"DOOR-TO-DOOR WITNESSING!"--NRS13 By Father David January 1979 DFO 769
1. THE MORMONS SPEND AT LEAST TWO YEARS OF THEIR LIVES ON SOME MISSION FIELD, either self-supported by their own savings or supporting themselves on the field by the sale of literature door-to-door! Businessmen, labourers or whatever, they save up enough money to keep themselves in the field for at least two years, or supporting themselves by door-to-door litnessing & evangelising in their way.
2. THEY USUALLY FIND A HOME OR HOUSING THAT WAY TOO! They make friends with some people who give or rent them a room in their home, folks that they've already sort of won over in door-to-door witnessing. Then they work out from there as a base.
3. THEY ARE GREAT DOOR-TO-DOOR PEOPLE LIKE THE JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES & THE 7TH DAY ADVENTISTS. They all litness door-to-door, which is probably another method we have hardly begun to touch. Door-to-door & car-to-car witnessing is what made Fred Jordan, then later his radio & television programmes.
4. GOING DOOR-TO-DOOR. YOU WITNESS TO ALL KINDS of people, some on the verge of suicide & others very needy, & they sometimes almost fall into your arms! Then of course, they often have no church & nothing else but you, so they are all for supporting you & helping you minister to others.
5. DOOR-TO-DOOR MINISTRY IS EXTREMELY FRUITFUL! Our past Family ministry has so far been mostly a street ministry or park-preaching ministry of our missionary homes to which they can come & be ministered unto.
6. BUT THE REASON THE DOOR-TO-DOOR MINISTRY IS SO FRUITFUL is that once you've got a "hot prospect", it's just like door-to-door sales: You know where they are & you can find them again. You can go back & call on them again & again.--If it isn't fruitful the first visit, you can go back again.
7. IF THEY ARE AT ALL INTERESTED, RECEPTIVE, FRIENDLY & HOSPITABLE, they'll invite you in usually, for a cup of tea or something or just to sit down & talk about the Lord & the Bible.--And it isn't long until, if you win them to the Lord, that they want you to come back & give them a little Bible study.
8. THIS IS THE WAY THE JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES, 7TH DAY ADVENTISTS, MORMONS & OTHERS DO IT. It's a very fruitful ministry, as home-folks are usually pretty solid citizens with a job & a family, married, with a few children, & so they are fairly permanent & substantial. They can also usually afford to help you.
9. YOU HELP THEM SPIRITUALLY & THEY MINISTER TO YOUR PHYSICAL NEEDS, if they don't do anything else but to give you dinner on the night that you come for your Bible study. Encourage them to invite in their friends & neighbors, take up a little offering for your little Bible study, & you've got some help.
10. THAT'S THE WAY FRED JORDAN OF THE SOUL CLINIC GOT STARTED, on just a few coins that the people gave him while hitchhiking & calling at their homes & having little Bible studies. It was inconspicuous, hand-picked, personal, individual witnessing.
11. HE WAS FAITHFUL IN WRITING TO THESE PEOPLE AFTERWARD. Everyday he would witness all day long, hitchhiking or door-to-door or on the street, in parks, or whatever. Then every night he would sit down & write maybe 25 letters a night by hand, just little brief one-page notes, "thank you's" to people who had fed & housed him, given gifts or sent him money, little notes of remembrance to people he had witnessed to.
12. HE WAS ALWAYS COLLECTING THEIR NAMES & ADDRESSES FOR HIS MAILING LIST. He was an expert at it!--He used to say: "That is your life's blood, your lifeline--names & addresses!" Even if he just met them on the street & talked to them, he'd say, "Oh, I've got something I'd like to send you!
13. "COULD I HAVE YOUR NAME & ADDRESS? I've got a little Gospel or paper I'd like to send you! I don't have it with me, but if you'll give me your name & address I'll send it to you in the mail."--And once he had that name & address, he never let'm go!--He hung on to those addresses like he had the fish on the line!
