After our energizing and Spirit-filled service on Sunday, Katherine Johnson and I took our water bottles and sunglasses across the street to Mobley Plantation and began knocking on doors. I’ve only done this kind of ministry a couple of times in my life, and never with my Senior Warden. I’ve often struggled with this type of evangelism, but realize that sometimes the only way for folks to know about this wonderful group of disciples called St. Nicholas is for us to go out and tell them. The purpose isn’t to beat people over the head or strong-arm them into filling our pews. It’s just to introduce ourselves, let them know we’re available, and most of all, listen.
We only went to one street yesterday. Many doors didn’t open. One couple who were sitting outside quickly ran inside and didn’t answer when we knocked. Most people just stared at us and thanked us awkwardly. But the goal is quality, not quantity, and we did have a couple of great conversations. First, we met a man with four children who answered the door. One boy was very interested when we told him about SNICK and when I told him we play 4-Square there, he told me all about the rules. Our longest conversation was with one African-American family who are about to be evicted from their property. Several neighbors have complained about them. They’ve been called the “n-word” by one neighbor. They have lived there 15 years and now don’t quite know what to do. Katherine and I weren’t there to fix the problem, but we were there to listen and to pray. They welcomed our prayers.
You don’t go out on the streets to do this kind of work so that you’ll gain more members. You do this because God has so blessed us with love, care, and grace that it spills out of our hearts and we have to share it with others. We may never see those families again, but at least for a moment, they felt that someone cared about their problems. That made it all worthwhile.