Are You Persistent in Your Outreach?

Follow-up Is Key to Abundant Fruit

Sometimes knocking on doors during your scheduled outreach time is the easy thing to do. Please do not misunderstand me. Our church strongly promotes knocking doors in our community in order to witness and invite people to our church. We organize the effort with highlighted maps, print attractive invitations, and try to hit every door in our community about four times a year. Yet the most difficult work is going back to the same person until he is saved and baptized.

When we think of people who were saved in the Bible, we often think of the immediate conversions. Peter preached once, and 3,000 people were saved. Philip ran to meet a man on a chariot, and not only was the man saved, but they also stopped the chariot to have a roadside baptism service. The Philippian jailer asked Paul what he must do to be saved.

These cases are not typical, nor do they really tell the whole story. The 3,000 saved at Pentecost had earlier called for the death of Christ and watched the Saviour be crucified. Most of us probably would have give up at that point. These people hated Jesus; surely there was a more receptive group elsewhere. The man in the chariot was reading Isaiah, and he wasn’t even Jewish. The Philippian jailer had just watched every prisoner under his care freed, spelling the end of his life. The witnesses in these cases were privileged to reap after much sowing and watering had already been done.

Most people are not saved at their doorstep the first time a soulwinner knocks on their door. Sometimes they are, and every soulwinner should be ready to ask about the person’s salvation and share the Gospel from the Scriptures. But if they do not receive Jesus in the first fifteen minutes, do not give up.

I visited one family eighteen times before the husband was saved. Others in our church have shared testimony of seeing Pastor Chappell come again and again to their front door. Sometimes they would say they were busy. Sometimes they would pretend they weren’t home. They were resisting the work of the Holy Spirit in their hearts, and they needed someone to show that He cared. In the end, the Holy Spirit used a faithful soulwinner to lead a resistant sinner to Christ.

Not every story ends with a triumphant conversion, but the outcome is in the hands of the Lord. He has commanded us to go, and we need to keep going. It takes faith to be persistent. Sometimes we have nothing to encourage us other than a prompting from God and the assurance that He is with us. What more do we need?

Who has God allowed you to meet in the last three months that you need to visit again? It could be someone you meet out doorknocking, or it could be your barber, a co-worker, or a neighbor. Every relationship is a sacred stewardship God has given to you. Of all the people that could have crossed a person’s path, God set you in the way. He has given you an opportunity to be His ambassador to that specific person.

God did not give up on us. He loved us when we were unlovely and pursued us when we resisted the Holy Spirit. I’m glad He didn’t stop working on me. Keep developing the relationships God has entrusted to you. Who needs you to reach out to them again?

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