The whole door-to-door model is broken.

summer Nov. 2011

As usual, the Mormon church is 40-50 years behind the times. Not even the Girl Scouts go door-to-door anymore. They set up tables (with permission) outside of local supermarkets, and make a killing in a few short hours. Want a vacuum cleaner? You're most likely not going to wait for a traveling salesman to spill dirt on your carpet and offer to vacumm it up (seriously, people used to do that,) you're going to go to your local big box store and decide if you want to spring for the fancy-schmancy machine or just get the same brand that your grandmother got. If you want your driveway repaved, you'd be a fool to go with the person who knocks on your door, and will be here today and gone tomorrow. You'll look for a reputable local contracter instead.

It was different in my grandparents' and parents' day. My grandmother got ice deliveries for her ice box and purchased knives from a traveling vendor with a cart. My mom had her dairy products and dry cleaning delivered. I rarely remember our doors being locked growing up, but now my door is locked and dead-bolted.

Nowadays, everyone works, and the last thing that you want after a long, tiring day is some fool knocking on your door. If you open your door to a stranger, you are risking a home invasion as per reports in my local newspaper.

But here you have the Mormon church, still sending missionaries door-to-door like it's 1962. Other churches put listings in the "Sunday Services" section of the newspaper, letting you know what their weekly sermons will be about. Sometimes they take out small ads. They send notices and pictures to the newspaper about their events and activities. They sponsor festivals and fairs, and they invite the community. Some of these events are so popular that you have to park your car at some distance from the church in question. They have fun activities to which members invite their friends (without proselytizing to them. Imagine that!) They put money into constructing beautiful and impressive chapels that people want to visit. And they are thriving.

The Mormon model is broken. What nonMormon wants to see religion-pushers on their doorstep? What Mormon wants constant church visitors intruding on their family time? Push, push, push. I'm not surprised when some of those who have been intruded upon repeatedly finally decide to push back.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/21/2011 12:31PM by summer.

Finally Free!
Re: The whole door-to-door model is broken.
But if they don't do it that way, how will they convince thousands of young men to go get their 2 years indoctrination training? Working online answering questions to a faceless user doesn't provide that same feeling of persecution and "army building" that going door to door and being rejected does...

I'm sure the church will work out something new... It's very adaptable.

Re: The whole door-to-door model is broken.
Seems to just be the Mormons and the Jehovah Witnesses. Sometimes we will get political volunteers that come to our door but that is usually on or around an election or voting day.

The Mormon Church itself has done studies showing door-to-door is a very poor method.
Working through members is much more effective. My belief is if missionaries didn't do door-to-door they would have a lot of idle time on their hands, which is just trouble for the church. Door-to-door is also a kind of rite of passage, creates a sense of sacrifice and identity, and develops the ability "stand up" for the church. They also get a good story now and then :p

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/21/2011 12:19PM by robertb.

Re: The whole door-to-door model is broken.
So correct... I have been a political fundraiser/signature gatherer in the past and the model is very broken. I did the door-to-door thing in 2007 and MAN is that a crappy and punishing job (low pay to boot). I'd love to say I felt bad for missionaries, but they made the job EVEN WORSE just with their occasional presence on my daily route. People were so utterly turned off by the proselyting that I was guaranteed to get a slammed door in my face if I showed up after they had knocked.

I had a woman explain they did not talk to those did the door-to-door thing. I didn't push her at all, but I explained that door-to-door might be annoying, but mail contact is junk mail, email contact goes in the junk folder, calls are ignored.. YES, the model has changed over time but every mode of contact will annoy you just as much as the last. Good luck with that expensive internet campaign, Mormons :)

I agree completely
When the church started it was common for people to stand on a soap box in the town square and pitch their views or products to the crowd. That model is long dead. Similarly door to door salesmen are viewed with suspicion. The town square of the modern age is the internet. The church is doing more in that direction with the missionary chats that are often posted here. The church should open a shop in a mall where people can ask questions. Put them in Desert Book stores. Advertise classes on Mormonism. Anything would be better than knocking doors.

Re: The whole door-to-door model is broken.
i agree people have to learn to stand up for their religion but cant do it im a recent convert and im a priest i went tracting my first time saterday and got 6 new investagaters so it not point less

You have to understand the difference between a "hard" and "soft" sell.
In the insurance game it is like comparing selling auto insurance to selling life insurance.

