I.When To Visit
A. Saturday after 9:00 a.m. Visit as early as possible, but it must be late enough that people are out of bed.
B. Set a time to start and a time to quit.
C. Be prepared spiritually before you go.
II. Who To Visit
A. Every regular rider and occasional rider each week.
B. Don’t ever give up on old riders that you cannot get to come. Lay off for a while, but never fail to continue to pray for them and then occasionally call back on them.
C. Knock on new doors each week and sign up new riders on a weekly basis. This is a must if our route is to maintain and grow in attendance.
III. How To Visit
A. Regular riders
1. Be brief when you visit. There are always exceptions to this statement. You will always want to spend more time with new riders and ones that are not faithful. Also, folks will have problems and you will need to spend time counseling with them.
2. Be friendly to everyone you see.
3. Walk rapidly as you visit. This makes the best use of time and gives people the impression that you must have something important to do!
4. Knock loudly as you come to each door.
5. Be loving while you visit. Tell folks you love them and demonstrate that you love them.
6. Be excited while you visit. Do you realize yours is the most important business in the world?
7. Be polite and tactful.
8. Be patient with parents.
9. Take a personal interest in people and their problems. That will win them to you so that you might win them to Jesus.
10. If you have time, make callbacks on families not home.
11. Leave a flyer in the door if folks are not home so they will know you have been faithful to come by to visit.
12. If you are not able to catch the bus family on visitation you must assume they are coming on Sunday and automatically stop for them.
13. If possible, place a phone call Saturday night to those you do not catch on visitation.
14. If you have people that indicate they want to come but have a continual problem with oversleeping, ask if you can give them a wake-up call.
B. New riders
1. Materials to use – Gospel tracts, brochures, permanent record cards.
2. At times, you should go door-to-door.
3. At times, you should spot canvas.
4. Ask kids that ride the bus to take you to their friends or point out new kids in the neighborhood.
5. Reward riders that bring visitors. Make sure you get names and addresses of all visitors that anyone brings on the bus. If they live on your route, visit them the next Saturday and see if they might become regular riders. If they live on another route, feed them to the proper route at the bus meeting the following Saturday.
6. Ask parents for prospects.
a. Work acquaintances
c. Friends in the neighborhood
7. Keep an eye open for empty houses and spot people when they move into them.
8. Follow the school bus during their drop-offs after school. This will show you where kids live.
9. Use electrical cut-in lists you can secure from the local power company. All these lists tell you is that someone has had the power turned on the past month. This could be a family that had their electricity reconnected due to failure to pay a bill or it could be a new family that moved to that address. The new move-in may or may not have children interested in riding your bus.
10. Use clown teams in areas where there are large concentrations of potential riders such as apartments or trailer parks or residential areas with a lot of children. The whole concept of this is to draw the children out where you can talk to them and their parents about your bus route and try to enlist the unchurched folks. Be careful to make contacts with parents quickly.
11. Sell your door-to-door service.
12. As you enlist each new rider, pray and plan from that moment to win the parents.
13. Do not proselyte; do not proselyte!
14. Keep accurate bus records or hundreds of potential riders will be lost and potentially lost for eternity!!!!
15. Don’t forget to pray for your regular riders and new sign-ups.
“Bus Ministry Visitation that is Efficient”. Author Unknown.
This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes, “Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.”