Knock, Knock. Who’s There?
5 “Once you enter a house, speak to the people there and say, ‘God’s blessing of peace be upon this house!’ 6 If a lover of peace resides there, your peace will rest upon that household. But if you are rejected, your blessing of peace will come back upon you. 7 Don’t shift from one house to another, but stay in one home during your time in that city. Eat and drink whatever they serve you. Receive their hospitality, for you are my harvester, and you deserve to be cared for.
8 “When you enter into a new town, and you have been welcomed by its people, follow these rules: Eat what is served you. 9 Heal the sick, and tell them all, ‘God’s kingdom has arrived and is now within your reach!
I remember when I graduated from college. I was excited to finally enter into the workforce and pursue the career I had just dedicated myself to learning. I had a plan to apply at every company possible, so I could cast a wide net of opportunity. So, with high spirits and determination, that's exactly what I did. After dozens of applications with no results, I ran face first into two realities. I was broke, and I needed to be less selective about my work opportunities. So, I cast my net wider and began to apply at companies that I had no desire to work at. My thought was to work any job available and make money, while still continuing to apply at companies in my choice field (young people take notes). Eventually, I got a call back to work as a door to door salesman for a dish television company. I got the job and started my first day of training the same morning. I remember thinking as I interviewed, there is nothing I’d rather do less than be a door to door salesman. The thought of it made me cringe, but I was broke and desperate, therefore, I was willing.
The manager that trained me was incredibly nice as she rattled away about how much money she was making selling T.V. packages. She told me she would take me to two doors to show me how to sell, but on the third home I had to do it myself. After two homes where she made two sales it was finally my turn. To say I was nervous was an understatement. I could have puked. I raised my sweaty hand and knocked on my first door. The home owner opened and I began to make my sales pitch while nervously choking on air at the same time. The home owner looked at me with pity and said “No thank you” and quickly closed the door. This happened the same way about 10 times that day, it was humiliating. The training manager gently told me I was probably not cut out for this type of work and sent me home. Half relieved that it was over, I made a vow that day. “I’ll never do door to door sales again”... The Lord has a peculiar sense of humor!
This Saturday May 1st, we are having another church Outreach Day. I look forward to these. They are so much fun, and the testimonies we encounter while doing it are a blast to tell, while eating burgers at the cook-out that follows. Miracles, salvations, and burgers make a great Saturday combo. While I know most people support and love the idea of outreach, I also realize that the idea of doing door to door ministry is terrifying and can cause intimidation and shame to creep in. So, I wanted to take a moment to explain why we do door-to-door evangelism at First church, from the perspective of tearing down the principalities in our region. Side-note. After you read this, if you still are having heart palpitations thinking about doing D-2-D evangelism and you just can't get yourself to do it. THERE IS NO SHAME OR CONDEMNATION. You still are a great man or woman of God. I love you and more importantly Jesus loves you.
The first time I knocked on someone's door to tell them about Jesus, it looked alot like my sales experience detailed above. It’s taken time and grace for me to grow in this ministry and understand the fruit that comes with it. Being afraid is normal and proof that you're human. Telling the fear to shut up and carrying on with kingdom work is proof that you're reborn...
It is in direct opposition to the spirit of rejection. Most modern church outreaches revolve around getting people to gather in a church location, think trunk-or-treat or a church carnival. These are great and I have been a part of outreaches that have had great success doing this. The problem is, that in a region where people feel rejected by God, the gathering event at the church model is not quite as effective. You usually end up with people coming who are already going to a church or are friends and family of members. This is nice, but it does little for engaging the unreached. Most churches will then up-the-ante and provide a free gift to give away to help entice people who would not come otherwise. Again this is good, but it also is the reason many people in America have a consumerism relationship with the church. Door-to-door offers something different. You may feel rejected by God and the church, but we feel so passionate for you to receive Jesus that we have come to your house. BOOM! It’s like an uppercut, right into the spirit of rejection’s face. Before you're ever invited to our cook-out or church we want to build a relationship with you on your turf. You can slam the door on me and say whatever you want, but at least you know that I believe Jesus loves you. Also, the awkwardness of coming uninvited to your home, to tell you Jesus loves you, was worth it.
It tears down isolation and clannism. Again, we are doing this to represent Jesus first, then Kaleo and First Church second. The point is not necessarily to get you to come to the cook-out or our church services. That is a pleasant by-product. The point is to build a relationship, so that you can receive the presence of God. This is difficult for American Church folk to understand and rightly so. We look at evangelism as a way to grow our church meetings. Jesus looked at it as a way to disciple the nations. It doesn't matter if you’re Baptist, Methodist, Non-Denom or anything else in between, we come to your door with only one agenda: Jesus! You should see the look on people’s faces when I tell them that being a Jehovah Witness doesn’t get in the way of them receiving Jesus!
Godly obedience is the fastest way to receive freedom from rebellion.
It’s pretty clear that Jesus told his first disciples, to do evangelism via door to door. Reading Luke 10 we see that Jesus sent them into communities to engage people at their homes. That can't happen until you knock on someone's door. Other evangelism strategies are great and I’m not against them, but there's something powerful to simply being obedient to Jesus’ first word of direction. I have found that the more I let go of my preference and choose to be obedient, the more God blesses my ministry. As this happens, I begin to understand that some of my preference was really just rebellion and God’s way was better to begin with.
Again, if you never choose to participate in one of First Church’s D-2-D outreaches, that’s ok. You will never be treated as less than, as long as I can help it. If you do choose to come, I promise you won't regret it. I’ll even wager that you’ll want to do it again. See you Saturday.