Sometimes people who are hostile to members are more receptive to Missionaries (Elders, Sisters or Couples). You could also just put a handwritten note through the door saying that you didn't want to interrupt them unannounced but you don't have their email or phone number, leave your contact details and ask them to get in touch so you can make an appointment. Another way is to try to find them on facebook and send a message that way in order to try and make an appointment.
@ Lynn and Deb
Amen Amen AMEN!
@Marlene and Kate
The answer to this is the US Postal Service. WRITE them, explain who you are and want you want and ask them to write or call you if they would like a personal visit.
If you don't hear back, continue to write, but never offend by making YOUR agenda more important than honoring their agency.
Imposing on people and making them frustrated--inactive, semi-active or active-- is never justified.
Commenters, plead READ the article before you get huffy. Ms. Hilton specifically said," if you’d had their phone number you would have called ahead, instead of popping in".As one who often has had the responsibility to seek out those who we haven't seen for a while (or ever), I assure you that if I could call ahead, I certainly would! I HATE knocking on doors, but if it is my responsibility, I will do it. I'm guessing most people feel the same. If you don't want to be bothered, at the very least be sure your current phone number is in the ward directory (and we go to great lengths to find that info if we don't have it). We maintain a list of no contacts, but will, once a year, make contact to be sure they want to remain on that list. Many times they will have softened and will accept home and/or visiting teachers. It is not unusual to have no contacts return to full fellowship.
I understand how it feels to be assigned to try to contact a less active and not have their phone number or any information about them. You don't want to offend them so you take a chance. Sometimes it works out well and sometimes it doesn't.
This is just plain annoying. Most people hate it when someone turns up on their door uninvited, and I'm one church member who dislikes it very much and considers it an invasion of privacy. If someone says don't come around, then don't keep pestering them!
How about rule #8, show people enough respect to call and make an appointment rather than just showing up on their doorstep? I am a less active member but have a strong testimony of the gospel. I study my scriptures almost daily, read church books, watch conferences, read ensigns, listen to church talks, etc. I just don't attend church on Sunday right now for reasons of my own, good or bad. I guess being less active gives people the license to feel that you will not be receptive to them so they show you the disrespect and lack of courtesy by just stopping by. The problem is I am an incredibly busy person with very limited downtime so I am usually in the middle of something when this happens and it is really inconvenient. I have literally pleaded with church members (especially VT and missionaries) to not just drop by but please make an appointment and they refuse to do so but continue to just drop by at the most inconvenient times. Eventually, this HAS made me a bit hostile because it is blatantly disrespectful and inconsiderate. At times I will not even let them in now. So now I am perceived as being negative towards the church when that is not the case at all. I just do not know how else to get my message across after pleading to deaf ears. So please just show some respect to people by not necessarily dropping by.
It IS just very rude to show up at someone's home without an appointment, active or not.
SO many VT and HT CAN NOT figure out it is common courtesy to make an appointment.
I don't blame the person in this story, who was having an evening with their family, for being annoyed.
Eight: Next time don't show up unannounced?
While on his mission, my uncle encountered a very hostile woman living in a duplex -- she wasn't a member and never wanted to be -- they were tracting. They asked for her pardon and went next door to the other half of the duplex. They didn't realize that the woman they had just encountered lived in both halves -- she and her husband had bought out the second half and removed the dividing wall. Unknowingly, the elders knocked and the same irate woman came to this door as well. Thinking quickly my uncle quickly said: "I hope you're not as mean as the lady who lives next door." She still didn't let them in, but she smiled and was more cordial this time around.
I always enjoy reading your articles. Thank you for the inspiration and encouragement you give us. Your joy in the gospel comes through in your writing!!! It is blessing many!!! Thank you!! ^_^
Excellent article, as usual, Joni.
When I have been in wards with a lot of "no contacts," it seems that I have become the "go-to" home teacher for these folks, because I never accepted that concept. There is almost always a way to get through. I've never had anyone offended that I brought by a home-made birthday card with a small treat, or an Easter basket, or some other such thing. I think one thing that makes these people not want to see us is that they're expecting a lecture for not showing up at church, so I never even invite them to church. My first message is always that God loves them, and, as God's representative, that's what I try to get across. Only when that message has been successfully and thoroughly received do I move on to other messages.
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