Hanging around places where pastors gather can be very interesting. In the last ten to fifteen years, it has become more and more common to hear pastors say that knocking on doors doesn’t work anymore. What they mean is that visiting people at their homes is no longer effective. I dispute that. This very week I have had a wonderful visit in a home where God’s Spirit moved powerfully as we talked of Christ. I had never met these people and knew nothing of their story until ringing their doorbell and being invited inside their home. That experience has been repeated thousands of times in dozens of communities all over Texas. I have even had this experience in numerous foreign countries. So here is my question for those who dare to listen. What do you mean by “doesn’t work”? If you mean that it does not grow the church which you serve, that is not a worthy motive for visiting homes. As strange as it may sound to a culture that has reduced the cause of Christ to increasing attendance in churches, there are more important issues. Visiting people is about going out to sow the seed of the good news. It is God’s business what he does with our faithfulness. Even if my visits resulted in growing a church across town, I will glorify the Lord that He allowed me to serve Him. Sometimes our visits may simply change a person’s perspective of the church. I have had people come and make professions of faith as many as five years after I shared Christ with them in their home. There are thousands in my community who will never even consider visiting a church unless we close the gap by bringing our witness onto their turf. The attitude and manner of our communication is critical. We should go praying. We should go in the name of Jesus. We should go in love. We should offer blessing. We should rejoice whether we are well received or rejected. We should show respect. We should offer to serve. We should listen carefully to what they say to us. We should trust God to use our visits for His glory.
Those who say that home visits do not work are primarily those who no longer make visits. The rest never really understood the proper way to approach people in the name of Jesus. Count me among those who consider visiting homes as one of the most important things that I do.