Funny enough, I would actually be classified as one of these door-knocking religion pushers, although if you’d have asked me if I would be one many years ago, I would have scoffed at you.
My faith is Baptist and I think (but am not sure) that we and the Jehovah’s Witnesses are really the only ones who still door knock now-a-days. However, even though I’ve been a Baptist for 16 years, I only recently began door-knocking about 3 years ago.
When we moved to South Dakota, we joined a local Baptist church and I was doing a bible study with a gentleman in the church one Thursday and when we left I noticed a group of people at the church getting ready to go knock on doors. I was asked if I wanted to go and hesitantly, I agreed. After all, I know that many people are turned off by this process and wasn’t all that sure I wanted to be on the receiving end of that.
I was very pleasantly surprised. We actually probably approach it somewhat different than many faiths, we don’t try to really cram anything down anyone’s throat and I know that some do. What I found out when I went, is that we usually went to people’s homes that had attended our services as a guest in previous weeks (they fill out a guest card). These individuals are usually pretty receptive to a visit (after all they came to us first so they were seeking faith out in some context).
From time to time, if there had not been a large number of visitors in the previous weeks, we would do some random door knocking. I would say that nearly 95% of people are considerate and even pleased to have you visit. Many might be of another faith and if they were, we usually would say that is awesome. We do ask people if they are interested in any literature on our church and if they are we give it to them. The pamphlets we give them do have some information on salvation as well as that is fundamental to what we believe.
For the most part, we usually just try to approach it from a friendly non-confrontational point of view. If an individual is not interested, we move on. But I rarely found anyone to be unfriendly in the time I have done this. So I have found door-knocking to be a relatively positive experience.
Now, on to the question on how to politely get rid of them (or me!). I have actually thought about this myself as I have wondered how I would feel if a Jehovah’s Witness person stopped at my door. If I was busy at the time, I would be up front with them and tell them I just don’t have the time. If I wasn’t, I would have no issue hearing what they have to say, but I would condition that with the idea that they need to be willing to hear what I have to say as well. I am not turned off by other faiths, while I do feel my faith to be true and correct, I think open and honest communicaton with others – even those who disagree – can only strengthen my own beliefs as it makes me think and study harder on what I do believe.
For those who have no spiritual faith to discuss with the individual, it could still be interesting to have the same type of discussion with them on what you do believe. In fact, it could either strengthen what you believe or it may actually make you consider other alternatives. If you are actually up to or interested in that type of discussion, that is!
Ultimately though, it’s your house, and your choice. Someone who is truly interested in helping you (instead of shoving a belief down your throat) will respect a polite, “Thank you but I’m not interested.” Those who aren’t respectful are most likely not interested in helping you spirtually anyways and politeness would pretty much just be lost on them.
NOTE: This was originally published by myself on my old HubPages account on 1/30/2009.