Everyone has to have Auto insurance, it's just up to the saleperson to have the best product/price they can and sit by the phone and computer and wait for the customer to call. Soft sell.

No one is required to have life insurance so the salesperson has to first find a customer, convince the customer they need the product, find a price they will pay, get them approved, and hope they don't let it lapse next month. If you sit by the phone and computer waiting for the customer to innitiate contact, you will starve, so you have to give them the "hard" sell. Networking, referrals, cold calls,...whatever it takes.

The Morg is the ultimate "Hard" sell. You have to convince the customer the way they have been doing church has always been wrong. Your way is right. You are not weird. Giving up 10% is both a law and a blessing. Polygamy was the natural order of things at one time, etc....

You won't sell tscc sitting waiting for customers to find you.

ps I don't do the life ins. thing. It sucks!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/21/2011 12:28PM by jon1.

your playing a dangerous game with your testimony, jesse, but welcome. 

Re: The whole door-to-door model is broken.
Ahhh, but I think this model still suits TSCC.


Because the primary purpose of a mission is to the anchor the missionary to TSCC for life as a tithe-paying, meeting attending, temple going, raising-up-seed-to-serve-the-lard TBM.
Going door-to-door keeps the missionary physically busy (as well as tired) and mentally/emotionally centered on TSCC. Any opposition from the harrassed just reinforces the teaching that satan is busy working in opposition to the church therefore it is TRUE!

Converts, if any, are secondary to the main purpose.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/21/2011 12:40PM by caedmon.

Re: The Mormon Church itself has done studies showing door-to-door is a very poor method.
robertb Wrote:
> My belief is if missionaries didn't do door-to-door they would have a lot of idle time on their hands, which is just trouble for the church.

This would be my argument that the Mormon church should drastically reduce its missionary force. But as Caedmon says below, the real purpose of the missinary effort may well be to reinforce belief in the missionaries themselves.

I would like to see more young Mormon men of missionary age come to the conclusion that they have better uses for their time than to spend two years selling the church using a very broken, outdated model.

Welcome, Jesse.
Keep reading! There are lots of things that the missionaries never taught you.

Here's a website run by believing Mormons that will tell you many facts that will never be shared with you at church:

Raptor Jesus
Well! If Jesse got a bunch of investigators!
Then we should rethink this WHOLE thing.

Let's just ignore that the church has been doing this for quite some time and can't even keep up with the natural growth rate.

And let's also completely ignore the shutting down of many missions and the horrible retention rates.

Re: The whole door-to-door model is broken.
The whole missionary program is built on a 50's-60's mentality.
That America (and the world) left the station a long time ago. Just look at the white shirt, tie, parted hair, it is a 40-50 year old model. It makes sense the BIG15 are all rich old guys though.

If TSCC wanted to become more relevant with their sales force..

1) Ditch the white shirt and ties. Dress more "normal" to relate to people.
2) Stop the door to door tracting.

The internet presence is key if they want to be relevant. More of the mishies should be on computers. Then, if someone requests their presence or members refer them.. they could come give their presentation. Or they could advertise classes and have people come to them.

Not that I want TSCC to succeed anyways. They would have to change many of their core doctrines and beliefs also.

Hervey Willets
They are in my library several times a week now, cyber-proselytising
They all have facebook pages and blogspots.

J. Chan
Going door to door tracting has nothing to do with converting people
or being effective, nor does the missionary program have anything to do with relating to people.

Re: The whole door-to-door model is broken.
LDS should outsource the marketing to Amazon, rather than having the door to door mish salesmen.

Side deals could be made with Amazon, so people would only have to pay 5 to 7% tithing for salvation and exaltation, with the volume Amazon delivering making up the difference.

Doing it all electronically would also improve revision time to the BoM, Book of Abraham, Journal of Discourses, and gaffs made by Boyd KKK Packer, that could be instantly deleted and replaced with a more marketable claims.

Of course,Amazon is very good at what they do. Membership would increase dramatically, while the young men and women in the mish ranks could be used for a more effective janitorial force since the current janitorial force keeps dying on them from old age.

Re: The whole door-to-door model is broken.
I almost forgot-

Home and visiting teachers could be replaced with omniscient skype cams placed in members homes where a central committee could keep an eye on the membership. This is vitally important around any computer area or behind the closed doors of adolescent members who may not have tied their hands to the bedpost or may be spending mroe time than absolutely necessary in the bathroom.

It would be like an iStrengthening Membership Committee.

