I've read the following as some of the negative opinion about door-to-door evangelism, not necessarily in this order. First, you don't have to do it. Nowhere does Scripture say you have to do it. Second, it doesn't work, so it's a waste of time. Third, there are much better ways to see better results. Fourth, when we stopped doing it, we had a lot more success. That ties in with number three, I know. Fifth, the people who do it are generally one-to-three-pray-with-me, easy prayerism types, that have a weak view of salvation. Sixth, the people who are involved with it don't want to develop relationships with the lost, like Jesus did with sinners. Seventh, just shoving the gospel down people's throats isn't going to work. You can't pull your Bible out like a big hammer and expect people to listen to you. Eighth, door-to-door preaching will close the doors of your church to people. People won't want to come to visit the church because you've turned them off to the church through the preaching. Ninth, the people who do go door-to-door think that you can measure people's Christian life or spirituality by how many doors that they knock on. It lacks in grace in this way and is a faulty view of sanctification. Tenth, unsaved people just don't like it. Eleventh, people in general, not just the unsaved, don't like having cold turkey calls on their doors. It's a turn off. Again, that is related to number ten. Twelve, a lot of Christians can't do door-to-door; it's too hard. So there we go---there's twelve of them. You can tell me if you've heard others. I wanted you to know, however, that I really already knew all of these, heard them all before, and maybe even others that I'm not thinking of right now. I know I'm still stupid, but I at least know these.
So, if you want your church to get bigger and especially if you want to be a mega-church, you've got to dump door-to-door. I want you to explore with me how giving up or stopping door-to-door evangelism will grow or build your church.
First, if you don't go door-to-door, your people will like your church more and stay. This is what people call 'keeping the back door of your church closed.' When people find out that you think the Bible requires Christians to be a part of preaching the gospel to every creature, they will find another church that doesn't say that, and go there.
Second, if your church is a church that goes door-to-door, people out there will figure that out, because they'll see you going. And they'll know then to stay away, because you may as well admit it---you're crazy. People into Jesus enough to go cold turkey to someone's door to talk about it are so fanatical that they will scare the normal person off. Keep going door-to-door and people will mark you down as the place not to attend.
Third, you will ruin the strategy of inviting people to church by preaching. You don't want to give them an unpopular message all at once, but to dispense it a little at a time to make it palatable to the hearer. You first want them to get excited about qualities of your church that aren't offensive to them. Once they find things they like, then they'll accept some of the things they don't like as part of the whole package.
Fourth, your church people will be disaffected toward church ministry by door-to-door. Your workers will dwindle down to near nothing if they feel like they have to do something so difficult. And without those volunteers, your church can't grow. To keep up the interest for working in your church, you've got to minimize the value of door-to-door and make it seem as more of an unappealing alternative for the few hysterical. Even better, replace it with forms of evangelism that make common sense.
Fifth, if you are doing door-to-door, you are taking away from the methods that actually work in adding numbers to your church. If you want your church to get bigger, you use techniques that target certain demographics with church programs and incentives. Any manpower or time that you take away from those programs, the smaller your church will stay.
I recently read the following that represents exactly what I'm talking about above:
When I first came to this church 12 years ago, we had a door to door program. It consisted of me and one man going out on Saturday mornings and another man going out by himself on Saturday afternoon. We did this faithfully for 2 years with zero results. I begged the Lord to give wisdom. I was willing to do that my whole ministry if that is what he wanted. But I also sensed something had to change. . . . We have not done door to door in 10 years and have way more Gospel contacts than we ever did. My people are starting to get it. I really believe this is the best way to give out the Gospel. Find a hobby you like, and witness to the lost who do it.
People laud this kind of comment in evangelicalism and fundamentalism, as if it really is novel kind of thinking. It isn't. People stop evangelizing everyone because they suffer persecution. They stop because preaching is an offense. It isn't popular. It's foolishness to the lost. They stop because the fear of man brings a snare. They stop because they fear him who can destroy body more than they fear Him Who can destroy both body and soul in Hell forever.
A good question is: what did Jesus do? He preached everywhere to everyone. There was no strategy except preach to everyone everywhere. He preached to everyone everywhere in Galilee, Judea, Samaria, Perea, Caesaria Philippi, and Tyre and Sidon. If you are truly gospel-centered, you will too. You will sow, water, and God will give the increase. God gives the increase. The one who sows and the one who waters are nothing. They are irrelevant. The new methods and strategies bring new relevance to the one who sows and waters. They think of ideas that Jesus never thought of. And meanwhile, what Jesus actually told us to do, preach the gospel to everyone, goes undone. We disobey the Father's will because instead of being sanctified by the truth, we are sanctified by our own opinions and feelings. Jesus came to do the Father's will. We have come to conform the Bible to our own will.
Another acceptable new measure is the idea that you "pray for wisdom," and then God tells you something that adds to what He already said. He told you to preach, but because "you weren't seeing results," you prayed for God to give you wisdom. And how did you get that wisdom? Where did you get your new revelation? From man. It didn't come from God. God isn't going to give you something that will contradict what He already told you to do.
The churches in the Bible that became classified as churches that preached to everyone became more unpopular with the world. So will yours. Don't go door-to-door if you think it's about making your church bigger. It's about obeying the Bible and, therefore, honoring God.