Knock, Knock!

by Emeal (“E.Z.”) Zwayne

We’ve been commanded to go into all the world and share the gospel, but how exactly do we accomplish this? One approach is door-to-door evangelism—but it can be extremely nerve-racking. Just the thought of walking up to a stranger’s door to share the gospel is enough to send the bravest of us into a severe panic attack, or at least hyperventilation. However, for those who are so inclined, this is a wonderful opportunity to present the soul-saving gospel of our Savior. If you’re willing to be used by the Lord in this way, I’ve provided a few tips to help you in the process.

When going door-to-door, a great way to get people’s attention is to begin by offering to do small handyman chores for free. This gesture is an effective way to demonstrate your care and concern for your neighbors. 

To round up the necessary helpers, first put out two sign-up sheets at your church and make an announcement to the congregation. Explain that you are seeking people interested in using their handyman skills to freely serve the community when called on during an occasional weekend. Emphasize that their participation will be minimal and rarely required (we have found that while most people sincerely appreciate the gesture to serve them, very few will ever call to request assistance). You’re also looking for people interested in witnessing door to door. Once you have a reasonable number of people signed up (5 to 10, depending on your church size), specify a regular time and place that the witnessing team will meet each week (or however often you decide to go out).

You will then need to map out the homes in your community. It’s good to be systematic about your approach and keep records of every address, jotting down the names of people you speak with and the responses you receive. This will come in handy for future visitations. If your church doesn’t have a brochure or “calling cards,” don’t forget to print up some cards containing the church contact information, address, etc., so people can respond to your offer.

After assembling your teams, mapping out the homes in your community, and gathering the necessary materials (including the questionnaire described below), you are ready to begin.

Always be sure to send people out in teams of two. No less (for their safety), and preferably no more (you don’t want to intimidate people by appearing in a “gang” at their door!).

As you approach each door, I would recommend that you begin by saying something to this effect:

“Hi, how are you today? I’m sorry to bother you at your home. I’ll make this really quick. My name is __________and this is my friend,__________.  We’re from ___________, a local Christian church. We’re not here to sell you anything or to get you to come to our church. We just wanted to let you know that we have a ministry set up to freely serve the community.

“So, if you are ever doing any handyman work around your home—like painting, major gardening, putting up a fence, etc.—we have a team of people from our church who are eager to come out and help you. There is no charge, and absolutely no donations accepted. And let me assure you that there are no strings attached. We just want to be a blessing to you. Here is a card with our contact information. Please don’t ever hesitate to call us. It would be our pleasure to serve you in any way we can.

“We’re also conducting a really quick questionnaire today. It’s only three short questions and will take only two to three minutes. Would that be okay?”

At this point, the majority of the people will be overwhelmed and blessed by your offer to freely serve them, and are very open to participate in the questionnaire.

The questionnaire should contain the following questions:

  1. “Do you believe in the existence of any type of god or higher power?”
  2. “I’m sure you’ve heard of something called Judgment Day. This is said to be the day when everyone will be judged by God, and receive either heaven or hell for all eternity. If there truly was a coming Day of Judgment, do you think it would be important for people to know what they would need to do in order to go to heaven and avoid hell?”
  3. Depending on how they answered question 2, phrase the first part of this question in one of the following two ways:
    1. “Being that you believe this to be important…”
    2. “If you happen to be wrong and there is indeed a coming Judgment Day…”

“…do you think you would know what a person would need to do in order to go to heaven and avoid hell? If so, what would you say that is?"

You may want to summarize the questions on a printed questionnaire. However, it’s important for members of the witnessing team to memorize the questions if possible, rather than read them. They should glance down at the questionnaire only for a second, just to remember the gist of each question, and then look the person in the eye when communicating.

On the questionnaire, place two columns beside each question where the team member can mark a yes or no. It’s not necessary to write down the person’s answer about how someone can go to heaven and avoid hell.

If anyone asks why you’re conducting the questionnaire, the honest answer should be: “We are conducting this questionnaire to familiarize ourselves with the overall spiritual perspective of our community.”
Once the questions have been asked, most people will begin to open up and share their opinions. It is very important that you listen attentively and closely at this point.

After they have finished sharing, transition by saying something to this effect:

“Thank you so much. That concludes the questionnaire, but I had a couple of quick questions on a personal level: Would you consider yourself to be an open-minded person?”

Let them answer this. Then ask them something like this:

“And do you respect other people’s beliefs?”

The overwhelming majority of people will answer yes to these two questions. From that point, you can springboard into the gospel by saying something to this effect:

“I’m glad to hear that. Before we go, let me quickly tell you what we believe about the coming Day of Judgment, and what you can do to go to heaven and avoid hell, since this is the most important matter in the world.”

During the conversation, you can refer back to the fact that they said they were open-minded and respectful of other people’s beliefs, in order to reinforce what you are saying. We’ve found this to be quite effective. My team and I have used this approach at approximately 1,000 homes and with countless people throughout the years on the street and in public places.

By God’s grace, it has been a fruitful approach, enabling many unsaved people to hear the glorious gospel of salvation. While this is a good and proven format, remember that it is important to be flexible regarding the actual words that are used. This is simply meant to be a helpful guideline; be sure to use the words you are most comfortable with.

May the Lord bless you as you go, and may He open doors which no man can shut.

For more information visit Living Waters


About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.