Every member a missionary!” has been a personal motto of my ministry. However, turning that motto into a reality can be challenging. Many members are mildly anxious or even terrified by the thought of outreach and door-to-door witnessing. That is why the book by Kamil Metz, The Open Door, is worth reading and sharing with your members. This book contains a collection of inspiring, real-life experiences from student literature evangelists. Each vignette is short, with vivid details and spiritual applications woven into them in a way that does not feel preachy or judgmental. Just a few chapters will convince you that God is at work and faith-sharing opportunities can be found behind many doors in your neighborhood.
There is the story of Sophia, who wanted to take her life and told God, “If You are really real and want to know me, You will send someone to me or my life ends tomorrow.” The next day, a colporteur knocked on her door and shared just the book Sophia needed. And there is Pat, who had once attended an Adventist church as a teenager but did not know how to reconnect with her faith. She asked God to send her an Adventist and was surprised when one knocked on her door.
There are also several intriguing angel stories, such as when Cauvin Moreau was offered water at a door. Although he was alone, the couple in the home returned with two water bottles. “Here’s one for you, and here’s one for your big friend.” When Cauvin went to the next house, a large man once again handed him two water bottles, including one for his “big friend.”
The book does not try to explain the miraculous experiences or signs of providence. It seems that Metz follows a “less is more” approach, and you certainly do not feel that he is attempting to add to the drama by fictionalizing details. Where possible, he uses the actual names of student evangelists and the people they met. The layout is also simple. The stories are arranged thematically into ten sections, such as “The Great Controversy” and “God’s Timing,” but each story stands on its own. The stories are told in a simple, down-to-earth fashion that can be enjoyed by old and young alike.
I chose to read the book as part of our family worship. Not only do our children love hearing the stories, it has helped increase their desire to fulfill the Great Commission. At the end of one reading, my youngest stated emphatically, “Daddy, I want to be a missionary some day!” Now, if only our members could catch that same vision—perhaps this book will help them do just that.
—Reviewed by Alan Parker, DTh, professor of religion and director of the Pierson Institute of Evangelism and World Missions, Southern Adventist University, Collegedale, Tennessee, United States.