Posted by: Jay | January 18, 2008

Send me some missionaries!

Why is it that other Christian Churches don’t send missionaries around?  I’m not talking about crazy street corner preachers, I mean clean cut, good mannered guys or gals, coming right to my door.  Mormons and Jehovah’s witnesses are the only ones I have ever seen doing this.   Shouldn’t I be seeing a lot more Catholics and Protestants out sharing the good news; considering LDS and JWs are small in numbers compared to mainstream Christian churches?

The odd thing is, I actually enjoy discussing religion especially with people of different faiths.  I often don’t agree with them; however, I find it fascinating to learn about what they believe.  It helps me to change my thinking a bit, in a good way.  Unfortunately, people now days don’t like to talk about religion.  What a waste!  How is being part of a religion significant if it is so personal you can never express it to anyone?

I’m not saying that I’ve never had missionaries come to my door.  Occasionally, the JWs come by.  I also had a visit from two college age Christians.  When they came to my door one night and asked if they could pray for me and I invited them in.  I was ready to talk, but apparently all the really wanted to do was say a prayer and then leave.  I’m not sure if this is some non-LDS thing I’m not aware of or if they just saw the temple picture on the wall and decided to make a run for it.  They didn’t even tell me what church they go to or invite me to attend.  You’d think if someone let you in the door to pray you might want to at least invite them out to church.  Anyway, I welcome people of different faiths into my home, I wish I had more come to visit and explain their beliefs, maybe even stay for dinner.  Unfortunately, the only people that come consistently are the LDS missionaries and I already know what they believe.

Don’t get me wrong I’m not hurting for company I have a wife, children and plenty of friends.  I just find the subject matter engaging and having someone come by gives me the excuse I need to take a break, sit down and talk.  So next time your in town come by, I’ll save a spot on my couch and if your lucky we’ll have something to eat:).

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Responses

  1. Protestant missionaries do indeed do some door to door tracting in other countries. But it is a rare occurrence in the US. The reason is that it’s not really all that effective in our culture. Salesman, LDS and JWs are generally perceived as a nuisance because of their door to door activities.

    Jesus taught, “do unto others. . .” and nobody really wants someone else showing up uninvited at their doorstep, so we don’t do it. I do know that some Protestants specifically go to Utah and go door-to-door, but there again, it’s rare.

  2. When I was in Ecuador I never met a protestant missionary. I did meet some protestant seminary students, but not any that went around talking to people. Isn’t Christ’s Church supposed to be a missionary Church? Also, why should we deny the opportunity to hear the gospel to people simply because we are afraid they won’t want to hear it?

    Don’t get me wrong Tim, I know that people in the U.S. consider LDS and JWs a nuisance, but I got the same treatment in Ecuador as missionaries get here. I also know that there are many people that are willing to listen to the LDS message here in the U.S. why wouldn’t they listen to protestants too?

  3. Well my parents were missionaries in the Philippines and my wife was a missionary in Peru so I’m pretty confident that Protestant churches are sending out missionaries.

    I think it’s a matter of style and mission though. Protestants send out missionaries to foreign countries to mostly train and invigorate local Christians. Then we send the locals out to spread the gospel in a culturally effective way. We by all means have a high value on evangelism, we’re called Evangelicals for goodness sake. =)

    We for sure think that everybody should have the opportunity to hear the gospel. But if you look at the hard data of conversions and retention; door-to-door evangelism is largely ineffective. It’s not the best use of money or man-hours.

    I should also throw in, if you’re looking to talk with a Protestant. . .let’s talk! I can resend you my phone number. I’d love to talk sometime.

  4. I think it’s a matter of style and mission though. Protestants send out missionaries to foreign countries to mostly train and invigorate local Christians. Then we send the locals out to spread the gospel in a culturally effective way.

    That’s what the LDS Church tries to do also. Almost all of my companions were native Ecuadorians. Most of them only lived a few hours away from their families. The local members that were called in Ecuador usually served there, with a few exceptions. I was told that this is what the LDS Church wants to do – have people serve in there own country.

    …door-to-door evangelism is largely ineffective.

    The LDS Church has learned this too. I always heard the statistic that only 1 person per 1000 door knocks would get baptized. That’s a lot of work! This is why the Church is pushing members now more than ever to refer friends. The conversion rate is much higher, and they tend to stick around after baptism. One mission in South America had an 80% retention rate (which is really high), most of their converts were member referrals.

    Send me you phone number again, It’d be nice to talk to you.

  5. I’ve always wondered this myself. My parents were converted to Adventism through seminars put on by the local church, but one thing lacking was someone other than the pastor visiting during the conversion process.
    I enjoy talking with the lads that visit from the LDS Church, the JWs aren’t as much fun, and I also try and make time for any group that comes to my door.
    Street preachers just seem to rub me the wrong way, especially when I’m pounced on them as I leave a movie. Oh well….
    Agreed, the rest of the Christian population would do good to copy some of the ideas of other denoms. I really like the idea of Home Teachers.


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