Today's lesson comes from the pen of Rob L. Whitacre, a brother in Christ and faithful preacher of the gospel. I've shared his thoughts below with some minor editing. Although I've knocked many doors for the Lord over the years, I do not have the experience in door-to-door evangelism that Rob has, but I do concur with his perspective. His words encourage me to get back out on the streets with a helper and do what we can in sowing the seed of the kingdom.
"I don't believe in door knocking." "Door-to-door evangelism is not effective." "Door knocking does not work anymore." "Going from house to house trying to reach people for Christ is a waste of time." Friends, have you heard these statements before? I have heard elders and preachers of the gospel make declarations such as these. I understand their perspective, but I disagree. I will concede that door knocking may not always be the most effective method. I will also concede that it is one of the more difficult evangelistic methods available to the local congregation. But, it always works. Brethren, every time we "go" in an effort to share the gospel, it works! But what about the objections like those above? Allow me to answer them by explaining why we knock doors for Christ.
1. DOOR-TO-DOOR EVANGELISM IS DESIGNED TO REACH THE "UNCHURCHED."
We don't know them. We don't know where they live, and we don't know their friends or family. They are the "unchurched" and they exist on every continent, reside in every country, and live in every community. Perhaps they have migrated into the area looking for a job, are running from a problem, or are looking for a new beginning. They have no religious affiliations and perhaps no religious backgrounds. They are lost souls who are in desperate need of someone who cares to bring them the good news of the gospel.
2. DOOR-TO-DOOR EVANGELISM IS DESIGNED TO REACH THE "UNREACHABLE."
"Let's skip that house as they were not receptive last time." Seasons change, circumstances change, and most importantly people change. Paul said, "Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving; meanwhile praying also for us, that God would open to us a door for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in chains" (Col. 4:2,3). God may use you to reach a person who is deeply troubled by disease, disaster, or death. It is amazing what time can do to the hardest of hearts. These opportunities of receptivity open and shut during different phases of life. They normally only open for short periods of time. You never know what you will find on the other side of a door. I have found sobbing souls, meditating men, and weary women ready and willing to receive anyone who cares. A door knocking campaign is one way God fulfills His promise of Matthew 7:7,8 - "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened."
3. DOOR-TO-DOOR EVANGELISM IS DESIGNED TO REACH THE "UNMOVABLE."
"They will never change." Friends, you simply don't know that! God moved Saul from persecutor to preacher with the power of the gospel. Everyone can change, but perhaps it is not those outside the building who need to be moved first. Many have sat in the pews for years but never moved beyond the doors with the saving message of the Savior. Perhaps the greatest need for movement is with me. Door knocking moves a church to do the work God intended; to make known to the world the "manifold wisdom of God" (Eph. 3:10). The great commission is a going and not a coming commission. If we don't go, they may never come!
Yes, it may take one hundred doors (or more) to find one good prospect, and it may take ten good prospects for one conversion. Did not God tell Philip to go and preach the gospel to one man (Acts 8:26)? I know of dozens of Christians (preachers, deacons, elders, teachers, and missionaries) who would not be laboring in the church of Christ today if it were not for door-to-door evangelism. Perhaps some of you were introduced to the gospel by a knock on the door. One thing is certain, if you don't knock on a door, it definitely won't work.