Pastor Greg completes his series on good neighboring this week. Today he drills down a little deeper on how we can make sure our churches are “churches for the unchurched. By that he means a place where unchurched, pre-Christian people can come and feel welcome, engaged, inspired and motivated to explore their faith journey more fully. Pastor G says he likes to create “a safe place to hear a potentially dangerous and life changing message.”
We need to be Investing In and inviting our FRANs (Friends, Relatives, Associates and Neighbors.)
96% of people who are not currently involved in a church say they would attend a church if invited by a friend they know and trust. Yet, only 2% of current church attending Christians ever invite an unchurched friend to attend church with them.
If we don’t actively embrace personal evangelism, INVESTING IN and INVITING our FRANs to follow Jesus and join our church family, our local church will shrink and die like many others across our nation.
If we are going to be a “Good Neighbor,” we can’t get caught in a holy huddle,
clubhouse lifestyle where we no longer interact with non-Christians.
“Love your neighbors as yourself.” – Jesus
You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men. “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. ~ Matthew 5:13-16
The best way I know for a local church in our modern day and age to love our neighbors as ourselves, is to make sure we are a “church for the unchurched.” ~ Pastor Greg Scott
ALOHA GROUP DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
READ: Matthew 5:13-16
1) What does Jesus mean when He calls us “the salt of the earth?”
2) How does salt “become tasteless?”
3) What are the distinguishing characteristics of a Christian who is no longer salty?
4) What does Jesus mean when He calls us “the light of the world?”
5) Scripture also calls Jesus the light of the world. How can we be the light of the world if He is the light of the world?
6) How can we “make our line shine” the way Jesus is describing it here?
7) How well do you “let your light shine” on a daily basis in this way? What could you do differently or better?
1) Pastor Greg said “The best way I know for a local church in our modern day and age to love our neighbors as ourselves, is to make sure we are a ‘church for the unchurched.’” What do you think he means by that? Do you agree or disagree? Why? What are some ways we could be more intentional about making our church a “church for the unchurched?”
READ: 1 Corinthians 9:19-23
1) What does Paul mean when he says he has made himself a slave to all?
2) How will this help Paul win those people to Christ?
3) Paul gives a few specific, representative samples of groups he has intentionally tried to identify with for the sake of the Gospel. What lesson should we take from this in our modern era and culture? Does this method of evangelism still apply to us or only to Paul?
READ: Philippians 2:3-4
1) How can we apply this message from Paul in our every day interactions with non-Christians and the unchurched?
2) How about within our church worship services, aloha group,s Sunday School and other programs? How can we make sure we keep the primary focus on others and not on our own comfort and preferences?
3) Is this difficult to do? Do people struggle with this idea? Why or why not?
1) Pastor Greg shared “The Parable of the Life Saving Station.” What insights did you take away from that story? Have you ever experienced anything like that in your own life?
2) What is it about the human condition that tends to pull us in the direction that this life saving station went in the story?
3) When we consider the writings of Paul and the statements of Jesus that we have examined in this study, how would you advise the people of the Life Saving Station when they began to turn it into more of a club for the members and started to lose their focus on their real purpose for existing?
4) Have you ever heard the adage: “The church is a hospital for sinners, not a hotel for saints.”? Do you feel like that is the same message being presented in the life saving station parable?
5) What are some specific steps can we take as a local church to make sure we don’t ever become “a club,’ and instead always keep our primary focus as “a life saving station?”