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The Debate Around Evangelism

I was recently in a discussion with a dear friend of mine about how we should be about the task of Soul-winning or should we. Before you jump on your soap box and have a heart attack let me explain. The discussion was around “Door to Door Witnessing” as opposed to what he referred to as “Relational witnessing.” This is not saying that we should not try to win souls, only pondering the most effective method.

I was raised in Michigan and attended an Independent Baptist church with a large bus ministry and a thriving Sunday school; averaging over 750 weekly (this was back in the 70’s). The pastor preached soul winning from the pulpit, and taught it in the Sunday school.  Dozens of people, from teenagers to adults, would gather at the church for a quick bite to eat, and head out into the neighborhoods around Flint, Michigan to visit those that had attended for the first time,  maybe those that missed, or maybe we were given a name of a friend that someone would like to see attend.  We would walk up to the door unannounced and simply knock. I honestly can only remember a few times when the door was slammed in my face.

During the summer between my freshman & sophomore year of college the church hired three of us college students to knock on doors around the church. We knocked on 10,000 doors that summer, witnessed hundreds make professions of faith, and about two dozen began to attend the church just because we took the time to invite them. To me that is “Door to Door Witnessing” or as friends call it “Impact Evangelism.”

The friend I was talking with shared that he felt that was rude and inappropriate for a person to make a cold call on someone, you need to build a relationship and most importantly don’t offend them by showing up unannounced.  You should always call and schedule an appointment, and never offend them by asking tough personal questions at the door. The question he is referring to is my favorite question “If you died today are you 100% sure you would go to heaven? To me it is a simple question, yes or no, you know or you don’t.

I have got sad news for you if we wait for individuals to call us to visit them, you will be waiting a long time. 

In my thinking, and you may disagree, it is time for us to go backwards to some of the old traditions that have worked in the past.  Let’s invite people where they are, encourage them to know Christ for who he is, and Challenge them to except HIM as their Savior. 

My personal view for what it is worth …. I think both sides of the debate are right, don’t be scared of either one.  I challenge your step out of your comfort zone, knock on a neighbor’s door and invite them to church, and continue to build those relationships that will grow into a great opportunity to share your story of faith.


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