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Jim_Alaska

Have you heard this statement?

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"I don't believe in lifestyle evangelism."

I ask this because in recent years I seem to hear this more and more, especially from pastors and so called soul winners. In my experience this seems to come from those who actively practice what we have come to know as "easy believism" in their soul winning endeavors.

As you can imagine from my question, I do not  agree with this statement and my answer to it is this:

 Mat. 5:14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 
 15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 
 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

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I have had people talk about it in terms of ONLY lifestyle evangelism without active evangelism.

That it was the only form of evangelism that they "practice".

THAT is wrong, but of course our light should out and give people cause to ask us the reason of our hope.

We should live like saved people.

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6 hours ago, Jim_Alaska said:

Have you heard this statement?

"I don't believe in lifestyle evangelism."

I never hear any form of that statement or sentiment.  Like DaveW, I hear people stating the opposite; that they only believe in lifestyle evangelism, or, more commonly, "I just believe in setting a good example and, if they like what they see and ask me questions, I'll talk to them a little about Jesus."  I have never witnessed this happening once in my entire life.

I stated, in a separate thread, that the IFB church I was attending refused to go soul-winning and believed it to be a bad idea that didn't work.  I talk to people who talk a good talk about the importance of sharing the Gospel, but when I ask them to go soul-winning with me, they never accept.

Edited by Brother Stafford

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Yes I teach that "Lifestyle Evangelism" is simply making evangelism your lifestyle-showing Christ in all things. That includes active evangelism, but also showing the light of Jesus in your life-otherwise, if you try to actively evangelize, but don't make Christ your life, the active rarely succeeds because people see you for the hypocrite you are, or that you appear to be.

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Interesting post.  I recently filled in as an interim pastor for a church about an hour from me.  Three times I approached their pulpit committee concerning setting a time for door knocking and three times I was given excuses why door knocking did not work.  I spent my last three months with these good folks trying to show them that what they had been taught was not biblical.  Sunday nights I taught on Baptist distinctives and on Sunday morning I preached on the need to be a testimony in our every day lives and to be open about our faith.  I believe their new pastor is continuing to challenge them to change as well.  The fact is we do need to set a time to witness and we need to set a place but we must also understand that for some they will not care how much we know till the know how much we care therefore life style evangelism can have its place in the process but God has still ordained speaking (preaching) the word of God to win the lost.

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5 minutes ago, Orval said:

Interesting post.  I recently filled in as an interim pastor for a church about an hour from me.  Three times I approached their pulpit committee concerning setting a time for door knocking and three times I was given excuses why door knocking did not work.  I spent my last three months with these good folks trying to show them that what they had been taught was not biblical.  Sunday nights I taught on Baptist distinctives and on Sunday morning I preached on the need to be a testimony in our every day lives and to be open about our faith.  I believe their new pastor is continuing to challenge them to change as well.  The fact is we do need to set a time to witness and we need to set a place but we must also understand that for some they will not care how much we know till the know how much we care therefore life style evangelism can have its place in the process but God has still ordained speaking (preaching) the word of God to win the lost.

Evangelism, both through a Godly lifestyle and vocal giving of the gospel, is paramount. However, doork nocking is cultural and location-dependant. We had a group of good hearted Christians come up here to remote Alaska from the "Bible Belt", and they insisted on going door knocking, because they were taught at home that it was what you had to do it. They were warned, but wouldn't listen. They went down an old 4-wheeler track that was clearly posted, and ended up having to be collected from the Alaska State Trooper, because the homeowner was going to shoot the for trespassing. And that's common up here. I know an IFB pastor up here who has Pastore for 15 years in the same church in the same good-sized town. He's a good, Godly man, a graduate of Hyles', and he knocks every door in his city twice a year. The church was running over 100 under the last pastor, whom I also know and respect. It now runs about 15. Why? These people are stubbornly independant and private, and they don't want you knocking on their door. They want to know you, hunt and fish with you, work with you and learn if you are a fit man. Our church here finally gave it up too. Not 1 family added to the church from door knocking in years.

I know some will vehemently disagree. It's ok. You're allowed to be wrong. There is more to this world than the USA east of the Mississippi.

