Mark had finished eating, but continued to write. Finally he laid his pen down and took long drink from his glass. With a grin, he sat back. “Nothing like a working lunch, Elder! This is great. I can now see why we were having such poor luck. But one last question. Most pastors I’ve talked to say that the days of effective door knocking are over. That people won’t come to their doors anymore.”
By Tim Massengale
Mark North looked over the restaurant menu, trying to decide between the Bacon Bleu-Cheese Burger or the Super-Loaded Nacho Cheese Chips.
The elderly pastor that sat across from him spoke up first. “I’ll have a small dinner salad and the Moroccan Style Grilled Chicken with eggplant and peppers. Water to drink, two lemons please.”
Mark groaned. “Ah, man! What did you go and do that for? Now you’re guilting me into staying on my diet.”
Brother Vernon Baker arched a craggy gray eyebrow. “Order what you want, son – don’t let me stop you. But when you get to be my age, you realize that good health is a choice best not left to chance.”
“Yah, right.” Mark glanced up at the waitress who watched the interchange with amusement. “Gimme the Chicken-Caesar Salad with ranch dressing on the side. Unsweetened ice tea, no lemon.”
Handing back the menu, Mark sighed. “Thanks for meeting me for lunch, Elder. I know you are busy.”
“I never turn down a free meal. What’s on your mind?”
Don’t Knock Door Knocking
“I just wanted to get your thoughts on door knocking. I know it’s something that you advocate in the sample Outreach Job Description you gave me. It also appears as one of the choices that people can check on the A.C.T.I.O.N. Outreach Commitment form. So we have been going door-to-door for about six months now. Frankly, it’s not working too well. We have only made a few good contacts from the hours we have been going out. And it’s getting harder and harder to get my saints to participate. This past Saturday only three showed up, plus my wife and I. We knocked on doors in a new neighborhood from 10:00 AM until about 1:00 PM. We got zilch. Invited a lot of people though. But I wanted to check with you to make sure we were not doing something wrong.” Mark paused, before going on. “Otherwise, we’ll probably stop doing it.”
Elder Baker squeezed the lemons into his water and stirred it slowly. “Let me ask you a few questions, Mark. First, what are you knocking on doors for? What are you offering?”
“Offering? Well, our church, of course. We have a nice color brochure that tells all about our church and we invite people to visit us.”
“And that’s all? Just inviting people to church?
The young pastor nodded.
“Well, that’s your first problem. That may have worked forty years ago, but today you have to offer people something.”
“Offer something? Like what?”
“We offer a number of things, based upon what is our area of greatest need. You remember from the Church Growth Spiral, there are four evangelism goals we set each quarter? We set goals for visitors, home Bible studies, personal witnessing, and Sunday school attendance. These reflect the four most successful methods of evangelism. Well, if we are falling short of any of our goals, that will be what we target in Saturday Door-knocking.