any goal, and door knocking is no different. This is why Jesus took time to train His disciples. Door knocking is not always the most effective way to reach the lost, but it is one way. It is able to reach those who are unchurched. There are those in the community that no one knows and with whom we have no contact. They will not visit or contact the local church. The only way we can reach them is to go directly to their home and make contact by knocking on their door. May we thank our Father for providing us some training to be successful!
North Tuscaloosa church of Christ, Alabama: Clark Sims (elder/preacher) reports: “We rejoice at North Tuscaloosa in the baptism of Landon. He is a very special young man who made the most important decision of his life. He made that decision literally one week removed from a significant vehicle accident. We are so very thankful for this great opportunity and response. To God be the glory! Great things are happening at North Tuscaloosa. Our compassion card ministry is going full steam ahead. Extremely favorable response has come, and the congregation is actively involved. It is truly a team effort. God bless today! God bless tomorrow!”
Getwell church of Christ, Memphis, Tennessee: Bradly Smith (preacher) reports, “I have been waiting a long time to send you this email. Meet Lauren. She had told me that she wanted to leave the Methodist church, but she did not know anything different. We went through our studies, and she was a sponge. If the Bible said it, she wanted to do it. She said, ‘This is so much easier than anything they ever taught me in the Methodist church.’ As we were going through the final study, I noticed the look on her face change when we got to baptism. She asked me why no one had taught her these things before. At the first opportunity, she told me that she needed to be baptized right then. Our baptistery is under repair, so we took a trip to Forrest Hill’s building, and she was baptized into Christ on Tuesday, May 18.
“We had another baptism this morning after services. A young lady named Amber, who is engaged to one of our members, asked me to study with her a few weeks ago. We had our final study this morning, and she was baptized into Christ. I do not have a picture right now, but I can try to get one for you tonight. Two baptisms in five days. It is amazing what can happen when we get to work. Thank you so much for all your encouragement!”
Willow Avenue church of Christ, Cookeville, Tennessee: Jonathan Medley (deacon) reports, “Yesterday was a great day. Don did the sermon with the bookmarks. We handed out about 450 of the bookmarks, and it was a very motivating lesson. We had about eight kids who were standing at the doors handing them out to everyone. They did a great job! Next week we start the sermons to go step-by-step through the different methods. We have already had several Bible studies conducted by various members. There are also several contacts that we are still working on prospecting and encouraging. Progress is being made, and we hope to continue to build on everyone’s enthusiasm!”
North Jefferson, Mt. Pleasant, Texas: Kris Groda (preacher) reports, “We have had eight baptisms in eight weeks. We just finished our three month virtual meeting with Rob Whitacre and will be adding to our evangelism strategy.”
Burleson church of Christ, Alabama: Todd Clippard (elder/preacher) reports, “Elder installation day. Best day we have had in years in several ways. Biggest Sunday school and a.m. worship crowd in years. We had 85 this morning with a dozen local visitors and some unfaithful Christians and some non-Christians. There are lots of prospects. Also, we have a new prospect with a man in the community whose wife was killed in a car wreck last week.
Sevierville church of Christ, Tennessee: Kevin Ruiz (elder/preacher) reports, “Our new converts class has started, and cards have been going out to several people. We had three visitors from the community on Wednesday who are looking for a church. Visitor bags were given, and their contact information was shared for compassion cards to let them know how glad we were to have them. This morning we started going through the lesson 3 PowerPoint. We had an elders’ meeting today to try to plan out what we need to do to complete all the various aspects of the work that still need to be put into motion.”
Riverbend church of Christ, Dalton Georgia: Austin Fowler (member) reports: “We have had a visitor for several weeks. Wednesday night I asked Aaron to go eat dinner after Bible Study. It went very well. I learned a lot about him. He agreed to do study #1. We completed it on Sunday. It went very well! We are going to continue going through Back the Bible. Please pray for the study!”