BY MARK HANBY & V. ARLEN GUIDROZ
The church that goes weeks and weeks with no daily outreach will dry rot No water flowing from the wells is a sign of “NO WATER AVAILABLE, “and all kinds of problems can result The empty cisterns become dangerous cesspools of carnality, criticism and crisis. The “Action” plan of the Book of Acts is “And daily in the temple (church), and in every house, they ceased not to teach (witness, testify) and preach Jesus Christ” (Acts 5:42).
1. CONDUCT A DAILY OUTREACH The following is a simple plan, not so much organized as it is spontaneous and natural.
Morning Prayer and Visitation
A daily effort of this nature brings explosive growth, whether a group meets or only one or two is involved. Those interested and burdened souls just naturally gather at an approximate time, let’s say “around 9 o’clock.” Here is a schedule of a rather informal plan.
9:OO AM – Meet for prayer
9:45 AM – Discuss previous visitation day
– Discuss “ready” or ripe prospects and decide who will visit them
– Leader assigns new “move-ins” list or areas to teams for first visit
10:OO AM- Visitation outreach
Later — Come back by the church to bring any seekers, to help pray with others and file names of prospects found.
II. COVER THE ENTIRE CITY IN VISITATION
1. Obtain a map of the city and designate areas which your church can reach, coloring the designated area with map colors and numbering each area. This is your master map.
2. Assign teams to specific areas. Make block assignments. Provide a working map to each team. After the team has covered the area, mark the blocks they have covered on both maps.
3. Keep records on every house visited or not visited.
4. Make a separate file of prospects to be used in follow-up visitation, mail and telephone contact.
III. PROSPECT FILE AND FOLLOW-UP
What would you think of a farmer who planted a field and never once visited the field afterward? Preposterous! Unthinkable! Derelict in duty! Wasted effort!
The same is true in personal evangelism. The planted seed does not always bear fruit immediately. It is sometimes days, a month and even a year or more before the proper watering and working around the
prospect will nurture him to growth and bloom.
Use The Prospect File for Follow-up
A permanent file card system can be purchased from the General Home Missions Department The reverse side has a record of the workers who have been assigned to visit the prospect A separate “Visitation Assignment Card” with space for four names is provided. These may be ordered from the General Home Missions Department.
1. A church prospect file is necessary. Keep it current. Add names of new prospects as acquired.
2. Use the prospect file for follow-up. Review it often and contact the prospects in a friendly visit for special occasions and regular services. Continue to put pressure on them by your contacts by mail,
telephone and personal visit.
IV. ACTION NIGHTS
Variety often sparks permanent interest “Action Nights” can be designed to put mass action into soulwinning in various ways, involving the entire church.
1. FAMILY ACTION NIGHT A two-night sequence can be planned. Plan a night for each family or single person in the church to invite a prospect family over for an evening. Refreshments or dinner will be
served and, of course, you will take your opportunity to discuss the scriptures and present the gospel. Be discreet but be led of God.
The following night the entire church will gather for a “Good News Night” or reporting session. The exciting testimonies will show that the “flood gates” of the church are open, and water is flowing. Healings may have taken place, someone may have received the Holy Ghost in a home or any number of things could happen. Try to have someone present who was affected or won to the Lord the previous night.
Following the worship and testimonies, the Outreach Director or Pastor can further organize visitation/soulwinning outreach and help with difficult situations.
2. TEAM ACTION NIGHTS Organize teams of two men or two women who will dedicate every evening for one week to team visitation. Give them their assignments on the Sunday prior, set the time for the team to meet each evening and turn them loose. Schedule a “Good News Night” on Friday and ask every team to be ready to report with testimonies or to bring new converts. A new contact may accompany a team and receive the Holy Ghost during the meeting.
Assignments can be made for certain streets, subdivisions or apartment complexes to be covered. A list of names from the prospect file or list of new move-ins will also be useful in assignments.
If husband and wife teams are used, plan for someone to care for the nursery.
3. YOUTH ACTION NIGHT
A two-night sequence can be planned for youth. Plan the first night similar to the “Family Action Night,” except that each young person invites another youth prospect or group of youths to the home for
refreshments or dinner and discussion. Make it informal, low-keyed, and be sure to guide the conversation into spiritual things. The personal testimony and experiences in Pentecost will help keep things moving. Have an interested adult around for guidance. Play only religious records. Keep the Bible handy.