Perhaps the idle time of the home and visiting teachers could be used for things such as landscaping at the stake houses, temples, and personal residences of local leadership.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/21/2011 02:29PM by deco.

Re: The whole door-to-door model is broken.
How is it much different to telesales though? Who buys something from somebody who cold calls their telephone anymore? When everybody has the internet to do a price comparison, at the very least, there is simply no need to be pressured by some Indian in a call centre to buy something on impulse that you didn't know you needed.

And yet that is still a primary method used by many companies to promote their products, though admitedly less so than it used to be.

The thing is, TSCC is an expert at marketing, and always has been. How else did it become the world's largest cult! It has already embraced the internet, Facebook, Twitter, online streaming etc as well as every other media going. Missionaries are just one of many marketing strategies they employ and they will never go away because their primary purpose will always be to produce 50,000 tithepaying, temple marrying, baby making RMs each year with reinforced "testimonies". The few hundred converts that join each year after having their doors cold called are just a bonus.

Re: The whole door-to-door model is broken.
Yes it is, but the Church has no other way of filling in the large chunks of spare time that missionaries have. They don't teach many people, members aren't interested in missionary work, they aren't involved in humanitarian or charitable efforts. So all thats left is door to door.

NeverMo in CA
Re: The whole door-to-door model is broken.
Maybe I'm wrong, but as a NeverMo, I believe that the door-to-door aspect of Mormon missionary work actually results in a lot of sympathy for missionaries. I have always felt more sorry for them than annoyed by them, especially watching them riding their bicycles in the rain (or wearing black pants, buttoned-up shirts and ties on a sweltering summer or early autumn day). Plus, I live in a boring, albeit pleasant Bay Area suburb. It's not like the mishies I see here get to spend two years in, say, Rome or Paris (or wherever else scions of the Romney clan are sent).

Since coming on this board and learning that these poor kids' families actually have to PAY for their children to leave home and work for the church that already grabs 10% of their income...I can't tell you how much my sympathy for Mo missionaries has increased further.

On the other hand, I suppose the LDS leadership is not exactly looking for the missionaries to inspire pity in non-Mormons. :-)

Re: The whole door-to-door model is broken.
Going door-to-door has nothing to do with gaining converts. It has to do with disciplining missionaries. In fact the whole missionary program is really geared more towards the deepening of the testimonies--er commitments--of the participants.

Yes, it might not work. But what else would they do with all that time. Door work fills the time, and gives something to go to when all other options fail. This is especially true in a place like Europe where people don't give a flying Spaghetti Monster about Mormonism.

The morg actually does mistreat mishies to inspire pity.
It's one way of engaging nonmos and getting them to interact with the sincere young mormons who might draw them into the fold.

Let's place blame where it's due. It's the mormon leaders and parents who are forcing these kids to live in squalor, not unconnected nevermos in their homes.

The mishies are disposable shills in an artifical exercise to demonstrate blind faith and obedience. Their reward is lifetime bragging rights and personal power in the church culture. it's like going through hazing before full acceptance in a fraternity.

Re: The whole door-to-door model is broken.
Maybe not. You're talking about effectiveness for gaining convert baptisms when the mish is really all about the last step in the youth brainwashing process and soldifying these young guys to the cult. In that case, I think it's a good method. Break them down emotionally from constant rejection so that they "lean on the Lord" etc.

Re: The whole door-to-door model is broken.
Lol...I wrote my post earlier today and it didn't post! I agree with Snowball :)

Re: The whole door-to-door model is broken.

I know it doesn't work in the USA
But does it work in any other country?

I know firsthand it doens't work in Japan (and that was 20 years ago).

How about south america? Africa?

Thank you, Hervey. That's interesting. 

Re: The whole door-to-door model is broken.
who's going to tell SL / the GAs?

Finally Free!
Re: I know it doesn't work in the USA
It didn't work at all in Korea... To the point that we were discouraged from doing it. There were too many women were home alone and not dressed appropriately for two young and impressionable mormons. Not to mention most people lived in apartment complexes.

We got the joy of standing on a street corner and trying to stop busy people, who were obviously on their way and didn't want to be bothered.

We usually ended up talking to drunk people, or trying to get away from drunk people. The "homeless" (many were professional, I saw one of them get up at the end of the day and get into his convertible and drive off) hated us since we were bad for business.

Ah, the memories!

"Recovery from Mormonism -"