In a day of advanced technology is it still the right thing to do door to door visitation? Many churches have done away with their visitation program or have never started one. In our church’s Biblical Counseling program I get to counsel with many people concerning their spiritual life or lack thereof. As the Pastor of Hope Baptist Church in Little Rock, Arkansas area I encourage our church to go out every week. Our church will soon be six years old. We started from nothing and in the last five plus years we have knocked on the door or passed literature to more than 201,500 doors in the communities God has given us to reach. We have seen several people come to know Christ as Saviour. Why do I believe in door to door visitation and having compassion on the lost?
- Because the Bible teaches and commands it.
Matthew 28:18-20, And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. (19) Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: (20) Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Mark 16:15, And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
Acts 1:8, But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
- God gives us an example in the Scriptures.
Acts 20:19-21, Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews: (20) And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house, (21) Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.
I know when we get away from what the Bible teaches we get into trouble. I believe it is one of the reasons we find so many problems in the homes and lives of Christians today.
- When we fail to care about others we lack compassion.
I think many of the young people in our churches today are in a totally entertainment philosophy without knowing what it means to have real compassion for others and thinking about someone other than themselves. I do not apologize for our efforts in soul winning and visitation. We are encouraging our people to have real compassion for others. We have scheduled soul winning every Tuesday and Saturday at our church. We have approximately 25 to 30 people who come each Tuesday morning. Kim and I rotate through our young people and talk about having real compassion for others and we spend time teaching them how to be involved in winning the lost. We teach real repentance for people to turn from their sins and turn to the Saviour. We believe that repentance is important and we preach it. We also have more than 30 people who come on Saturday. So, on any given week we have 50 to 70 people going out to reach our community for Christ. In the last few months we have seen 12 people receive Jesus Christ as Saviour. We believe in encouraging our people and others to go out to reach others for Christ. We have a class encouraging them to do so on a periodic basis. There are several verses in the New Testament talking about Jesus having compassion on people. He is our example.
Mark 6:34, And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things.
It is the great desire of Kim and I and our church to have compassion on the lost. We counsel many Pastors, Missionaries, and Evangelists who have lost their children, have broken homes, and have ended up in tragedy. It is sadly an epidemic. I get many phone calls from preachers who are crying, broken, and they have lost their children, wife, or ministry. I am very much keyed into it because of all the calls and emails I receive about it. One of the things I have noticed is they have no compassion for others. Instead they are angry in their lives, homes, and ministry. Instead of being Spirit controlled people they are angry people. It is all about them and what they are is what is important and when it blows up it is a total disaster. We make every effort to help them from God’s Word. Somebody has to help them and we try to do so.
Ephesians 4:29-32, Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. (30) And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. (31) Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: (32) And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
- Lost people are in darkness and they need someone to have compassion and show them the light.
John 3:16-21, For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (17) For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. (18) He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (19) And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. (20) For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. (21) But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
Jude 1:21-22, Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. (22) And of some have compassion, making a difference:
- It is our desire to teach others to have compassion making a difference.
Folks, when we look at evangelism as a drudgery, duty, or make it a carnal silly game we will burn out. The only way to have compassion for others is to have a real intimate, personal passionate relationship with God. If you do not know what that means please click here.
Hebrews 5:2, Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity.
- Fathers should teach their children to have compassion and there is no better way than to take them with you talking to others about Christ.
Ephesians 6:4-7, And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. (5) Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; (6) Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; (7) With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men:
One of the ways a father provokes his children to wrath is by not teaching them to have compassion on other people!
Some time back, I counseled with a Christian leader and his 22 year old son. The son was about to make a drastic decision that was going to hurt him, his life, and his father. When I asked the son where his father lost his heart, he said it was when he was 8 years old when he ask his father to take him soul winning and his father made excuses and would not take him. I asked the father if this was true and he said yes. Many Pastors lose the heart of their child when they refuse to teach them about compassion for the lost. Through helping this man and his son through the Bible they are both reconciled to each other and the young man is in the ministry today. We only use the Bible when we counsel others because we believe the Bible has the true answer for man’s life.
I believe we need to teach children to have compassion for the lost and it is a big emphasis for our church. Many Pastors have contacted me and talked about their children and their hearts. Many have decided through our effort to teach compassion and God has spoken to their heart positively to go out and take their children with them. Along with developing a real, intimate, personal, and passionate relationship with the Saviour their lives have been changed!
- Social media is not a substitute for personal contact I am not opposed to using the Internet and many of the tools to reach people. We have a web site and many people look at our church through the web site. However, many people create a virtual world for themselves on social media and we are losing a very important heart issue with our children and others, the issue of having personal compassion for a lost world. Or personally having compassion for a person who is in darkness and will die apart from Christ and go to hell. The dangers of social media are very real as more than 40 percent of all divorces now mention Face book by name. We have several articles about the dangers of this on our web site.
Finally, many churches made soul winning into a contest, carnal enthusiasm, games, and a pride show. It is not about any of that it is about having compassion for lost people. People who are LOST and need our help.
Some time back my wife and I counseled with a Pastor and his teenage daughter. The daughter was in total rebellion and had been sneaking out of the house at night and was involved in immorality and drugs. The parent’s heart was broken. When I asked the girl if her parents had ever taken her out and talked with others about the lost, her comment was very revealing, “Why in the world would I want to do that?” The parents had not considered it as well and their church had no organized visitation program. Their daughter was totally self-absorbed with no compassion on anyone. I am glad to report dad, mom, and the daughter made a lot of biblical changes and she is serving God today.
- Having compassion does not mean being weak or a compromiser.
Psalms 86:15, But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.
So many in this day have allowed themselves to think it is weakness or compromise to have compassion. No, it is weakness and disobedience to not have compassion on a lost person. We have the truth and we need to tell it to others with a spirit of caring. Ask God daily who He would have you to witness to. Make it a real part of your relationship with God. It will make a huge difference in your spiritual life! As a Pastor I preach to our people about the need to have compassion. I encourage them to make it a real part of their spiritual relationship with God. Be the person God wants you to be today and tell another about the Saviour and His wonderful love for you and them! When was the last time you asked God who He wanted you to witness to? Think about that because it is a “heart” issue.