14. THEN HE'D SEND THEM A LITTLE NOTE: "I'm so happy to have met you on the street! (Or wherever.) Here's that little paper I promised you. God bless you, & I hope you are doing fine. Drop me a line sometime. I'm still hitchiking & witnessing for Jesus by faith & God is blessing. If you can write me sometime, write my home P. O. box number so-&-so, & my wife will forward it to me.--In Jesus' love,--Your Gospel Bum!"--Or such.
15. A LOT OF PEOPLE WROTE HIM BACK & ENCLOSED SOME HELP. When he couldn't answer them all, his wife would help. Then she had to get a secretary to help etc. That's the way he got started. He really knew how to push & promote & how to plough & plant & water, & he worked at it. He really earned what he got-he worked at it.
16. HE WAS A REAL HARD WORKER & A TERRIFIC SOUL WINNER! He'd win them to the Lord right there in their car or on the streetcar or whatever, & before he'd leave'm he'd won'm to the Lord & they were practically weeping on his shoulder they were so thankful, so they'd usually give him a little gift to see him on his way.
17. AND IF THEY DIDN'T ACTUALLY ASK HIM FOR HIS NAME & ADDRESS so they could keep in touch with him, he would always make sure that he had theirs, & then he'd write them & keep in touch with them by mail. He didn't have to hardly even hint to them he needed money--it was obvious!
18. THEN HE'D REALLY KEEP IN TOUCH, with faithful correspondence & little hints about his needs. Those promoters are so thankful whenever they've got any kind of a need something definite & specific they can push & plug for:
19. "WELL, NOW WE'VE GOT THIS CERTAIN NEED--my wife needs a typewriter at home to answer your letters" or something specific that people can think about & you know would like to help you on. So they think, "Well, now, you really do need that & I want to send it."--Always mention some specific need.
20. COMPARED TO THOSE GUYS, I AM NOTHING--I don't know how to promote, I don't know how to beg & plead or appeal for money. But I did learn a few things from them. I did learn finally to write those little prayer letters & put in a little appeal, & it helped earn a living.
21. WE KEPT OURSELVES IN FULL-TIME WORK FOR THE LORD that way for years through the mail ministry, local offerings, gifts in the hand etc. We never knew which way it was going to come, but it always came. TTL! But we worked at it, we didn't just sit around on our fannies waiting for it to roll in! We got out & did what we could. We witnessed all day, the kids played & sang in the parks, streets, cafes, hotels, etc., & we had church meetings at night--and I wrote prayer letters. Every month we got out at least one prayer letter.
22. THAT'S THE WAY FRED JORDAN BEGAN. He was a good preacher & entertainer & pretty good on TV. But he got sold on personal witnessing & tried to impress his people to get out & witness. He'd try to get them to go out like every Friday night or weekends--we used to call it "canvassing".
23. THE BAPTISTS MADE TREMENDOUS SUCCESS OF IT. Some of them made it their full-time ministry just to go around visiting churches like evangelists & persuading the people to witness house-to-house. They'd give nightly lessons in personal soul-winning, personal evangelism, & then get the people, when they were off work or on weekends, to go out witnessing door-to-door like all day Saturday & Sunday they'd go around visiting homes & witnessing to people & encourage them to come to church.
24. IT WAS PHENOMENALLY FRUITFUL! They'd go door-to-door & invite people to church, & even go back & pick them up & bring them to church if they didn't have transportation. One guy said, "They've been out here five times to get my kids to go to Sunday School, & they've taken them to Sunday School. So I'm going to their church to see what kind of church it is that's so interested in me & my family!"
25. SO THE DOOR-TO-DOOR MINISTRY IS REALLY EFFECTIVE & FRUITFUL, ESPECIALLY IN WINNING SOULS. I know, I've done it, & it's terrific! It's especially good for follow-up too. You can go back & talk & teach them, & if you have a church or meeting or some place to invite them to, they'll eventually come to your church. If they're going to go to a church at all, they are going to come to yours. If you win them to the Lord, they love you & they want to go to your church.
