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Follower Trap #4

#4: Expecting Someone or Something Else to Share Your Faith
If you don’t invite your friends enter a growing relationship with Jesus, who will?  Almost every follower of Jesus I’ve met wants their church to grow and people to go to heaven, but most of them don’t live that way.  There is an expectation that the church had better grow, but a minority take personal responsibility for being a part of the solution by inviting their friends and family.

Increasingly, we seem to count on a church’s marketing to "sell" Jesus for us. Billboards, radio ads, flyers, web marketing are all supposed to "drive" people to the church.   In my former ministry, we grew rapidly and at the same time became "famous" (in such a tiny way) for our direct mail flyers.  But it bothered me that most of the people came because they saw our flyers or someone who didn’t go to our church told them to come to our church.

When a church loses a bit of a growth curve or stagnates, members blame everyone but themselves.  Hear me — as a leader, I take full responsibility when we hit a tough spot, but imagine what would happen if we all shared that responsibility and took action by telling the world about Jesus.  Imagine in eternity when our friends find out that we sat on forgiveness, hope, healing, mercy and grace and kept our mouths shut.  (Friends don’t let friends go to hell.)

At Connexus, we’ve scaled back our public marketing.  Some of that is intentional.  In the Bible, when people met Jesus, they left him only to run and tell their friends what this incredible man had done for them.  We call that dynamic investing and inviting.  Invest in real relationships with people who don’t go to church.  Hang out with them.  Pray for them. Develop great friendships.  And then invite them with you into a relevant environment (like Sundays or community groups) where they can meet Jesus.

The numer one reason people don’t go to church?  No one invited them.  A recent poll on hypocrisy revealed that while Americans (sorry, no Canadian data) generally dislike Christians, 78% of people who don’t go to church would have a conversation about faith with a Christian if the Christian was willing.  God’s mercy is bigger than we realize.

What keeps you from inviting your friends?

2 Comments

  1. june stables on January 16, 2008 at 11:45 am

    Not only should we be inviting our friends to church wherever possible, but we should be inviting people to Jesus wherever the opportunity presents itself. I think if we could take a poll, I hope that it would show that more people came to Jesus by the testimony of their friends and piers than who came to saving faith by going to church. We are supposed to be built up at church to go out and do the ministry every day in everyway we can. I find it interesing that most Christians I know believe we are just to plant seeds and someone else is to reap the harvest, but the Bible says we should pray for labourers because the harvest is ripe and the workers are few, I can't find anywhere where it suggests that we are just to keep planting seeds indefinitely, can you? We are all to work the harvest and not only that but Christ is delaying his return because of that very harvest that is ripe for the reaping while we speak. I am guilty of this myself so I hope this does not sound harsh, but I believe it is true. We just have to ask God to use us and he will do it. God Bless

  2. Chris Brown on January 15, 2008 at 8:22 pm

    Right on Carey! I'm speaking on that very subject this weekend in Charlotte. Jesus said begin in Jerusalem (our local,personal influence). If the local church doesn't succeed in reaching neighbors it will cripple our capacity to reach the nations! -chris

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