Unification Sermons and Talks
by Reverends Hentrick
Guaranteed Result Witnessing
by Shigeko Hentrich
(Published in the October, 1991 issue of "World and I")
Many of us have had the chance to experience a variety of witnessing methods. Of course, the standard which Father has described to us is not dependent as much upon an external method as upon our internal heart to witness.
Unfortunately, that burning heart of love for our fellow man is less than constant in most of us, and more than slightly out of reach in others of us -- and you can't fake it. Whether we have the proper heart to witness or not, all of us know we must do so.
The local bus station has often been designated as "the place" to meet new people. However, in our community of Casper, Wyoming the 12-seat bus carries more packages than passengers (that is, when if finally comes through town). Of course there are alternatives to the bus station -- for instance the junior college, where the dorms are three tiny apartment-style structures, and everyone else drives to and from classes.
We enrolled in social clubs and spent lots of time meeting very few people. We tried service-style home church, and found that middle- class neighborhoods can make service-style witnessing quite challenging.
When it comes right down to it, we only need one person to successfully witness, so there are no good excuses. And, if we are serious at the price of our lives, we would break through in any situation, as Father did.
Unfortunately, however, when we look at the reality of ourselves and our movement -- plus our track record for the past dozen years -- we see the need to take stock of ourselves and re-think our direction. There is likely nothing wrong with our purpose and motivation. This is what prompted my husband and I to seriously analyze our traditional witnessing strategies.
On a practical note, I am Japanese, so I have my own challenges on top of those of native-born Americans. My husband spends a lot of time as editor of a newspaper, and we have two small children to care for, which is naturally a major responsibility which falls mainly on me. Perhaps our situation is not unlike many others of you.
Three years ago, I began to go around our home church area with our daughter, Misun, during the few hours her older brother, Michael, was in kindergarten. I met lots of people, but I wasn't always clear about my reason for meeting them or about my relationship with Father. Afterwards, I would often feel bad about that. I thought I would bake cookies for them and make friends -- gradually getting to know them.
To my surprise, however, I found that people -- especially the good people -- kept moving away. Often, too much time would pass between my initial and subsequent visits. My spiritual energy level was not the highest either at that time. I was losing power.
Then we decided to try what my husband had begun doing with members earlier in Nebraska -- taking a portable video player door-to-door with the tape "Faith and Reality," and very directly offering to show it to people in their homes. ("Rev. Sun Myung Moon; Peacemaker and Unifier" is also good for many viewers.)
This began one of the most invigorating and revitalizing experiences in witnessing I could have imagined. I found it was not so difficult to introduce myself and ask people at their door if they would like to see a video about Reverend Moon. Witnessing only about two hours a day, it became a regular occurrence for people to invite me and my daughter (or son, on weekends) inside for a showing. Some weeks I would show the tape to several new people. Within a few months, I had shown Father's life to forty people in our small community.
We shortened the video to a 37-minute version, omitting some portions which were not essential to the introductory purpose of my visits. People responded even better.
Sometimes I would leave a copy of the tape with people who were repeatedly too busy to invite me in, or who seemed to be more receptive to watching it by themselves.
Upon viewing it, many young people would comment that they had heard very little about Father, and could not understand how such a historic person would not have been part of their studies at school. Some would ask if Father is still in jail. A growing number have not even heard of Father.
We have found this method of witnessing to be great -- and to produce, in a very real sense, one hundred percent guaranteed results.
For one thing, while people do not automatically join the Church after seeing Father's life, still, the spiritual impact on their individual lives, as well as on the spirit world of the entire community, is readily apparent. Also, Father's name is being resurrected with each and every showing.
And, rather than bouncing off street contacts after reaching a disagreement within a few short moments of theological conversation, you find yourself catapulting each viewer up to a greatly resurrected relationship with True Parents -- in only 45 minutes time. It is precisely direct and to the point, like jumping into the deep end of a swimming pool. With the providence of God being so far ahead of us, there appear few viable alternatives to being as direct with people as possible.
Mastery of English? While it is not a problem for me, it is not even a factor with this method. Even a person holding a paper sign at the door, introducing themselves and the video, would be perfectly sufficient with this method.
Just as beneficial as the witnessing effect, is the impact that watching Father's life over and over again has on me and on my children as we visit people's houses together. It is so valuable for my five-year-old and seven-year-old to be participating so actively and consciously with my in my home church work.
It is not a service-oriented home church approach, but rather a media- oriented home church method of introduction. We find it to be perfectly appropriate in even the fanciest of neighborhoods. You just dress up a little more, that is all.
We have not brought lots of spiritual children who have signed membership yet. But without a shadow of a doubt, as I now pass the eighty mark in home showings, the impact on this small community is becoming pronounced. Long ago, I became the talk of the town, especially in the Christian churches.
We need to be out there, publicly telling people about Father. We need to be resurrecting Father's name, effectively. We need to be resurrecting people's spirits, including our own. We need to be fulfilling our home church mission, effectively. We need to give the spirit world a substantial foundation through which it can work. We need to start bringing real results and resurrect our movement.
In our experience, door-to-door home church video introductions do all of these things, without fail. You know when you go out the door that you will soon have substantial results to feel good about and build upon. There is literally no way to lose.
Make a plan and try it yourself. We pray that such an effective way to witness might be just the shot in the arm the American movement needs now.
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