26. IT'S ALSO A MINISTRY WHICH IS NOT NEARLY AS PUBLIC & obvious as litnessing on the streets, like running up & down the streets & sidewalks in downtown areas waving literature! It's pretty easy to get off the streets that way. By going door-to-door you are pretty hidden in yards & gardens or on porches, steps & in doorways.--And they frequently invite you in, & then you are completely out of sight inside.
27. IF WE ARE DRIVEN OFF OF THE STREETS. IT IS A QUIETER, MORE UNOBTRUSIVE, LESS NOISY MINISTRY, more private, more secluded, & you are inside of homes most of the time, & there is not much that the law can do about that.--And you've got good solid converts that you know where they are at & where to get back to them again, where to reach them for faithful follow-up.
28. IT'S A MINISTRY OF GOOD FOLLOW-UP, very fruitful follow-up, where you can go back again & again.--If you can't win'm the first time, maybe next time, etc. If they show any interest at all or are the least bit friendly or hospitable, or if they're even willing to talk through a crack in the door, you've got something:
29. YOU CAN ALWAYS GO BACK & VISIT THEM AGAIN And if you get in & win them to the Lord, then of course they're hungry & they want more, so you go back for a Bible study, a regular Bible study every week. Then you get the husband, too, or you get the wife & the children & the neighbors & friends.
30. IF THEY'RE REALLY WON TO THE LORD , THEY ALWAYS WANT TO SHARE. There's nothing like new converts who want to share what they've got! They'll tell all the neighbors & friends about it, & it's the easiest thing in the world to go from there to their neighbors! They'll send you over to Mr. So-&-so or Mrs. So-&-so, saying "Well, she's hung up on this or that, & she's really in bad shape! Maybe you can help her like you did me. I don't know how to talk to her yet but you go over & talk to her."
31. BY & BY YOU'VE GOT A LITTLE NUCLEUS THERE FOR A LITTLE BIBLE STUDY EVERY WEEK!--And you've started your "Church in the Home" or "Church of Love" or Weekly Bible Class--or whatever you want to call it.
32. IT'S A VERY FRUITFUL MINISTRY! I shouldn't have to try to sell you on the idea, because it's all been proven before: The whole Jehovah's Witness movement was built on door-to-door witnessing. Virtually the whole 7th Day Adventist denomination was built on it, & the Mormons were built on it!--And a lot of others too!
33. IT REALLY PAYS OFF IN BOTH SOULS & SUPPORT BOTH! It is another ministry that we have sadly neglected. See?--Because we haven't had to have any other kind of ministry because our street ministry has been so successful & so well supported, so we haven't been forced to even consider anything else.
34. BUT NOW WE ARE GOING TO BE FORCED OFF THE STREETS. They are going to pass laws against us & all kinds of things, or if they've had these ordinances, they are just going to start enforcing them. We're going to have to go in for a much more hidden ministry.
35. I'VE JUST WRITTEN ON "FURLOUGHER, BACKSLIDER OR SUPPORTER." With this furlough in my old denomination, we used to send them home for a year every five years for a rest a time to visit home. Some folks will even backslid & stay, & maybe we'll lose a few missionaries.
36. BUT I THINK A LOT OF YOU FOLKS WILL STILL SUPPORT US. Even if you don't come back to the foreign field, you've had the experience on the field & know what it's like, so you'll appreciate the people who can still stay out here & you'll still help. I really believe you are going to continue to support us. I believe you are going to continue to help others who are still on the field.
37. THAT HAPPENED AT TSC, when Fred still had his missionary school there. Many of the missionary candidates came there & washed out, they just couldn't make it. They just didn't have what it took to be a missionary. So they went home, back to their jobs, still faithful witnesses even in their churches etc.
38. BUT THEY STILL CONTINUED TO HEAVILY SUPPORT THE WORK! Once they had been at TSC & knew what it was like with those poor missionaries there practically starving to death, when they went home to good jobs & good pay they'd give heavily & send good gifts every month to keep the rest of us going. Some of them even made it to the field but couldn't stay. But after they came home they still supported the others, because they had been there themselves & knew what it was like.
