Door Knocking as a method of Evangelism

Three articles:

  1. Organizing a Door Knocking system for the church. By Steve Rudd
  2. The Therapy of Door Knocking. By Stanley E. Sayers
  3. Is Door Knocking In Personal Work Dead? by Bob Danklefsen

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"When I was a child, I used to sneak up to a door, ring the door bell and run like the wind!"

"I still do it today, only now I call is "Evangelism training."

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Organizing a Door Knocking system for the church

By Steve Rudd

I have been involved in many door to door campaigns. The most important thing is to have humans who are willing to ring the doorbells. But with a little organization, you can help matters out quite a bit for repeat door knocking events on an ongoing basis. I first identify where I believe the most fertile neighborhoods are. Then I take a city map and use a copier to blow the map up to a large scale. Then I print one page for each street, that is approximately what can be done in one or two hours. Then I take each page, and highlight the assigned street with a yellow marker and print the soul winners name at the top with pen. Everyone meets at the church building Saturday morning at 10 AM. Then you hand out one page (street) for each person that shows up. Afterwards you all meet for lunch somewhere and discuss the doors of opportunity the Lord has opened up!

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The Therapy of Door Knocking

By Stanley E. Sayers

The word therapy has almost been overworked, but we pretty well know what it means. It is beneficial, curative, helpful, etc. I believe that one of the most beneficial therapies for a Christian, even surmounting the golf green, is simply walking and knocking doors. The early disciples went "from house to house" (Acts 5:42). This is more a paraphrase than a direct quote, but the thought is there.

The Therapy of Exercise

We are overweight, bogged down with frustrations, and simple physical exercise can do much to rid us of both areas of frustration. Doctors are more and more recommending physical exercise to their patients, whether it be a heart patient, obesity, or just worry. In door knocking, simply identifying oneself and leaving a good impression, together with an invitation to the services of the church and an attractive gospel tract is line therapy! It is the most rewarding of which this writer knows. The open air, sunshine, physical walking from house to house, whether it be the above or taking a religious survey, one is combining Christian duty with healthful exercise, and both are needful to our well-being.

The Therapy of Soul Cleansing

Nothing will do more to make one feel right about his standing with God than being about his Father's business. Jesus was doing that at age 12. One must undergo the experience of what I am talking about before he can effectively reflect upon it. A young lady in the church told me recently that it made her feel a lot better to be out knocking on doors. Somehow all the parts mingle together to give us a feeling of catharsis, cleansing, making things better with Heaven. We know we are doing what God has told us to do (Matt. 28; 18-20; Mark 16:15-16; et al.). When one has made contact with one who is not a Christian and has either spoken to him at length or merely left something in his hand to read, he knows he has done a good work, and has given God efforts to bless. And we just cannot stress this latter enough. Just recently a lady from the community came to our services, and she said to this preacher at the door, "You remember me; you knocked on my door!" I like that little tract titled, "Please Knock on My Door."

The Therapy of Adventure

One never knows when he knocks on a door just who is going to answer. I was knocking doors recently and the friendliest person I met was a Jehovah's Witness! He thanked me graciously for taking the time to knock on his door. These relentless doorbell ringers, although in deep religious error, have seldom received calls from us.

One person was about to kick the chair out from under his feet, having a rope about his neck, when some of our people saved his life by knocking on his door when he was within an inch of his suicide. We never know who is going to come to the door, and the sour notes who do are greatly offset by the good one can do actually trying to reach lost souls for Jesus. We are hunting for "big game" when we are knocking doors for Christ!

The Therapy of Winning souls

"He that winneth souls is wise," writes the prophet. Think of all the things we may do for recreation, exercise, or merely to get away from things. There is none of it to compare with the exercise of winning precious souls for Eternity. When we realize that we have been somehow instrumental, or even partially instrumental, in leading a lost man or woman, boy or girl, to our Savior, we should and do feel wonderful all over. I shall never forget baptizing a young housewife into Christ, who came

up out of the water exclaiming, "Oh, thank you!" A great reckoning had taken place in her heart, and she knew she was right with God. Psychiatry and counseling have their distinctive roles to play, but there are many cases in which one merely needs to roll off his burdens on to God (Psa. 55:22; I Pet. 5:7). We have millions of people who do not know what is wrong with them until they learn of Calvary! And you and I can find through the therapy of door knocking-vast multitudes of such folk. Will they not exclaim, "Thank you for knocking on my door?" There is an excellent tract bearing this title.

The Therapy of Clearing the Mind

Knocking doors is a great source of mental health. For one thing, we tend to forget our troubles and difficulties, or at least minimize them. The therapy of being out in the open air and away from the confinement of an office or whatever, is a help in itself. But when we consider that we are not doing this thing for ourselves, but for the Lord, it takes on candid meaning. We somehow feel that God is going to bless not only our efforts, but us as well. When we consider that He is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all we can ask or think, we want to obtain His favor. Out seeking to reach lost souls is surely just that. Nothing makes our Father more content with us than to see us out striving to save the lost.

Then there is the immensity of what we are doing to take the place of things which might be pressing on our minds; we come to realize that this is far more important than anything which we might have bothering us, and we actually come to feel that everything is going to be all right for the simple reason we are doing that which pleases God. We are laborers together with Him. It is hard to worry when you are working for Christ. We come to feel that God is completely in control of our lives and our frustrations vanish the closer we come to Him. We are never closer to Him than when we are trying to reach lost souls bound for eternity.

