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prov·o·ca·tion - something that provokes, arouses, or stimulates. pant - to long eagerly; yearn. a collection of thoughts intended to provoke and inspire. these posts are hoping to encourage people to think, especially Christians, and pant even harder for the waterbrooks of the Lord. If you are not a believer in Christ Jesus, I welcome your perspective and encourage your investigation on these matters.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Door-to-Door Evangelism: Is It Outdated?

Earlier this week, Joe Thorn made a light-hearted post called "You Better Come Heavy" where he posted a picture on the front page of Southern's website. It is a picture of four guys going door-to-door in what I assume was part of Outreach Louisville. As Thorn stated, the post was not intended to pick a fight over door-to-door evangelism, but it served as a springboard to talking about effective evangelism. Before I share my story and thoughts on this topic, I just want to pose the question: "Do you believe door-to-door evangelism is an effective way to share your faith?" If so, explain. Or, "Do you believe door-to-door evangelism is outdated in today's culture?" Again, if so, explain. As a follow-up to that question, I would like to know how you practice the discipline of being a faithful witness where you live. "How do you communicate the gospel to your world?" I think this is an important discussion (not merely going door-to-door but evangelism as a lifesytle in general) and should be a front-burner issue for us as Great Commission Christians. There have been those who say that if you are not out knocking on doors you are a lazy Christian who is not committed to sharing your faith. Some think otherwise. What thinkest thou?


Blogger Kenan said...

I believe that door-to-door evangelism is effective. I know of several Christians who were converted as a result of a random door-to-door visit. As to whether or not it is outdated, I'm not really sure. But I do know that it can be used to evangelize people who may not have a Christian witness otherwise. I know a Christian who was a drug addict and drunk and most of his friends were too, yet God saved him through a door-to-door visit. The method of going door-to-door, then, shouldn't really be the issue, but the gospel that is proclaimed. Christ said "Go and make disciples of all nations." Many have never heard the gospel so we must proclaim it to them. We must go to them.

Door-to-door is not the only means and may not be the most effective means in most cases. We all should employ a variety of witnessing means. In personal evangelism class at SBTS, a variety of methods are discussed: lifestyle evangelism, relationship evangelism, confrontational evangelism, etc. Which one should we do? Yes. They all can work together. With lost coworkers and neighbors that we come in contact with on a regular basis, build a relationship with them and share when you can, live before then a Christian example, and at appropriate times confront them with the truth of the gospel. But there are people without a Christian coworker or neighbor. They need to hear the gospel too. Therefore, we must take the gospel to them.

So, if you don't go door-to-door are you a lazy Christian? Possibly. But if you are not practicing evangelism at all, then you most likely are not even regenerate.

3/03/2006 11:47:00 PM

Blogger Timmy said...


Great words - especially the statement,

"So, if you don't go door-to-door are you a lazy Christian? Possibly. But if you are not practicing evangelism at all, then you most likely are not even regenerate."

I am itching to comment more, but I just want to throw in this to chew on. Consider the pastoral advice of two men on evangelism.

Pastor A: Rick Warren Quote

“At our Easter services in the last three years more than 5,000 people opened their lives to Christ - because YOU invited them! It’s almost guaranteed that if you bring those you care about to a Saddleback Easter service, they will come to know Jesus.”

This is the advice of many mega-church pastors. Leave the evangelism up to the "professionals" and to the church services (altar calls). The most profound act of "evangelism" is getting them to actually come to church (seeker-sensitive).

And now let's look at Pastor B: John Piper's Quote:

"When we are apart now for these next five months, would you do this, dear Bethlehem? Just as the elders will see to it that the gospel is preached in this pulpit, would you see to it that you preach the gospel to yourself? Pray to God for the light you need in your heart, and preach to yourself the truth that you need in your soul."

These were the last words of his most recent sermon, "I will Go to God, My Exceeding Great Joy" dated February 26, 2006 - his first sermon after surgery to remove cancer from his body. What was his pastoral plea? Treasure the gospel. Believe the gospel. Live the gospel. And preach the gospel to yourself - and do so everyday.

What are the implications of this pastoral advice? Simply astounding. I am convinced that a large reason why we are so lethargic in evangelism is because we see God so dimly, know the gospel so superficially, and value God pragmatically. The gospel is not preached because the gospel is foremostly not known.

One pastor says, "Bring them to the church, and they will undoubtedly get saved." The other says, "Preach the gospel to yourself. Live it out. Embrace its truths. And whatever you do, let it be for the sake of the gospel, so that you may partake in it." One pastor views evangelism as a mechanical system that can be manipulated to achieve optimum results. The other views evangelism as the overflow of hearts ravished by the reality of God and his glory and cannot contain the joy it brings but must share it wither others that they may have joy in God.

I could go on, but this will suffice for now. Amd people say that theology doesn't affect evangelism . . .

3/04/2006 05:39:00 AM

Blogger Mark said...

I don't see evangelism in Dr. Piper's quote. I think it is a good and important exhortation. But it is not an exhortation to evangelize, is it?

Oh, and yes the Warren quote is disturbing.

3/04/2006 10:13:00 AM

Blogger Timmy said...


Very much so do I see evangelism in Piper's quote. What kind of evangelist are you if you don't preach the gospel to yourself first? How are you to proclaim boldly the truths of the gospel which you don't continually esteem sweetly?

I am reminded of Tom Wells (not to be confused with David Wells) theme in his book A Vision for Missions in which he says:

"Those who know God most are best equipped and most responsible to speak of Him." (my paraphrase)

That being the case, we are weak in evangelism because we are weak in our knowledge (propositionally and existentially) of the gospel. The resources into which we expound the evangelistic message must first have a profound impact on us, lest we don't think it's worthy of being shared. I mean, if we don't value the gospel in us, then why go door-to-door? Why risk being ridiculed, mocked, and possible persecuted? And the value of the gospel is impressed upon our soul through the disciplines of preaching it to ourselves.

3/04/2006 05:48:00 PM


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