For forty years Father has commanded us to witness and convert at least one person each month. This goal of Father is clearly stated, repeated constantly and its significance is explained in detail endlessly. Father is desperate to save lives. He wants us to be desperate too. Our first thought on waking should be witnessing and the last thought before falling asleep should be the longing for a new spiritual child. Did you see the movie Schindler's List of a non-Jewish man saving thousands of Jews from the death camps?
Father tells us to teach with videos
Father has told us to witness with videos. Some people read; everyone watches videos. I look forward to the day when UC headquarters makes great videos. Eventually Hollywood will make them. Father said, "From now on, we will not witness in the old style but through videotapes. ... All you have to do is push the button. You can educate people while you relax." (May 1, 1981). Father says our number one responsibility is to teach. He practices what he preaches. He constantly teaches. He says, "the primary function of the Unification Church members is ultimately to educate people." I talked to Helen Andelin on the phone and encouraged her and her husband to make videos. Her book is a best seller, but it would be especially powerful if we could see them and hear them.
Witnessing is our primary job
Father says, "witnessing is your primary job and the job I give you today. I declare this an emergency situation for America ... When you see young people spiritually dying out there, you should be more passionate than I am, crying out for their salvation ... If you sit still, you will die. You have to work, to restore, to inject life. ... You are the small Reverend Moon in your area. You are the savior to your state and city. ... You are in a very serious situation ... You must hurry! You must have the 'can do' spirit and work hard ... our primary mission is to increase membership ... I have been emphasizing the formula 1-1-1 . Why haven't you accomplished this?" (March 1989). Are we ashamed?
Let's do better than the Jehovah Witnesses
The Jehovah Witnesses are not ashamed of who they are. They are so proud they relentlessly knock on doors saying who they are and giving literature. They have a plan. In my research over the years I've studied successful groups to see how they organize themselves. I spent time with Jehovah Witnesses. Because I know the Principle, they had to call in one of their big guns to answer my questions. Even he couldn't figure out how their beliefs could overcome the obvious flaws I saw in their theology. The Principle is the whole truth, and it is easy to annihilate people's illogical, science fiction beliefs. The problem I had was their power to cream us in witnessing. It is an awesome sight to be in their church knowing that everyday people in thousands of other churches are doing what I saw. Once I was in a church on a weekday afternoon and witnessed one of the most powerful scenes of my life. Every street of the town had been mapped out and a team of local members came in after being out knocking on doors for hours. Another group of assorted old and young, single and married people were there to pray with them and pass the baton. Some who had been witnessing had the day off from work and were going out again. They all talked a little and figured out who was going where and for how long. Then they prayed for victory. Everyone was nice and courteous. When they left I asked the man who I had come to see some questions on how they organize witnessing. He explained they had done this for so many years world wide that it was like breathing. His grandmother lived in another city, and he knew she was out that day as she had witnessed every day in her neighborhood for years. It is humbling to see these people in action and sad to compare us to them.
Recently there was a cover story on the front page of our local newspaper showing a father, mother, and two teenage daughters standing in a large crowd at a Jehovah Witness convention at a nearby rented hall. The article profiled this family. The Father was around 40 years old and said about 10 years earlier he and his wife were thinking of looking for some place spiritual. They were hippie types. He said he had long hair and had never been religious. But he and his wife were feeling empty. A man came to their door, they invited him in and soon they were knocking on doors with a desperation to save lives. The picture showed a clean-cut, nice, conservative looking family that bore no resemblance to the undisciplined past he described. Are they happy? They say they have meaning in their life. God is part of their life. He said he was drawn to them because Jesus said, "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations -- teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. (Matt. 28:19)."
The reporter asked him if it was difficult to witness. He said it wasn't easy, but he couldn't imagine not doing it because this is how to best love people. He said, as all Jehovah Witnesses will tell you, they have the "true" church because no other church has every member witnessing. I once told one of them about the UC, and that it believes in witnessing. He said, "No one has come to my door. I've never heard of anyone who said they had come to their door so it couldn't be the 'true' church." What could I say?
Witnessing is selling
Witnessing is selling. One of the top sales trainers in America is Brian Tracy. I enjoy listening to his tape series such as the Psychology of Selling, The Psychology of Achievement and reading his excellent Maximum Achievement. I once watched a video of his at the Seattle Library. He is a master teacher. To help illustrate my point of being successful at persuasion and making the sale (and it illustrates how the UC talks to each other), he told the story of two salesman. One came in the office and began telling the salesman who had just returned to the office, "I had a great presentation this morning!" The other salesman replies, "Yeah, I didn't sell anything either." Covey is a motivational speaker who is now popular. He tells in his audio tape on the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People the example of a group cutting its way through a jungle, perfecting it's machete training courses, etc. when someone climbs up a tree and looks over the forest and yells back, "Wrong jungle!" The leaders below get mad and shout back, "Shut up! We're making progress."
It is inspiring to read Jerry Falwell describe in his autobiography how he started his church by taking a map of his town in Virginia, drawing a circle around where his little room was and going door-to-door. Soon he trained a few men to do this and eventually he had thousands of members. Robert Schuller is the longest running preacher on TV. For 25 years he has been a motivational speaker. Once he came to the city I lived in to give his inspiring message. I went to see him along with thousands of others. I would go to hear a member of the UC speak if I knew he had been successful in witnessing. Why don't we have inspiring people like that? Motivational speakers are powerful because they have done it and they can teach it. Schuller has built a church from nothing. He writes of how difficult it was to get started all alone. Guess how he did it? He went door-to-door. He tells of how hard it was to knock on the first door. He sat in his car for 20 minutes getting the courage up. Finally he did and eventually he built a crystal cathedral. Name me one American brother who has accomplished more. Why not. We have the truth. We have the living Messiah giving the greatest motivational speeches in history. We have the Divine Principle. Why don't brothers do it? American brothers are too socialist/feminist. In a Today's World I read of a sister who got elected to a state legislature. How sad can it get when an ACC regional leader sits around talking politics with his other ACC state leaders, and his wife goes out and becomes a state senator and he stays home to do the dishes. It is a socialist/feminist, i.e., Satan's dream come true -- a weak man and a disorderly woman.
Mary Pride has some interesting ideas on witnessing. She is not happy about Christianity focusing on church buildings instead of people's homes. Centralization seems more impressive and powerful but grass roots is how you win. I remember reading a while back about the movie The Sound of Music. When it came out every major movie critic slammed it. So sales were slow. But something interesting happened. Word of mouth. It went on to become the greatest musical hit ever. Nothing is more powerful than grass roots. Father, as usual, knows this and has always focused on decentralization. Just as soon as something gets built up he sends people to other areas. In the real world of capitalism where you have to produce, sales managers (leaders) have to have real world skills of training people to actually achieve, not report how hard they tried.