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I don't necessarily disagree with you about knocking doors but I believe it is taught in the New Testament (or at least a form of it) as they were sent out two by two into the towns of Israel.  More importantly, is the fact that God blesses the proclaiming of his name, if we work if we attempt to harvest souls I believe God will bless our labor in different areas of ministry.  I work a jail ministry weekly if people do not want me to witness to them or they turn over in their bunks and pretend to be asleep I am find with that, I do not force people to hear the gospel.  But for those who want to talk I talk with them.  Same when I door knock I try to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit but if someone is adamant about not hearing I am not going to shove it down their throat.  I leave a tract if I can but more importantly I want to leave a good testimony for our church because next week they want to talk about Christ. I have heard about Alaska and believe that there are times you have to think outside the box and be creative in order to witness for Christ I suspect your area maybe one of those areas.  You may not be able to door knock but I am sure there are still ways to be an active witness.  

Thanks for the response. 

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5 hours ago, Orval said:

You may not be able to door knock but I am sure there are still ways to be an active witness. 

I agree, some door knock for door knocking sake and could care less about the known wishes of an area. If I know the door should not be knocked, we mail them our information and ask if we can stop by. The goal of door knocking is not to knock the door but to make sure that every person in our area of influence has the opportunity to hear the gospel and knows that our church is there for them if they should ever need us.

Edited by John Young

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If you mark your Bible do this... As you read through your Bible mark or note each time you come across "I heard," "we heard," and similar phrases used in the context of salvation and similar circumstances.  It will quickly become obvious just how imperative it is to open one's mouth and actively witness.

Here are just a few examples:

Jos 2:10 For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red sea for you, when ye came out of Egypt; and what ye did unto the two kings of the Amorites, that were on the other side Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom ye utterly destroyed.

Jos 2:11* And as soon as we had heard these things, our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of you: for the LORD your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath.

Jos 5:1* And it came to pass, when all the kings of the Amorites, which were on the side of Jordan westward, and all the kings of the Canaanites, which were by the sea, heard that the LORD had dried up the waters of Jordan from before the children of Israel, until we were passed over, that their heart melted, neither was there spirit in them any more, because of the children of Israel.

Jos 9:3* And when the inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done unto Jericho and to Ai,

Jos 9:9* And they said unto him, From a very far country thy servants are come because of the name of the LORD thy God: for we have heard the fame of him, and all that he did in Egypt,

Ac 19:5* When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

Ac 13:48* And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.

 

Edited by 1611mac

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I will agree that we never had anyone come to our church, or actually get saved, from our door-knocking efforts here. I suspect, in Bible days, that visiting and the basic idea of hospitality was much more common than today.

Like Orval said above, I live in a very rural area-the main part of town, if you want to call it that, is very small, maybe 500-800 people, then more live in a wider area on plots of land, like my wife and I: we live on an 80 acre farm about 4 miles out of town down 3 miles of bad road; we used to have some persistent JW's who would come by, mostly because they had been friends with my wife and she had done some Bible studies with them, and they hoped they could turn us to their way of thinking-no dice. But many here live like we do, and many have guns and prefer to be left alone. In town, pretty much everyone knows we are here and what we do. I work with many locals, and those who come, do so because I have made contact with them at work. Small town folks are suspicious folks and it can take years to get the trust of some enough that they will hear you. So we do what we can, though we are thinking about making the rounds again since it's been a while.

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18 hours ago, Ukulelemike said:

I will agree that we never had anyone come to our church, or actually get saved, from our door-knocking efforts here. I suspect, in Bible days, that visiting and the basic idea of hospitality was much more common than today.

Like Orval said above, I live in a very rural area-the main part of town, if you want to call it that, is very small, maybe 500-800 people, then more live in a wider area on plots of land, like my wife and I: we live on an 80 acre farm about 4 miles out of town down 3 miles of bad road; we used to have some persistent JW's who would come by, mostly because they had been friends with my wife and she had done some Bible studies with them, and they hoped they could turn us to their way of thinking-no dice. But many here live like we do, and many have guns and prefer to be left alone. In town, pretty much everyone knows we are here and what we do. I work with many locals, and those who come, do so because I have made contact with them at work. Small town folks are suspicious folks and it can take years to get the trust of some enough that they will hear you. So we do what we can, though we are thinking about making the rounds again since it's been a while.

I once had a book called Doorstep Evangelism.  The author became pastor of a church with only four members.  In four years of door knocking they had built the it up to quite a numbr, I can't remember how many.  I don't know what happened to the book, I expect someone borrowed it and didn't return it.

