How to Share the Gospel Door-to-Door

by Jeffrey Farmer | Feb 16, 2024

When it comes to engaging in gospel conversations with strangers, there are only a few routes one can take. For instance, if you are in a large enough city, there will be places where groups of people may be found, such as parks, malls, city centers, etc. Personal evangelism in this setting requires you to start a conversation with someone and transition to the gospel. Another option would be to seek an opportunity to share the gospel as you go about your daily activities. Places like grocery stores, appointments, coffee shops, and so forth. 

One very effective method is to go door to door in a neighborhood. To utilize this method well, you must Prepare, Go, and Tell. 

Prepare 

Roger Maris once said, “You hit homeruns not by chance, but by preparation.” Preparation is the first step to successful door-to-door evangelism efforts. The first key component is to find a partner. The best approach to door-to-door evangelism is to go in a group of two or three. Jesus modeled this in Luke 10:1, when he sent the 72 out into the region going two-by-two. With two people, each person has a task. One person is to guide the conversation, and the other prays for the gospel encounter. The same is true with three people, but the third person has the additional task of watching for potential distractions while praying.   

Another preparation step is to acquire and carry supplies. You should always carry information cards about your church, gospel tracts, and a Bible. There will be more houses where you do not get to speak to someone than there will be houses where you do. Having information cards and gospel tracts will allow you to have an impact whether you speak to someone or not. 

Go 

Once you are in the neighborhood, begin by praying for God’s presence and guidance. Then walk to the first house. Do not walk through the yard, rather walk up the sidewalk. Remember to smile the whole time. Ring the bell, then take one step back. You do not want the residents to feel like you are trying to push your way in. They will already feel as though you are invading their privacy. You do not want to cause further anxiety. 

If no one answers after you ring the bell, knock (the doorbell may be broken). If no one answers after you knock, leave a gospel tract and information about the church and move to the next house. 

In the last few years, more and more people have installed video doorbell cameras like Ring. These devices allow the residents to see who is at the door on their cell phones. They can also speak through the device. Be prepared for this. You may encourage them to come to the door, or you may be able to share the gospel over the video device. Take the conversation as far as you can go, then leave a gospel tract and information about the church at the door. 

Tell 

When someone answers the door, the best way to start the conversation is to say, “Hello, my name is (your name) and this is (partner’s name). We are here with (your church name). I am sorry for disturbing you. We are in the neighborhood asking what our church can do to serve the community. Is there something you feel the church can do to help?” This allows the person to have input and sets them at ease. Write down the suggestions. It is likely the suggestions will not be helpful for the ministry of the church, but it does reveal what that person believes is important for the community. 

At this point, you can ask that person if they are active in a local church or ask about the person’s religious background. If they are not active in a local church, tell them that your church believes it is important to worship God and tell others of His great gift. Then ask if you could tell them about that gift. If they say yes, share the gospel. If they say no, ask to leave information about the church and a gospel tract. 

If the person says they are active in a local church, affirm them by saying, “that’s great!” I would encourage you to ask some clarifying questions before walking away. Continue by saying, “so does this mean you are a follower of Christ? Would you mind sharing your story?” I want to hear the testimony for a few reasons. If they are a follower of Christ, we glorify God by sharing how He saved us. This could be a moment of encouragement for all involved. However, if the person is not a believer, that will be evident in the testimony too.  

There are several situations where a non-believer would say he/she is a Christian. It could be the person believes himself to be saved but is confused. He may believe good works will result in salvation. Another reason is that the person is lost and lying to you. Sinners sin. If they think they can get rid of you by lying, it is likely that is what will happen. 

If the person shares a testimony of works, you can correct them by stating, “Those are certainly the type of things that a Christ follower does, but the Bible is very clear about what is required to be saved. May I share that with you?” 

Once you are done for the day, make sure you make notes of which houses you visited, which ones involved a gospel conversation, and any issues for follow up. This will help you with your future efforts in the neighborhood. Also, make sure your team debriefs after each gospel conversation. This will help improve your efforts. 

Door to door evangelism is just one of many methods of sharing the gospel. It is a valuable approach to communicate to your neighborhood that your church cares for them, as well as helpful to reach the homebound. Give it your best effort and allow God to work through you as you go from one door to the next. In Revelation 3:20, Jesus says, “See! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” 

Be like Jesus! 

Jeffrey Farmer

Jeff Farmer, PhD, serves as professor of church ministry and evangelism and he is the associate director of the Caskey Center. He oversees the research efforts of the Caskey Center and consults with smaller membership churches.