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How to get involved in the colporteur ministry
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You’ve heard the expression, "It’s the little things that count." Jesus said it this way: "He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much." Some-times neglecting the smallest detail can jeopardize your sale—and keep truth-filled literature from entering a home. In your colporteur ministry, keep in mind these "little things."
Q. When I knock on someone’s door and a voice calls "Who is it?"—what do I say? A.Generally the best thing to say is, "We are Christian young people working in the area and we would like to talk with you." Of course, you should always pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit to give you the best way to answer and the best words to speak in each situation.
Q. What if a voice calls out, "Come in!" but the person is not in sight? A. Waiting patiently is often the best solution; the person at home may think you are someone else, such as expected company, relatives, or a repairman.
Q. Should I accept a check? A. Yes; most people are honest and their money is good. Your goal is to get the books into homes. The Lord will take care of the rest.
Legal Requirements • Some areas have laws against door-to-door sales. In other places, a permit is required. Before you go out, it would be wise to call your law enforcement agency to find out the local ordinances. Because you are doing religious work, you are not under all of the laws concerning salespeople in general. Still, it is good to know the law. If someone accuses you of lawbreaking, you will be especially glad you took the trouble to be informed. • Income tax laws require that colporteurs report their earnings and pay taxes on their profits. These laws may not affect minors, unless a considerable amount of money is earned in a year. However, you would be wise to make sure you are in compliance with the law.
Practical Tips • A real colporteur never feels prepared for action without a pen!
• Some people like a receipt for the books they purchase, so it is a good idea to carry a receipt book. Find a style that is simple, inexpensive, and easy to fill out.
• Placing literature in mailboxes is illegal, so leave any free literature in the door or on the porch.
• Be temperate: Don’t eat too much before going out to work, or your thinking will be cloudy and dull. Also be sure to drink plenty of water and get adequate rest.
• Keep careful notes of the addresses of those who were not home, or who have asked you to return, so that you can find them again. It is also a good practice to jot down the names and addresses of those who buy several books or a set, so that you can return later to see how they liked their books. They might even want to purchase more! This is also a good time to offer Bible studies.
Do’s and Don’ts for Door-to-Door Witnessing Do: Always leave all gates, doors, etc., as they were before you arrived. Don’t:Cut across someone’s lawn or garden. We are to be witnesses and examples to everyone. You never know who may be watching.
Do:Be kind to all animals and pets. Many people love their pets as if they were children. Don’t:Refuse an act of kindness. If you are offered something you cannot conscientiously accept, suggest something that you would prefer. Every act of kindness is a result of the Holy Spirit’s work upon the heart.
Do:Smell good; personal hygiene is a must! Clean, fresh breath and neat, well-groomed hair are very important. Don’t: Overdress. Look neat and clean. Avoid wearing a white shirt and dark tie; people may mistake you for a member of another religious group. As a general rule, it is best not to wear a suit or formal dress; this will tend to make many people feel uncomfortable around you. For young men, nice, casual clothing with a tie is a good choice. Girls look best in a simple dress or skirt and blouse.
Do:Go to every home. If no one is home when you knock, make a note of the address and time when they were not home, and return later, at a different time of day.
These are general suggestions. Only the Holy Spirit can help you meet each particular situation.
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