39. SO WE'RE NOT BY ANY MEANS RUNNING OUT OF WAYS OF MINISTERING & WITNESSING OR SUPPORT! The door-to-door ministry is a tremendous ministry! We have really neglected it & we haven't done very much of it. Besides, like Fred used to say about street witnessing: "Unless you get their name & address & can follow them up, they are here today & gone tomorrow, & you don't know what's happened to them! You can only hope they made it, but you don't know.
40. I'LL TAKE DOOR-TO-DOOR WITNESSING ANY DAY FOR FOLLOW-UP & FRUITFULNESS & SOLID SUPPORTERS! They have a home obviously, or they wouldn't have a door! So they're usually able to help support us! (Maria: They feel obligated to, too.--Once you have been in their house, then they feel like they should help you.) Yes,. Sometimes it's like a matter of continued hospitality.
41. (TIM: I THINK A LOT OF PEOPLE ON THE STREETS ARE TOO BUSY TOO. They are on the streets because they have a job to do or somewhere to go, otherwise they would be home. A lot of times you get static from people on the streets that are in a hurry. They don't want to take the time to stop. "Why are you stopping me now?--Can't you understand I have something to do? I'm shopping. I'm in a hurry. I've got to get to an appointment!")--Yes!
42. IT'S BETTER IF YOU CATCH THEM IN THE RIGHT MOOD AT HOME when they are not so busy. But even at home we sometimes used to find them too busy. A woman would come to the door with a screaming baby on her hip & the laundry going & dinner on the stove, & she would say, "Oh, I'm terribly sorry, but I'm just too busy right now! I just couldn't possibly stop now to talk to you. Please come back some other time! So we'd say, "Fine! What time is best for you?", "Well, it's better if you come in the morning," etc. So at home at least you can see'm later.
43. YOU'LL ALSO RUN ACROSS A LOT OF REAL GREAT NEEDS. I think I've told you about the beautiful blonde Jewish girl, a German Jewess we won to the Lord going door-to-door. We came to her door, & when she opened it we saw her house was practically bare of furniture! She said, "I'm awfully sorry, I'd invite you in, but I have no furniture to sit on! I've just sold all my furniture & everything to get enough money to go to Israel to try & find my sister.
44. "IF I CAN'T FIND HER, I'M GOING TO COMMIT SUICIDE!" She'd lost her whole family but her sister under Hitler. So we witnessed to her just standing there at her door, until she beautifully broke down in tears & received the Lord. She was just so hungry & ripe & ready & so needy!
45. WE CAME TO HER DOOR JUST IN TIME WHEN SHE REALLY NEEDED HELP! So finally we bade her good-bye & told her we hoped she would have a good trip & find her sister etc. She had kissed her boy-friend good-bye & already told her boss she was leaving, quit her job & everything. So we prayed she'd find her sister & relatives & all.
46. BUT YOU TALK ABOUT MIRACLES HAPPENING!: It was a week or two before she was to leave so we went back to visit her before she left. But we were absolutely astonished as she opened the door! She was radiant, all smiles & the house was gorgeously refurnished! She said:
47. "YOU KNOW, SINCE I HAVE RECEIVED JESUS, EVERYTHING IN MY LIFE HAS CHANGED! I've made up with my boyfriend & I heard from my sister, so I didn't have to go to Israel after all! So I went back & got my job back too!--And my boss knew I had sold everything, so he came out & furnished the whole house for me again & said I could pay him later etc.
48. "SO EVERYTHING IS JUST FINE NOW!--AND I'M GOING TO GET MARRIED!" On the first visit she was on the verge of suicide!--By the next visit the Lord had absolutely transformed her whole life! I've seen miracles, but that's the kind of miracle that I call a really great miracle!--The transformation of a human life!
49. IN OUR EARLY DAYS WE WERE A YOUTH MOVEMENT appealing to young people most of all--street hippies, revolutionaries & whatnot. Well, our former kids are no longer teenagers & no longer kids! You are in your late 20's or even early 30's & you have families of children of your own, instead of being just teenage kids! So you now should have more sympathy for young adults & young married couples with families. You understand them better now, & their more mature problems, etc.
