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REACHing Kentucky: Front-door evangelism techniques

 

An “Old School” approach to personal evangelism may be making a come-back in certain parts of Kentucky. There is a generation of young pastors and leaders who are re-considering the use of front door evangelism, or “Door-Knocking” as a way to share the good news of Jesus with people who are far from God.

With the rise of a group of non-religious people referred to as the “Nones,” we must continue to look for ways to engage people with the gospel. Going door to door is still a useful way of meeting the people who live in the homes around the 2,400 Kentucky Baptist church buildings and making an effort to share the gospel.

Before getting to the how-to of front-door evangelism let me address some myths about this particular approach to sharing the gospel. Below are five statements often heard when the conversation of door to door evangelistic ministry is mentioned:

  1. “People today do not want you to come to their home.” While it is true that some people do not want you to come to their home, other people are at least somewhat open to you sharing Christ on their front-door step. I have shared the gospel at the front door of homes across Kentucky and find many people are open to a front-door visit and some are not. In recent weeks I have shard Christ at homes in Bracken, Daviess and McCracken counties and found receptive people in each county.
  2. Door to door evangelism is no longer effective”. The validity of this statement is best measured by what one means by effective. For Pastor Mark Bishop, of Highview Baptist Valley Station Campus in Louisville, this type of ministry has been very effective. In less than a year, the Sunday morning worship attendance has grown from around 100 people to 300. Their primary outreach tool is to go into the community, knock on doors, share Christ and invite people to church.

Front door ministry is effective in one other way. It is a way to share the good news of Christ. In most communities if people knock on 10 doors on a weekday afternoon, they will be able to have at least two gospel conversations. If they knock on 10 doors on Saturday morning, or Sunday afternoon, those numbers increase to five or six conversations. This is certainly not the only way to share the gospel, but it is one way that followers of Jesus can share the good news with lost people

  1. “People in our church will not do door-to-door evangelism.” While it is true that most people will not become part of a church’s door-knocking team, it is also true that others will. There are people in every church who are waiting for someone to lead the way to help them become more evangelistic. Taking a new convert, or a growing believer, on front-door evangelistic ministry is one of the easiest ways to raise up a Christian leader and help a believer grow in Christ.
  2. Door-to-door evangelism is outdated and no longer used.” This statement has an element of truth, but it should not be used to discourage pastors, deacons and church leaders who wish to try to get into their community with the gospel. Door-to-door evangelism is not the only way to share the gospel, but it is one way to share.
  3. Door-to-door evangelism can be dangerous.” This is true. There is a measure of risk involved in approaching homes with the gospel. Christians who witness for Jesus in this way must exercise common sense, along with guidance from God, to determine if there are homes that should be avoided. However, the greatest danger will likely come from an occasional household pet that doesn’t like strangers.

While front door evangelism is not an evangelistic silver-bullet for reaching the approximately 80 percent of our state that does not attend any church anywhere on Sunday morning, it is nevertheless a tool that should be considered. A local church needs a comprehensive strategy for saturating its community with the good news of Christ. Consider going to every home within a one-mile circle around the church. Learn the names of the people in those homes, engage them as best you can with the gospel, invite them to good events the church is doing, put them on your personal prayer list, and watch what God does over time through your efforts.

The next article will talk about “Do’s and Don’ts of Front-Door Evangelism” as well as a step-by-step approach to this method. As always if I, or the Evangelism, Church Planting and Campus Ministry Team of the KBC, can help you with your work, please contact me at todd.gray@kybaptist.org.

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