I have been doing some research on evangelistic outreach. In doing so, I posed the question for my search, “Does door-to-door team evangelism work?” This is somewhat of a loaded question, because it really centers on what “works” in the question means. Is it effective? Will people respond to someone coming to the door to share the gospel, give them a tract, or invite them to church? Ah! What do these corollary questions have it common? The share a common viewpoint. We can measure effectiveness from our viewpoint or God’s. Can we persuade people to come to Christ? Actually no. Faith in Christ for salvation is a spiritual decision and therefore requires spiritual renewal for that decision.
Paul wrote in Romans 3:10-11 with a quote from the Old Testament, “None is righteous, no not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God.” If then no one seeks for God, what causes a person to place faith in Christ? Good question. According to this passage, all people are intent on turning away from God, because they reject God. No one is willing to come to God. Paul again answers that question several chapters later where he wrote, “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). The power of spiritual conversion is the word of God. Notice the cause and effect in this passage. The cause is hearing the word of God, while the response is faith. The word of God awakens the spirit to respond to Christ through faith.
So, what makes our evangelism efforts by any means effective? Give out the word of God by any means. It is our most valuable and powerful tool. Hebrews 4:12-13 affirms this, “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and a discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”
Let me return to the original question, “Does door-to-door team evangelism work?” It does not work if we believe we are the causal agents for someone responding to us positively or someone coming to Christ. If we consider effectiveness from our resources to persuade people or even receive a positive response, the answer is no. If it is yes, then why do we pray? If we believe a response requires God’s work in the heart through His word and corresponding power of the Holy Spirit to bring about even the most modest change, then the answer is an unqualified YES. We walk by faith and leave the results to God. Human initiatives fail to render divine results. Only God can produce divine results. Therefore, the effectiveness of any evangelistic means is yes if we believe the Scriptures that the “gospel is the power of God unto salvation for everyone who believes…(Romans 1:16) and “faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). There is nothing more sure in life for salvation than the word of God.