Freddo Frog changed my view of evangelism

Andrew Nixon

Doorknocking is generally considered to be an extreme activity. The sky-surfing of evangelism. Well, perhaps without the "cool' " but you know what I mean: it's a bit "out there'. Something only adrenaline junkies do. And we all have to admit to secretly trying to avoid it.

After all, we've all been on the receiving end of visits by the JWs, and their scripted patter has done little except annoy. Surely that is not the effect we are after for Connect09?

I have done a bit of doorknocking. Let me tell you about the most recent time. It was in my street where we've lived for several years. I was with my seven-year-old daughter, selling fundraiser Freddos for her school. Some people weren't home, others weren't interested. Some were happy to have a little chat, others were clearly busy and we left right away. Some were very keen to buy what we were selling, others just said no thanks. But I think I can say that no-one thought we were nutters " nor did we feel like freaks.

What is more, the exercise enhanced rather than detracted from our connectedness in our street. Whilst we didn't sell that many Freddos, a bunch of pleasant " or at worst, neutral " interactions were had, and now a few more faces are known for a smile, wave or chat.

I have done some of the other kind of doorknocking too " the sky-surfing (without the cool) kind. The "Hi, we're Christians and we're talking to people about who they think Jesus is" kind. Whole different thing " and rarely performed in your own postcode, let alone your own street! (It is interesting that Mormons usually send trainee missionaries to another country to do this type of doorknocking.)

I am not suggesting that door-to-door evangelism is a bad thing to do. And I thank God that he has gifted many extreme evangelists who are great at doorknocking. But it is worth noting that doorknocking does not necessarily have to be quite so extreme. Its great strength is that it allows contact with new people. But what actually happens when the door is opened is entirely up for grabs. As I ponder Connect09 I am drawn more to my experiences selling chocolate than posing direct questions about Christ. Sure, I want to get to the latter eventually, but if my aim is to establish contact with a view to building a real ongoing connection…

So how about these for some possible opening lines when the door opens?:

"Hi. I notice you moved in on the weekend. We at St Ethel's on the corner would love you have this welcome gift."

"G'day. I'm Andrew from the local Anglican church. I just wanted to give you this flyer with details of our Easter services next weekend."

"Bill and I are collecting food for Anglicare's Winter Appeal. Would you like to contribute a tin?"

"Hello. Some of the mums at our local church are starting a playgroup on Thursday mornings. I have a stack of brochures here."