The Therapy of Doing God's will

Nothing cheers the heart more than to see the fruits of our earnest labors. Especially is this true when we see somebody whom we have taught the gospel walk down the aisle and be buried in New Testament baptism. Perhaps we have initially knocked on that person's door, have handed him a tract, have given him a warm invitation to services, or offered to come by and pick him up. But, having said all this, let us progress to reflect on that door knocking to be so important because we know it to be God's will. It beats sitting at home watching television, a modern day source of corruption, or even going hunting or fishing, although there is no wrong in the latter, and they can be highly beneficial. But none of these avenues of expression can give one the feeling of satisfaction of being about one's Father's business as going out into the community to sow the seed and giving God efforts to bless. If I know that the thing I am doing pleases God, this is highly therapeutic, for I know somehow that everything is going to turn out wonderfully in every avenue of my life. The Christian should have a burning desire to see the lost saved. Behind every door is a prospect for Heaven!

I once met an old farmer by his pond. After a short heart-to-heart conversation, in the presence of a brother with me, I baptized him. Within four months he was no longer among the land of the living. But because of his baptism, I am told there were 20 more. He had made his salvation known. No, brethren, we never know who is behind the door. Knock and pray; knock and pray! There is no therapy like knocking doors for Jesus.

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Is Door Knocking In Personal Work Dead?

by Bob Danklefsen

The church has experienced several periods in its history when growth seemed phenomenal. I still remember the statement, "The churches of Christ are the fastest growing group in the U.S." It is ironic that some of those who have passed us in church growth, are still active in door knocking. What is the problem?

Back in the "50's" and "60's," many were involved in personal Bible studies using film strips and charts. Campaigns were sometimes a source of getting these contacts. Many were led to the Lord through the efforts of these Christians. Their approach at the door was normally not personal in it's message. 1 remember using what we called the Religious Survey Approach. We carried with us a large card containing a number of questions concerning their knowledge of the Bible. The results of the survey were published in a local newspaper. Our lead into a Bible study normally started with the question, "Do you believe a more personal relationship with Jesus would make you happier?" If there were some interest, we continued, "Do you find parts of the Bible hard to understand?" Their answer was normally, "Yes." We would then ask for a study.

By using the film strips, we would have several sessions to build a relationship. When converted, the new Christian was faithful in his attendance and was often instrumental in leading his friends to the Lord. Campaigns became very popular in the "60's" and on up into the middle "70's" Bussing also contributed to growth in the "70's" Door knocking in some congregations changed from the religious survey approach to the bussing approach, often without a request for a personal study because the emphasis was on bringing in children. Campaigns continued not so much in the local areas but rather in groups traveling to other communities to knock doors. Often these groups would stay in a motel and then each go out and knock doors for the local congregation. Unless the local church was personally involved in the door knocking, studies, and follow-up teaching, many of those baptized quickly went back into the world. Many congregations became discouraged at the results because a year later it was not even evident that a campaign had been conducted.

Door Knocking In Jesus' Day-Did It Work?

We know door knocking worked in Jesus' day because his disciples came back all excited about their success, Luke 10:17-20. The church continued to experience success in door knocking, Acts 5:42. The church multiplied in number, 6:7. Why did door knocking work so well then?

Those Christians who approached the lost in the early church, had a message that moved the lost to want eternal life. Their approach was not an invitation to a church meeting or to take a course by mail with the promise that no one would call on them. They taught Christ and him crucified, 1 Corinthians 2:2. The early church was also interested in helping physically, Galatians 6:10. Jesus' example of Matthew 14:14-21 had taught the disciples to be concerned for the physical & spiritual needs of the lost.

Door Knocking Today

The week that I wrote this article a member of our congregation came to me and said that he had been contacted by 3 different groups in one week through door knocking. One of those groups is growing very rapidly through door knocking and studies. I recently returned from a door knocking training session in Morrilton, AR. There I knocked 27 doors of which 18 were home. Thirteen of the eighteen allowed me to present the gospel to them. Yes, door knocking will work! It will if we will.


It is one thing to talk about the method of door knocking and another thing to demonstrate results. In the last 4 WE CARE CAMPAIGNS we have knocked 7067 doors, 3325 were home, and 713 studies were conducted or set up. 101 were baptized and most remain faithful. Why has this door knocking program worked so well?

Successful Door Knocking

It is important to be organized when planning an effort like this. Here are some suggestions for making your next door knocking program successful:

  1. Use a caring approach to the lost. People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care! 2. Train your members in the approach-both class room and field training. Learn to deal with statements like, "We have our own church" and "Churches don't save people."
  2. Learn the Gospel Presentation-the message of Christ's death, burial, and resurrection, then the plan of salvation, the church, and count the cost. Also, statements like, "What about the thief on the cross?" and "What about the person on his death bed?"
  3. Train the members in follow-up lessons that will help the converted grow; then use them weekly in the homes of the new Christians.
  4. Plan door knocking 2 hours/week. Saturday AM is best in most areas.
  5. Maps, door knocking forms, and other records will better expedite the program.
  6. A report session after knocking doors will encourage those having a less successful morning.
  7. Keep the results before the congregation both by announcements and bulletin articles.
  8. Have positive and informative tracts available for each team to leave with the contacts.
  9. Pray for laborers and for receptive hearts.

On The Job Training Helps Train Workers

In 1987 the WE CARE MINISTRY will be conducting 6 campaigns. You could experience first hand the success of one of these campaigns and carry the information back to your own congregation. Write to me if you would like to participate in one of them or for information on the "We Care Campaigns."



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