An Invitation Can Change Everything.
Whether you grew up by a grassy field in the country, or a road just outside a small town, or in the concrete canyons of a big city, there are people who wish someone would tell them what God was all about. They may be skeptical, they may be resistant, they may say no, but deep down, many of them want to know God and wish that someone would tell them about Jesus.
Something To Talk About:
In our lives, we all know people that on the outside it appears they will never turn to God. However, on the inside, they are desperately longing for someone to tell them about Jesus. This may be the perfect time to invite them to church to learn about the hope we have in Jesus. With one invite their lives could be changed forever.
- Until you have seen us through the eyes and heard us through the ears of an unchurched or de-churched person, you haven’t seen and you haven’t heard: By unchurched, I mean those who do not consider themselves a follower of Christ and therefore do not attend church. By de-churched, I mean those who have been hurt by a previous church and aren’t currently attending anywhere else. Things that seem absolutely normal to us are completely foreign to those who have never attended. This is why we have to be actively engaged in inviting unchurched people. It forces us to see through the eyes of an unchurched person. When we aren’t inviting unchurched people to attend, we only have the option of looking at everything through the eyes of a church person.
- Non-Inviters critique and complain incorrectly: I don’t like the music. Why doesn’t the pastor wear a suit and tie? Can we get an organ in here? I wish we would go back to singing out of the red backed hymnal. Let’s do a series on end time prophesy! These are great ideas and suggestions, but they are from the approach of it being about us rather than it being about creating an environment where people who don’t follow Jesus can feel at home.
- Inviters critique and complain correctly: The message was great, but how does it apply to my friend who doesn’t attend church? I love extended times of worship, but for my unchurched neighbor visiting for the first time, standing up and singing songs he’s never heard before for 45 minutes was really uncomfortable. Here is the deal. If we ever stop becoming a church that is actively inviting the unchurched to come and be a part, we will eventually become just another church for church people, and that is not who God has called us to be.
- Describe a time you were invited to something you didn’t enjoy. Were you glad you received the invitation? Why or why not?
- When was the last time you invited someone to attend Northstar with you? How did you do it? What was their response?
- Do you ever feel fearful or anxious about inviting someone to church? Why or why not?
- Read Matthew 4:18-20; Matthew 9:9: The invitation to follow Jesus was often “come along with me” or “follow me.” Do you think it is more complicated than that? Why or why not?
- There was something about Jesus that drew people to Him. We need to model that as well and draw people both to Jesus and to our local church if we want our church to grow and thrive into the future. Can we do do both through an invitation? Why or why not?
- Think of your favorite movie or TV show or book or your favorite restaurant on the Emerald Coast of Florida. Convince the other members of your small group that they should come with you to see that show or read that book or eat at that restaurant. What would you tell them about this thing? How enthusiastic would you be? Now use that same technique to talk to a friend about coming to Northstar.
- What is the worst thing that can happen to you if you invite someone to church and they say no? What could happen if they say yes? What could happen if you never invite them?
Take one thing home with you:
Some people never talk about religion and politics. But from God’s perspective, a person’s faith is the one thing we should talk about. This week, begin or continue to pray for your friends and acquaintances who don’t know Christ. Then, using whatever style is most appropriate, be couregeous and invite at least one person to church and see what God does through your invitation.