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1 hour ago, Invicta said:

I once had a book called Doorstep Evangelism.  The author became pastor of a church with only four members.  In four years of door knocking they had built the it up to quite a numbr, I can't remember how many.  I don't know what happened to the book, I expect someone borrowed it and didn't return it.

I started out as the pastor of the church with about 25 members, we now have maybe 8, all of whome have started since I came-none of the original people stayed-most left quickly-I suspect because the former pastor was really more Southern Baptist, while I am decidedly IFB. Some remained for quite a while. Many I lost over the last years, 2016, when I began to work toward getting us all doctrinally on the same page, which a lot of people didn't like, apparently. The ones with us now have all been born again under my ministry, so it is really the only doctrine they know.

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1 hour ago, Ukulelemike said:

I started out as the pastor of the church with about 25 members, we now have maybe 8, all of whome have started since I came-none of the original people stayed-most left quickly-I suspect because the former pastor was really more Southern Baptist, while I am decidedly IFB. Some remained for quite a while. Many I lost over the last years, 2016, when I began to work toward getting us all doctrinally on the same page, which a lot of people didn't like, apparently. The ones with us now have all been born again under my ministry, so it is really the only doctrine they know.

Bless you for your stand. I pray that God bless your work.  I know other pastors who have had similar experiences.  In my estimation there is no better man than than pastor who is willing to take a stand when the Spirit speaks and the time has come (for that stand.)  These pastors are my hero's.  I pray for them daily.

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I will be going door to door again this year. My past 'door to door' had something to do with two new ladies attending our local church. One of their husbands is beginning to slowly become involved with activities at our church. So I can witness that 'door to door' can work.

I will admit that getting others to go door to door is not easy.

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Door to door specifically I don't think is effective in every setting.

Was it Adoniram Judson who only began to see people saved after setting up a "teachers box"?

The people of Burma would not listen to anyone who tried to teach on the street, because their culture denied that as legitimate.

He had to find a "culturally acceptable way" to preach the Gospel. 

Methods can change to fit the culture - the Message can not.

 

There are some over here who still doorknock, but many do nothing at all.

We changed some time ago to "letterbox dropping", because, quite frankly, that was what we were doing anyway when we were doorknocking.

Culturally here in Western Australia, people do not like you "invading their home" like that, and most will shut the door as soon as they hear the word "church". 

That is if you can get them to open the door in the first place.

Our doorknocking went like this in general:

Knock knock.

Wait.....

Wait.....

Wait.....

2 mins later......

Walk away and put an invitation tract (which included the Gospel) into the letterbox.

That was 90% of homes.

9% of those that did answer, shut the door in the middle of our sentence, as soon as they realised we were from a church.

It was genuinely less than 1% of homes that would give you any more than 30 secs at the door.

So we decided to cut out the 2 or 3 mins of waiting at each home, and instead letterbox 4 - 5 times as many homes.

If someone is out the front we try to talk to them.

We still have had very few come because of letterboxing, but I have found over the years that when we stop, we also stop getting visitors.

It is my conviction, from personal experience (in other words, I don't have a Bible verse for it) that God rewards the efforts we make, but not necessarily through those efforts.

If doorknockling works in your area, then go for it.

If doorknocking doesn't work in your area, then find another way to have a regular, dedicated outreach to your community.

(I also understand that in some places it is illegal to put non-post items in the house letterbox. That is not the case here.)

 

 

 

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I go out lot's of Saturday mornings.  You can easily knock on 20 doors and more without anyone even answering.  Then suddenly, one day, you knock on that one door that makes all the difference.  :)   

"Go ye..."

Edited by 1611mac

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13 hours ago, DaveW said:

Door to door specifically I don't think is effective in every setting.

Was it Adoniram Judson who only began to see people saved after setting up a "teachers box"?

The people of Burma would not listen to anyone who tried to teach on the street, because their culture denied that as legitimate.

He had to find a "culturally acceptable way" to preach the Gospel. 

Methods can change to fit the culture - the Message can not.

 

There are some over here who still doorknock, but many do nothing at all.

We changed some time ago to "letterbox dropping", because, quite frankly, that was what we were doing anyway when we were doorknocking.

