Many years ago when I was a very young preacher, it was not unusual to spend an afternoon going into a neighborhood and knocking on every door on every street. There were days when it was a very rewarding experience while others were not so enjoyable. We were always praying that we would find that one receptive soul and, occasionally, we would do so. The principle upon which I worked was, "For every 'No' I received, I knew I was one 'No' closer to a 'Yes!'" The afternoons were long and sometimes very hard!
It was not long before we began to hear that such efforts were fruitless and should be given up for more modern methods. It was suggested that groups like the Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons had ruined the effectiveness of cold door-knocking; therefore, many of us walked away from those efforts and turned our attention to more modern means of communication.
Today, we hear more about mass communication than we do about personal, one-on-one, type of outreach. It is not that we fail to teach privately, but that we make less of an effort to uncover potential studies through personal contact. We will spend thousands of dollars sending literature into homes hoping that we receive responses from the recipients. We will open our doors for various types of groups hoping that familiarity with our buildings might bring them to an assembly at some point. Millions of dollars are spent on radio, television, and the Internet hoping that a spark of interest will be struck within the heart of someone. Spending time with people as we build relationships with them so we can approach them about their relationship with God is used effectively by some. Have all of the above worked to some degree? Absolutely! Anything that does not conflict with biblical principles and that will bring a person into an honest study of the Word is valid in my estimation.
The only point I have in this writing is to encourage the leaders of congregations to once again consider the value of knocking on doors. Will it work? Absolutely! In 2004, the church here in Williamsburg, VA, made a concentrated effort to knock on doors - lots of doors! We began in the immediate vicinity of our building and spread out across the community in all directions. Literally thousands of doors were approached with varying degrees of success. During the course of the year, there were more than 200 Bible studies held with interested individuals - all of which were directly or indirectly the result of cold door-knocking. Forty-seven baptisms were witnessed as a result of those Bible studies, and three souls were restored who had been completely unfaithful in their attendance and fellowship for years.
The serendipity of this concentrated effort was the spiritual uplift that it gave the local church family. We were meeting new brothers and sisters almost every week. We saw these spiritual infants growing into maturing adults. We were able to rejoice with them in their new found faith and participate in wonderful relationships with them.
The excitement that was generated as a direct result of these efforts is carrying over into 2005! People are talking to their family, friends, and total strangers! Everyone is seen as a potential brother or sister in Christ! This week a waitress that some of us met at a local IHOP restaurant is now a sister in Christ! The efforts continue to be blessed by God, and for this we will be forever grateful to Him!
My friends, please, give cold door-knocking in your community another chance! -227 Merrimac Trail, Williamsburg, VA 23185. (757) 253-5662.
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