The use of this nationally known children’s outdoor club has been a blessing to many. The program is excellent and all spiritual training is provided by the local church that sponsors the pack or troop. It also provides an excellent inroad to reaching the parents of the children. If you don’t have a scouting ministry at your church, consider starting one! For more information contact the General Sunday School Department, UPCI.
By Tim Massengale
For years, door knocking was about the only type of consistent outreach – outside of occasional street services – that you would find in most Pentecostal churches. “Outreach” and “door knocking” were pretty much synonymous terms: where you found the one, you would normally find the other.
Today, except for a handful of die-hard adherents, few churches walk the neighborhoods and ring the doorbells. We have seemingly surrendered the entire program over to the Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses. Most pastors see little profit to this “cold turkey” approach of evangelism.
However, even though traditional door knocking and canvassing has not reaped a great amount of results in the past, several new approaches have given greater effectiveness to this type of ministry, bringing a reevaluation in the hearts of many. Not only are churches seeing greater results, but many pastors have come to realize that there is a large percent of people in their churches that will become involved – and even enjoy – the Saturday Door Knocking ministry. Perhaps this is because such a heavy emphasis has been placed here in the past. Or maybe it’s because that’s what Mom and Dad always did. But whatever the reason, the doorbells are ringing again and the churches doing so are singing it’s praises as new contacts are being made and home Bible studies are being set up..
What has brought about this change? Simply this: A realization that for any outreach to be effective, it must meet people’s needs.
To go up to someone’s door and invite them to church is fine – but let’s face it, seldom do they ever come. The entire sequence says, “I want you to do something for me – come to my church”. Unfortunately we live in a very “me” oriented generation. The world’s view of everything today seems to say “what’s in it for me? What will I get out of it?” Little do they realize what that one visit could mean to their eternity. If we are going to see results beyond that of sore knuckles, we had better change our approach.
The change in approach has been to offer a needed service, to give them something they want: A personal Bible survey course (Home Bible Study), the benefits of “belonging” to a Sunday School and having a pastor (Sunday School’s Enroll-to-Grow), a Bible education for their children (Bus Ministry), a ride to church on Sunday morning for those lacking transportation (Car Ministry), a social and educational program for their youth (Scouting /Youth Clubs), or an enjoyable activity for the entire family (a church sponsored drama, musical, or program). There are many others. This is a subtle but significant change from the traditional visitation goal of trying to present the full Gospel on every door step. The new method discovers a person or family with a need, than develops a strategy to reach them by meeting that need.