The invitation, from Jesus, is to “Come and see.” It’s an invitation with no threats, anxiety, or nervousness. The reality of the Kingdom is that it is a process. It’s overwhelming to our defense mechanisms that we can be loved and love others while Grace walks alongside of us.
People, who love their church, want to invite their friends, but ask the question, “When should I invite my friends?” A sermon series is a great way to leverage opportunities to invite you friends.
1. Think about a sermon series like Netflix episodes.
Sometimes our friends can think an invitation means a lifetime commitment. It shouldn’t. When we think about a sermon series, think Netflix episodes. When Jesus discipled his followers, he would often teach them something, ask them to go and model it, and then come back and talk about it. We allow our friends to process their church experience when ask them to a set of episodes (series) that they know has a beginning and an end. We are simply asking them to “Come and See.”
2. Do you know your friends?
Many people think of preaching as a solo experience. You sit down and listen to someone speak for 25-35 minutes. Preaching is a communal experience.
Your Pastor can’t possibly know your friends. You do. You know what they care about, fear, love, etc. When you know where your friends are at, you know what sermons series, or “Netflix episodes,” to invite them to – “Come and See.” This is how the Holy Spirit works in Church community. You play a role in the sermon planning by deciding what friends you want to invite.
3. Widen your circle of influence
When you invite your friends, they often want to stay by your side. That makes sense. They don’t know anyone or where to go the bathroom. A church is its people and not its sermons series. While you are awesome, they need to be introduced to your circle of friends. As you introduce your friend to your “church friends,” you widen your circle of influence and you recognize your friend’s circle of influence. The average person needs to feel like they know 5-7 names before they begin to feel comfortable. It may feel good to be the friend who knows all the answers to your friend’s questions. However, It is more empowering if your friend can recognize, know the names, and carry a conversation with new people.
Every new sermon series, you have an opportunity to do these three simple things. The impact your church can have is incredible!
Be good friends!