50. I THINK YOU WOULD APPEAL MORE NOW GOING DOOR-TO-DOOR & MINISTERING TO YOUNG FAMILIES, young couples with young children like yours. You've now got more to offer them & more to help them with, like our childcare materials etc., & you can understand their problems: "Yes, we have children, too!"
51. YOU CAN NOW BE MUCH MORE EFFECTIVE WITH YOUNG FAMILIES IN DOOR-TO-DOOR WITNESSING instead of screaming down the street waving revolutionary literature at the teenagers & hippies that you no longer are! You now have very little in common with the teenager hippies & revolutionaries. You now have a lot more in common with little families like your own who have little homes or apartments like yours.
52. GOING DOOR-TO-DOOR YOU CAN REACH THEM. Let's face it! You understand their problems more, you have more in common, more in sympathy & more to offer them, Here is a whole new segment of the population that we can appeal to door-to-door, which we just haven't really reached before.
53. --AND OF COURSE, DOOR-TO-DOOR YOU CAN REACH ANY AGE, FOR THAT MATTER! Maybe we're going to reach a lot of old folks at home alone who'd just love to have somebody to talk to! One of the big problems in big cities nowadays is lonely old shut-ins. They are advertising for people for visitors, for you to donate your time just to go & meet & talk to old people who are sitting at home all alone & can't get out. They're invalids & alone & have no one to talk to, etc.
54. THEY JUST NEED SOMEONE TO TALK WITH THEM. There are all kinds of suicides amongst old people who are just tired of living! They can't get out anymore, & they have no friends or family & they're all alone.
55. SO THERE ARE ALL KINDS OF PEOPLE YOU CAN MEET DOOR-TO-DOOR & IT'S A TREMENDOUS FIELD! I mean, it's the world!--The whole world Almost everybody lives somewhere!--And the door-to-door ministry is a more hidden ministry than the street ministry, & you can minister to a lot more people & a variety of people with a more solid fruitful ministry, & with a following better able to support you too!
56. AND IT'S A GOOD FOLLOW-UP MINISTRY TO GET THEM ESTABLISHED IN THE FAITH. Start a little nucleus or a home Bible study, just a little "Church of the Home" or "Church of Love" or neighbourhood weekly Bible Class or prayer meeting-or whatever you want to call it.
57. USUALLY NEW CONVERTS ARE HUNGRY TO STUDY THE BIBLE, especially things like Bible Prophecy & The Future. Some of them are really interested in the Bible. You can go there & even read them MO Letters! Weekly studies together are very profitable spiritually--and financially as well! Because they are usually solid citizens with a home & a good job & a good income, & they can afford to help support you--and so can their neighbors!
58. SOON YOU'VE GOT A SOLID LITTLE CHURCH THAT YOU CAN FIND, not just people who pass you on the street & you don't know where they are from or gone! They passed you in such a hurry, you didn't even have time to stop them & get their name & address! That's why I've always urged you people, if you win souls personally in public, for God's sake at least ask them for their name & address!
59. YOU NEED A BUNCH OF LITTLE ADDRESS CARDS so you can get some information of some kind, at least their name & address. If you're witnessing in the park or on the street & you lead somebody to the Lord, if they are concerned enough to stand on the street corner & bow their head & pray for their salvation, they should be willing to take a few moments so you can get their name & address.
60. JOT DONE A LITTLE MINIMUM INFORMATION ABOUT THEM like age, sex, profession, language, etc. "Could you give us your name & address & I'll send you some lit." Then you send them some more literature, etc.--And if possible, you go visit them at their home & follow them up.
61. THIS STREET MINISTRY WITH NO FOLLOW-UP IS LIKE SCATTERING SEEDS WITHOUT PLOWING, FERTILIZING OR WATERING! It pays in numbers, but I wonder what happens to them? I think we've really missed a tremendous field because we've neglected door-to-door witnessing.--Have you?
Copyright (c) 1998 by The Family