The “Good News Night” will be exciting. The next evening the entire youth group of the church can gather for the reporting session. Share experiences from the night before and bring anyone to the meeting from the previous night who was deeply interested. Be prepared with discussion material as to how to reach youth in our day and for a youth-oriented message to the prospects who may attend.
V. CONTACTS DOOR-TO-DOOR
Should You Always Wait For Contacts To Come To You?
The aggressive soulwinner will not linger long without a contact with a prospect Though it is true that the atmosphere you live in, called “soulwinning,” will bring many prospects to you with little effort on
your part yet there are times you must go door-to-door to find them. Many of your best contacts will be found in the deliberate, planned, consistent outreach you and the church make in personal evangelism.
Jesus is the King who says to us servants, “Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid…” (Matthew 22:9). There are lost people much closer to you than the overseas fields. A mission
field lies at your back door. Those who will not come readily are not the only subject of His attention. We must find men – go find them – search for them – look diligently in every area and strata of your city. If they are not on the sidewalks and highways, readily available to you, then you must go into the hedges, beyond the normal limits and barriers of life behind which men live.
You Must Plan Your Technique
1. What would you think if the surgeon entered the operating room and looking down at you said, “I’m not quite sure how I’ll go about this operation, but I’ll figure it out as I go along?” You would be one
prospective surgery case who was last seen breaking the four-minute mile down the hospital corridor. Many spiritual surgery cases run at the sight of some Christians because of the way they approach their ”
Try observing a Christian before he has a plan of soulwinning and afterward. You will note that confidence will replace fear of the unknown, and the Bible in their hand becomes a sharpened tool rather
than a dull chisel or crude club. With rare exception, those who witness with a plan bear fruit and those who witness without a plan are heard to say, -Well, I just go out and witness and leave the results with God.” Other people have to win their souls for them.”…He that reapeth receiveth wages,” states Jesus Christ, so if a person wants “souls for his hire” he had better sharpen his tools and plan his strategy.
2. Get a map of your city or area. Being acquainted with every area of your city insures a minimum of lost time in searching for addresses or in looking for areas to do “saturation visitation.” Keep the map handy, right along with your tracts, invitations and calling cards.
If you are doing saturation visitation (canvassing an area, visiting every home) you will want to color the blocks you have covered.
3. Keep a personal current prospect file. Your church should keep a master file of prospects and these names are available to you through your pastor or the Outreach Director. However, there are certain people you will want to contact at times other than scheduled or organized visitation periods. These may be people whom you have personally contacted before and they showed special response to your
approach or they may be your own friends whom you are consistently contacting.
4. Keep the pastor and Outreach Director informed. You need the help of the entire church to win a soul. If the pastor and others concerned know the progress you are making with your prospect much duplication of effort can be prevented. They can best help you win a soul if they know the steps you have taken, the prospect’s current status and what you plan to do in the near future. Don’t try to do it all alone.
Your Approach To The Door
1. Walk confidently toward the door, without hesitation but not hastily.
2. Don’t converse with your partner as you approach the door nor stand too closely. You will frighten the prospect if you are up against the door.
3. Avoid ringing the bell too long. (One short ring is generally enough.) In knocking, don’t knock too loudly.
4. After ringing the bell or knocking, take one or two backward steps to avoid giving your prospect a “boring in” feeling.
5. Both partners should stand together. If one lags back, it may raise suspicions in your prospect’s mind and prevent the partner from hearing the conversation and praying effectively.
Your Opening Statement
The most effective witnessing is done in a casual, conversational way. You have only 10 seconds to put yourself across. If you fail to interest your man or woman with your first ten words, you may never have a second chance.
Avoid church talk such as, “Your soul must be regenerated,” or “God picked me up from the miry clay and set my feet on a rock to stay,” or other “heavenly” conversation.
Use the friendly, neighborly approach like this: “Hi there’ I’m your neighbor and I’m interested in people. I want to talk with you a moment about spiritual things.”
Or try this: “Hello there! We’re from the (give the name of your church) and have a gift for you. It’s a copy of the Book of John (or whatever you are giving them). We would like to talk about the Bible with you.”
Another: ” Hello! I’m (give your name) from the (give the name of your church) and I wanted to stop by a moment to talk to you about the Lord and invite you to our church.”
How To Gain Entry Into The Home
1. After your opening statement, if you have not been invited into the home, simply ask the person at the door, “May we come in and talk with you?”
2. When you have introduced yourself and your partner, point to the spot on the inside of the door where you wish to stand. They will look at the place and invariably open the door to let you in.
3. When the contact opens the door and there is a screen between you, step back so that the person can open the screen door to let you in.