Culturally here in Western Australia, people do not like you "invading their home" like that, and most will shut the door as soon as they hear the word "church". 

That is if you can get them to open the door in the first place.

Our doorknocking went like this in general:

Knock knock.

Wait.....

Wait.....

Wait.....

2 mins later......

Walk away and put an invitation tract (which included the Gospel) into the letterbox.

That was 90% of homes.

9% of those that did answer, shut the door in the middle of our sentence, as soon as they realised we were from a church.

It was genuinely less than 1% of homes that would give you any more than 30 secs at the door.

So we decided to cut out the 2 or 3 mins of waiting at each home, and instead letterbox 4 - 5 times as many homes.

If someone is out the front we try to talk to them.

We still have had very few come because of letterboxing, but I have found over the years that when we stop, we also stop getting visitors.

It is my conviction, from personal experience (in other words, I don't have a Bible verse for it) that God rewards the efforts we make, but not necessarily through those efforts.

If doorknockling works in your area, then go for it.

If doorknocking doesn't work in your area, then find another way to have a regular, dedicated outreach to your community.

(I also understand that in some places it is illegal to put non-post items in the house letterbox. That is not the case here.)

 

 

 

When brother Ted Snyder (is a member here) was a missionary in New Zealand, they would do a lot of letterbox drops. I believe they were helping to grow the local church too.

I too think the method that works in your locality is important and agree 100% the message must foremost be the gospel of Christ.

P.S. Ted is now in Comayagua, Honduras.

Edited by 1Timothy115

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6 minutes ago, 1Timothy115 said:

When brother Ted Snyder (is a member here) was a missionary in New Zealand, they would do a lot of letterbox drops. -snip-

- What is meant by "letterbox drop"?  (Hanger on a mailbox?)  

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Our church does "Sowing and Reaping."   We have some that go out and leave door hangers (sowing).  Two or three weeks later we have teams who then go to same houses knocking doors (reaping.)  We track each door (address) and we try to return to each door until someone is actually talked to.  Since people rarely answers/opens doors this day and age most contacts come when people are out in the yard, getting into car, etc. 

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1 hour ago, 1611mac said:

- What is meant by "letterbox drop"?  (Hanger on a mailbox?)  

Yes, putting the gospel tract/church invitation into the letterbox. However, that is actually illegal in some places, to use the letterbox for anything but mail.

We do something like this when we do go out, but since we live in an RFD (rural free delivery) area, most have no mailboxes, so we have to put them on fences, into screen doors, tie it onto the barking pitbull's collar, wherever we can find a place to attach it.

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1 hour ago, Ukulelemike said:

Yes, putting the gospel tract/church invitation into the letterbox. However, that is actually illegal in some places, to use the letterbox for anything but mail.

We do something like this when we do go out, but since we live in an RFD (rural free delivery) area, most have no mailboxes, so we have to put them on fences, into screen doors, tie it onto the barking pitbull's collar, wherever we can find a place to attach it.

Yes... that would be illegal here in the U.S.  The nice things about this area is that it is heavily populated with many, many, subdivisions so it's easy to walk an entire subdivision and just hang on door.  When I was in rural s.w. Colorado (high desert) the houses were far, far, apart and many you couldn't even get to due to cattle/driveway gates, etc.  

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1 minute ago, 1611mac said:

Yes... that would be illegal here in the U.S.  The nice things about this area is that it is heavily populated with many, many, subdivisions so it's easy to walk an entire subdivision and just hang on door.  When I was in rural s.w. Colorado (high desert) the houses were far, far, apart and many you couldn't even get to due to cattle/driveway gates, etc.  

We have some of each, with some in between. We have a small housing area, about 5 streets in parallel, maybe 150 houses, we can get them all in about an hour with 4 people, maybe less. Then we have an outlying area where there's a bit more space, and fewer houses, so we might get fifty in a few hours, then in the boonies we might drive 15-20 minutes between houses/trailers. And some may shoot at you, some may not. Some are out making meth, so you try to avoid them.

 

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2 minutes ago, 1611mac said:

RE: Some may shoot you

Ha... That is why I carry when I go door to door...  (legally)

I will hold my Bible high up in the air and come in slow if I worry about it-usually then they either welcome me or just ask me to be on my way, but when they know that's why you're there and not a cop or out for trouble, they'll usually not feel threatened. I've not been threatened at this point, personally.

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