Although most modern evangelicals have disdained the practice of door-to-door evangelism, this aggressive method of recruiting has been revamped to stress building relationships with prospective converts, according to Christianity Today (April 22).
Like the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons, evangelical and fundamentalist Protestants had long practiced door-to-door evangelism, but making “cold calls” (knocking on random doors) fell into disfavor among evangelicals by the mid 1960s. In the belief that intruding on strangers was counterproductive, churches and parachurch evangelism ministries have used home visits as follow ups after a
newcomer attends a service or Sunday school. Today’s successful strategies have changed with the times, giving priority to relationship-building and ministry to prospective and current members A growing program called Faith, administered by Lifeway Christian Resources, sends out team members to visit church visitors, referrals, members, and Sunday school absentees with a focus on encouraging membership and baptism.
Southern Baptist Seminary has started a program encouraging Sunday school members to pray for and then contact referrals and visitors. Because “going door-to-door seems beyond the pale of American culture now,” Tuvya Zaretsky of Jews for Jesus says the best place to do evangelism is in public places, such as coffee houses or beaches.
(Christianity Today, 465 Gundersen Dr. Carol Stream, IL 60188)