4. If you have been forced to begin presenting the message of the scriptures at the door, you can say, “I would like to show you these scriptures but I don’t know whether you can see very well with the poor
lighting (or whatever sincere statement you truthfully can make.)” Witnessing through the screen door is most difficult and should be avoided.
5. On a cool evening (or hot one) you can say, “I realize the open door is letting cold/hot air into the house. We do have a very important matter, however, to present” Then look as if you are going to be invited inside.
“DOs” And “DON’Ts” In Soulwinning
1. Approach the door with the positive mental attitude that the “territory is yours.” This family belongs to you. Claim them in Jesus’ name.
2. Remember you are doing that person a favor, so interruption of T.V., gatherings and home activities is perfectly in order.
3. Observe the situation in the room beyond the door as to whether or not to try for entry or remain with the prospect at the door.
4. Aim for the heart Keep to the subject as much as possible.
5. Remember: You are a “Power Witness.” The Lord is there to help you. You have the answer to every question you may face. The Spirit you possess is different from anything the prospect has ever felt Let the Spirit flow through you.
1. Don’t give a recited formula nor cold scriptural facts.
2. Don’t get into a heated argument which is much different from a discussion or dispute about the scriptures. Paul disputed but he did not get mad.
3. Don’t dominate all the conversation. A good listener discovers the feelings and knowledge others have and shows respect for their opinion.
4. Don’t let a disinterested party monopolize the conversation.
5. Don’t ever show any nervousness you may have or disappointment of rejection you may feel.
Make Your Exit Sweet
The exit is as important as the entrance. It is the final taste they have of your gospel and you, so make sure it is sweet. Don’t stay too long!
It is good to pray in every home. You can say, “Before we leave, let us have prayer with you.” The position is not important whether standing, sitting or kneeling. However, kneeling for prayer is usually best only for the prospect who shows real conviction or for those who are well acquainted with our Pentecostal worship.
Very often this is the first time anyone has had prayer in that home or it may be the first time real, heart-felt prayer has been made. Be used of God in this and be wise. Don’t make the prospect afraid with the uninhibited prayer of our private worship.
Getting Into The Catholic Home
Pastor Larry Blake of Cutler, Illinois, ministered for several years in the Chicago area. The population is more than eighty per cent Catholic. After being rebuffed many times when trying to discuss spiritual matters with them, and after praying over the situation, he finally took the problem to the Lord in desperation. God gave him a word of wisdom.
This God-given approach worked nearly 100% of the time. After knocking on a door, he would often be told by the occupant ” I’m a Catholic,” as though this settled all questions and put them off-limits to this
gospel. Here is what he felt impressed to say when given that abrupt answer: “Well, would I be welcome at your church?” Invariably they will say in a friendly tone, “Yes, certainly you would be welcome. We would be glad to have you visit with us.” His divinely given answer is, “Well, all I wanted to tell you is that you would be welcome at our church.” They almost always invite him inside then.
IV. HOW TO DETERMINE “WHO IS A PROSPECT”
A good soulwinner will be on the alert for basic signals in each person he meets, indicating whether or not a person is a good prospect These, among others, are good signs of true interest.
1. The contact expresses warmth, even though you are strangers, as you make your approach.
2. You are invited into the prospect’s home.
3. In contacting two or more people together, one person listens more attentively. ( Turn your attention to him.)
4. Interest seems to pick up as you go along.
5. The contact shares personal problems, fears, doubts, etc., indicating he trusts you.
6. He reads the verses of scripture willingly and is oblivious to distractions.
7. He readily admits he is a sinner and genuine conviction is noted.
8. Honest questions are asked rather than just periods of silence or tactics to divert you from the main line.
9. You are invited back. (Or if you tell him you will return, his reaction is positive.)
10. He expresses thankfulness for your help.
11. They allow you to pick up their children for Sunday school. (This shows they trust you and that they have an interest in spiritual matters.)
12. You see tears in their eyes.
Love will help you find the right approach to the heart The “well of water within you” will flow generously; a healing flow, life-giving water that springs up (in others also) unto life everlasting.”
Let the water flow, wake up the winds and be a “Power Witness!”
THE ABOVE MATERIAL WAS TAKEN FROM “THE POWER WITNESS” AND PUBLISHED BY THE GENERAL HOME MISSIONS DEPARTMENT, UNITED PENTECOSTAL CHURCH, HAZELWOOD, MISSOURI, PAGES 55-59.
THIS MATERIAL MAY BE USED FOR STUDY & RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY.