Pastor Greg continues his message series on “Neighboring 101.” This week he focuses in on why it is so important to regularly invite our neighbors to attend church. Jesus and the disciples showed us how easy it is to invite someone to be a follower of Christ. We just say “Come and see! Follow me!”
The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!” When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, “What do you want?” They said, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?” – “Come,” he replied, “and you will see.” So they went and saw where he was staying, and they spent that day with him. It was about four in the afternoon.
~ John 1:35-39
As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” At once they left their nets and followed him. ~ Matthew 4:18-20
As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him. ~ Matthew 9:9
COME AND SEE! FOLLOW ME!
Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus… ~ John 1:40-42a
The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, He said to him, “Follow me.” ~ John 1:43
Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” – “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked. “Come and see,” said Philip. ~ John 1:45-46
“There are two things you don’t talk about with friends, politics and religion.” ~ OLD ADAGE
TWO PROBLEMS WITH THE IDEA THAT WE SHOULD NOT TALK ABOUT JESUS
1) What we have with Jesus is a RELATIONSHIP not a RELIGION!
2) We have been COMMANDED BY GOD to TALK ABOUT JESUS!
“We must obey God rather than men.” ~ The Apostle Peter
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” ~ Matthew 28:18-20
TWO NECESSARY THINGSFOR OUR CHURCH TO GROW AND THRIVE
1)We have to BE THE CHURCH!
2) We have to be VERY INTENTIONAL in INVITING PEOPLE in a VARIETY OF WAYS!
FOUR MORE WAYS TO INVITE SOMEONE TO CHURCH
1) BY THE WAY
Work in something you love about our church into everyday conversation and then invite your FRAN to attend.
2) SOCIAL MEDIA/EMAIL/TEXT (Part One)
Post something positive about our church yourself.
3) SOCIAL MEDIA/EMAIL/TEXT (Part Two)
When we post something about the church….
Intentionally LIKE on that post AND SHARE that post on your wall.
4) SOCIAL MEDIA/EMAIL/TEXT (Part Three)
Send a private message, an email or a text directly to your FRAN inviting them to church. Attach a graphic of our invitation card.
ALOHA GROUP DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
1) When was the last time you invited someone to attend Waikoloa Community Church with you? How did you do it? What was their response?
2) Do you also make use of the tools Pastor G referred to, (E-mail, texting and Social Media) to invite and inform your friends about events and opportunities at the church? Why or why not?
3) Do you ever feel fearful or anxious about inviting someone to church? Why or why not? Do you ever feel that way when inviting a friend to dinner? Why or why not?
4) Do you agree with the old adage that you are not supposed to talk about religion with friends? How do you reconcile that with Jesus’ command to go into all the world and make new disciples of Jesus?
READ: John 1:35-46
1) Pastor Greg pointed out this passage and others where the invitation to follow Jesus was very often simply “Come and see! Follow me!” Do you think it is more complicated than that? Why or why not?
READ: Matthew 4:18-20 and Matthew 9:9
1) Jesus gives this simple invitation, “Follow Me” and immediately these men seem to walk away from their former lives and become fully devoted followers of Jesus. What do you think it was it about their experience with Him that made them accept this kind of open-ended invitation so easily and completely?
Pastor Greg mentioned the necessity of all of us “being the church” when it comes to being successful in inviting others to join us. By this he meant that we can then, really, just invite our friends to join us, to be with us. He said, just as 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.
1) What are some ways that you can you be better about “being the church?” How often do you just share positive things about the church with people you know in regular daily conversation?
2) Think of your favorite movie or TV show or book or your favorite restaurant or beach here on the island. Convince the other members of your aloha group that they should come with you to see that show or read that book or eat at that restaurant or visit that beach. Pretend that their lives depend on them accepting your invitation. What would you tell them about this thing? How enthusiastic would you be? Go ahead and role play it out and do some convincing and inviting.
3) Now, imagine the room was filled with some of your closest friends here in the village that are not already a part of any local church. They may or may not yet believe in God. They may or may not yet express faith in Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. Realize that their ETERNAL lives DEPEND on them accepting the invitation to follow Jesus. While they don’t have to join THIS church to do that, fully following Jesus’ commands means they should be part of a local church. What kinds of things would you share about your relationship with Jesus and your involvement in Waikoloa Community Church to convince them of their need to follow Jesus and convince them of the benefit of attending our church with you?
4) What if you were writing an online review (Amazon, Yelp, Facebook) about our church? What would you write and how would you try to convince people this is a great church for kids, for youth, for families, for young adults, for empty nesters, for retired people, for senior citizens? (Write out your review on a separate piece of paper.)