Many critics of door-to-door soul-winning say that soul-winning "doesn't work" or is a fraud because so few of the people who get saved in the process ever end up coming to church. Therefore, they say that these people "must have never really gotten saved." Here is a list of 11 reasons why most of the people who are saved through the soul-winning of Faithful Word Baptist Church will never come to church, even though they are truly saved.
1. They don't speak English.
About 50% of the people that I personally win to the Lord speak only Spanish. Although I speak Spanish well enough to effectively preach the Gospel and dialogue about Biblical doctrine, our church does not offer services in Spanish. Our church will never offer services in Spanish. However, it is our goal to preach the Gospel to every single person in the greater Phoenix area. We do not want the Spanish-speakers in our area to go to Hell without getting a chance to hear a clear presentation of the Gospel. There are several people in our church who are able to speak Spanish, and I would estimate that about 20% of the people who are saved through our soul-winning efforts don't speak English.
2. They are older children or teenagers.
Many of the people we win to the Lord out soul-winning are teenagers or children and are therefore not in a position to drive themselves to church. Since they are not the decision maker in their home, they will probably not be able to get their family to go to the church of their choice.
3. They live too far away or have no vehicle or gas money.
Our goal at Faithful Word Baptist Church is to knock every single door in the greater Phoenix area, which includes approximately 4 million people. Therefore, we do not only knock doors in the immediate vicinity of our church. As we radiate outward with our soul-winning, we find ourselves knocking doors that are 20, 30, or more minutes away from our church. Let's face it: someone that we win to the Lord in a ghetto 30 minutes away from our church is probably not going to make the 1 hour round trip drive to come to our church. But does that mean that they are not really saved? No!
In addition, our church does "Small Town Soul-winning Marathons" every few months, and dozens are saved in small towns across Arizona that are usually about 1.5 hours from our church. These people will probably not make a 3 hour round trip commute each Sunday to be a part of our church. However, if we don't bring them the Gospel, who will?
4. They are too shy to visit.
I have been in church my entire life and am by nature an outgoing person, and yet many times I have been very shy and nervous walking into a new church for the first time and not knowing anyone. One time, there was a young lady in her twenties who came to visit our church. She had been in church her whole life, and her father had been a Baptist pastor. After talking with me a little bit, she told me that she had actually come to visit the week before but had chickened out when she got to our parking lot and saw "the crowd.," so she turned around and drove off. She worked up enough courage to come back the next week and come to the service. Some people are just too shy to walk into a church where they don't know anyone - especially if they have never even been to church before.
5. They already go to church somewhere else.
Many of the people who get saved through our soul-winning efforts already go to church somewhere. Many of them are already even attending a Baptist church. Once they get saved, they may continue to attend a liberal Baptist church or a new-evangelical church because of the fact that they have ties with friends and family there.
6. They are recruited to another church by friends or family.
Often I have won someone to the Lord who has family or friends who are already saved. Although these watered-down Christian family members or friends never took the time to get their loved one saved, they will jump all over them to get them plugged into their church, now that they are saved. People are much more likely to go to a church where they already know people than to a church where they don't know anyone. Also, a new believer may not know all the specific things they should be looking for in a church, and therefore, they may easily end up going to an inferior church because they already know people there.
7. They are too lazy to come to church.
Because as a church we knock every door in each area we go soul-winning, much of our time is spent knocking doors in slums and ghettos. Many of the people who get saved have very little character and are very unreliable people. Many of them want to come to church and have every intention of coming to church but do not have the character to get themselves out of bed in the morning and drag themselves to church. Many of them can't even hold down a job, let alone come to church on Sunday.
8. They are physically disabled.
As we knock doors out soul-winning, we are able to preach the Gospel to many people who would otherwise never hear it because they are physically disabled and almost never get out of the house. Many are hooked up to machines, crippled, very elderly, or in some other way too impaired to get to church. Thank God, we are able to bring the Gospel to them and give them the opportunity to place their faith on Jesus Christ for salvation.
9. Their spouse does not want them to come.
Obviously they should come anyway:
"Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men." - Acts 5:29
However, many who are saved will allow this to keep them from coming to our church.
10. They are offended by something in our church invitation.
At Faithful Word Baptist Church, we are very clear about who we are and do not pretend to be something that we are not. We want people to know what kind of a church we are. Therefore, our church invitations are filled with information that we want people to have, and that will give them a clear picture of our church. These are the three invitations we hand out:
11. They consider our church "too extreme."
Our church is considered "radical" and "extreme" simply because this world has become "extremely" different from the standards set forth in God's word. When people hear real Bible preaching, it can sometimes be shocking to them because the television has brainwashed them their entire life with messages that are contrary to the Bible. A person who believes on the Lord Jesus Christ still may be worldly and not able to handle hard preaching.
Does soul-winning work? Well, it depends on what you consider the goal of soul-winning to be. I believe that the goal of soul-winning is to get people saved. Therefore, it works! If your goal is to have a larger church attendance, then it may not work as well as other methods. Jesus Christ promised that HE would build the church, and so I will leave that to him. He never commanded us to build the church; he commanded us to preach the Gospel to every creature.
Now, reader, if you have read through these 11 reasons and are still not convinced, then I have two questions for you:
1. Are you saved?
2. Do you want to attend Faithful Word Baptist Church?
If you answered "yes" to question 1 and "no" to question 2, then you may have just discovered the 12th reason why many of the people who we save* out door-to-door do not end up joining our church!
Many Calvinists and other non-soul-winning hypocrites will object to my terminology here because they are ignorant of the following scriptures:
"To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some." - 1 Corinthians 9:22
"If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them." - Romans 11:14
"And of some have compassion, making a difference: and others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh." - Jude 22, 23
"For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?" - 1 Corinthians 7:16