Doorknocking is fun?

Archie Poulos

I've been excited and surprised by a change that I have observed. 

We are on Moore College Mission at the moment, and a large part of our time is spent door knocking. Usually I experience team members who will find anything else to do rather than door knocking. Let's face it the idea terrifies all of us. 

This year not only has the whole team been keen to door knock during the allocated times, but during free time some are going out in pairs to continue door knocking.

I have begun to think why the change has occurred. Is it just that this team is different to the ones I normally lead? So I asked our team for their thoughts. 

Why are people terrified?

This is the question I asked the team. Here are some comments, which I think resonate with us all.

    "¢ I don't know what to say, especially if someone asks a difficult question, wants to be come a Christian or is hostile

    "¢ we are invading another person's space, and I am unfamiliar with the space so I am never at ease

    "¢ I don't like being bothered, so I feel like a hypocrite bothering others

    "¢ the people who we visit don't want us to visit.

    "¢ I am afraid for my safety

The reality

Our team came back from door knocking rejoicing that almost all fears were not realised. 

This doesn't surprise me because research done in Sydney Diocese shows that nearly everyone has a positive attitude to the Anglican church, and that the majority of people (Christian, not yet Christian, even atheist) would be happy to receive a visit from the church provided the door knockers were not "pushy" and didn't visit at inappropriate or difficult times. 

That was our experience. 

What assists in door knocking?

Our team were of the opinion that what has helped them this year is having door knocked in their churches in 2009, as part of Connect09. Having done it before, and experienced what it is really like, rather than being shaped by our fears reduced the terror. 

Other things that helped were

    "¢ have a legitimate reason to invite visit. Have something to invite the person you are visiting to.

    "¢ don't think that every conversation will lead to salvation. We succeed if we make contact.

    "¢ it's easiest to start in areas that don't have security intercoms. Seeing a person's face helps the process.

    "¢ decide to visit in no more than 1-1.5 hour blocks. That become manageable for the door knockers.

    "¢ visit in pairs.

Over the years I have observed that it is always easier for church to run programs, expecting people to come along. I have also observed is that far more progress is made in the personal contact through activities like door knocking. 

It's strange. What achieves the most is what we least want to do. A bit like Jesus as he faced the prospect of the cross.