This afternoon I met with two of the men at the church and we spent two hours going from door-to-door. Believe it or not, the weather has been beautiful! Clear blue skies and a bright sun have been ours for several days running! When visiting some churches in Florida they did not understand what I meant when I said I get bored by the weather being constantly nice in some places. I need to clarify something, after a long, gray and cold winter, this weather is great! But, I still maintain that Florida weather is boring… 🙂 But I like the Florida people I have met…
Anyway, we broke up into two groups and I went with John and Sam went on his own. Sam and John both love the Lord and are great with people. I am going round the doors with various men from the church trying to learn from them and perhaps at the same time sharing some tips with them.
At the end of the day any witness we give is in the power of the Lord, but there are certain ways I believe we can be most effective.
Part of my goal in going round is to strike up relationships. I do not always get to share the Gospel, but I always try to leave the door open, in a figurative sense, to go back another day.
Most people we spoke to were very friendly, very open to talking with us. We had one or two that shut the door almost immediately but I would say that 98% of people will gladly talk with you. Granted, 78% of all statistics are made up on the spot, but having covered around 175 homes over the past two weeks I can only think or about 2 that were rude. Obviously not all 175 were in, but I think you get the idea.
Most conversations would go something like this:
Martin: "Hello, my name is Martin and this is John, we are from the Baptist church over on Woodford Road. I won't keep you long but we like to get round the community when we can and speak with people, just to let them know who we are and where we are. In the coming weeks and months we have some special services. We'd love to have you visit with us."
If the person was open I would say just a few words about the special services and by that time you would normally get a reaction of some kind.
Now, depending on the reaction of the person on the door we have found several means useful for getting to the Gospel.
Reaction #1: "Oh, I go to so-and-so church…" With these individuals you have to be careful not to cause offence and lose any future opportunity. To question them or their church is to attack their tradition, their family, and so while there are ways of getting to the Gospel it has to be done in such a way so as not to cause offence. It is good to remember that it is the Gospel that can cause offence, and it should not be our approach.
On these occasions I would say, "Well, we are not looking to take any one away from their church. The Bible teaches that you can KNOW you are going to Heaven and so we want to tell as many people as possible. Would you say you know you are going to Heaven?"
To this you will get a variety of responses. Some will say yes and if it is genuine then they will happily tell their testimony. Most seem to say, "Well, I hope so." Of course from here it is easy. A few will be offended, not because of what you have done, but because they realise they have no answer.
Reaction #2: "Right, thanks. I'll think about it."
Before leaving we would say, "We would love to have you visit with us. But before I go, can I ask what you are relying on to get to Heaven? I take it you want to go to Heaven?"
Many times they will say something like, "Of course I want to go to Heaven, doesn't every one?" And there you have a wide open door to sharing the Gospel. You can simply reply with, "Well, the Bible tells us how we can know."
Of course there are many other reactions but these two seemed to be the way the majority would react.
We had some really good visits. Two men were very interested. One had a lot of Bible knowledge, knew the Gospel front and back but was hesitating. I asked, "If you know all this then can I ask what is stopping you." He looked a little shocked and admitted it was a good question. At that point you could almost hear the devil whisper in his ear, "What about other religions?" He asked us about Islam and other beliefs and so for a few moments we talked about that. As soon as I could we brought the conversation back to making a decision for Christ but he still was not ready. When we left he said he knew Christ was the only way and would visit with us.
We also had two ladies who were very interested, heard and understood the Gospel but just were not ready.
There were several people who I think would be open to another visit. So, Lord willing, I will go back to those homes this week with some extra literature and make a follow up visit. (I have a booklet I designed and printed to keep track of all the roads, house numbers, names, reactions etc. It is compiled from a variety of different suggestons I received and books I have read.)
A number of others listened and we had great opportunities to share the Gospel. Please do pray that we would see souls saved, that we would see visitors in church and for the church to grow!