An Outsider’s View to Door-to-Door Evangelism

  • 16 May 2017
  • Keith Reed

Locked doorThe Mormons came back.

They knocked on my front door on a Monday evening at the typical time: shortly after our dinner table had been cleared and just before our kids’ bedtime.*

I had not met the two young men who stood on my porch, but I quickly learned one was from Sacramento and the other from Salt Lake City. One introduced himself with the title of Elder, the other with only his first name. While they talked, my daughter gripped my hand and pirouetted from time to time. This wasn’t new to her either.  

Visitors from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have made it a habit to stop by our home. A few years ago, my wife and I invited a small group of missionaries into our home to discuss their faith in greater depth. This led to a series of meetings over several months and gave me the chance to participate in an Alpha course with a couple from the local LDS ward. The missionaries from that first meeting have returned to their respective hometowns, but the cycle of visitations is now continuing. New faces, new introductions, but very similar interactions.  

After I bid them farewell, I collected my thoughts and reflected on how it felt to be an “outsider”the person perceived to need the faith being presented. Many times, Christians try to think with this mentality so they can communicate the gospel message more effectively. But thinking from a certain perspective is much different than experiencing it firsthand.

Here’s what I learned from my latest interaction:

They came with a purpose

Pranks aside, people don’t knock on doors without a reason. Salespeople want me to change my gas or internet provider, my neighbour asks me for a favour, my friend arrives and doesn’t want to barge in. There’s always a reason for knocking.

Your Website's Impact on Potential Visitors

  • 19 July 2016
  • Keith Reed

I’ve listened to sports talk radio since before I was a teenager. Over the years, I’ve heard hundreds of callers identify themselves with a simple introduction: first-time caller, long-time listener (or the popular short-hand: “first-time, long-time”). Some listeners wait a decade before they decide to call. But when they finally reach for their phone, they already know what to do. They can recite the station’s phone number by heart because it’s been burned into their memory after hearing it countless times before. Long-time listeners become first-time callers because they feel called to take action. And taking action is really easy to do. 

Have you ever considered what people need to become first-time visitors in your church?

Without a doubt, they need a reason to participate (is it any wonder that the vast majority of visitors choose to attend because someone invited them?). But even a person who is highly motivated to visit still needs basic information in order to meet your congregation.

Like the location of where your church meets.

The Google era has diminished the importance of phone number jingles, but the importance of basic information has not changed. Various reports suggest that 90% of potential visitors will browse your church’s website before they decide to attend your worship service. Thom Rainer calls a church’s website their most overlooked outreach tool! If a person can’t find the time and location of your service within a few seconds of browsing your website, you can almost guarantee that you’ve lost a first-time visitor.

Church websites have been an easy target for criticism for as long as the Internet has been alive (and for good reason). The good news is that it doesn’t take much work on your website to help visitors find what they’re looking for. Here are a few suggestions on what to make prominent:

Four Strategies for Growing Your Small Group

  • 9 January 2015
  • Randy Wollf

Small group Bible study
A study on small groups entitled, Small Groups - Big Impact: Connecting People to God and One Another in Thriving Groups (2011) by Jim Egli and Dwight Marable, discovered that groups that see people accept Christ, increase in size, and multiply into additional groups have four things in common. These groups have small group leaders who model and facilitate prayer, outreach, care and the empowerment of group members.


The study found that 83% of groups that had a leader who modelled and facilitated prayer saw someone come to Christ in the past nine months (versus 19% of groups that did not have a praying leader). Praying leaders spend time with God. They actively pray for group members and group meetings. They pray for unsaved people in their lives and in the lives of others within the group. As the leader and others in the group engage in a lifestyle of prayer, people sense God’s presence in the group. Life change happens. People get saved. Who wouldn’t want to be part of that kind of group?


When group leaders and their groups have an outreach focus, they are much more likely to see people come to Christ. The study found that 90% of groups with this kind of focus saw someone come to Christ in the last six months (versus 11% of groups without this outreach emphasis). In the book, Egli and Marable talk about the five I’s of reaching out: 

    • Investment - Members spend time with friends in order to share Christ
    • Invitation – Leaders encourage members to invite others
    • Intention - Outreach is a stated purpose of the group
    • Intercession – Group members pray during their meetings for unsaved friend 
    • Imitation - Leaders model relational outreach

If we want to grow our small groups, outreach needs to be an important part of group life.


A strong caring orientation is another key strategy for growing our small groups. The study showed that 44% of caring groups added at least four new members since starting (versus 18% without this emphasis). Caring groups spend time with one another outside of group meetings. They pray for each other, support each other and have fun together. Group members function like a family.