Summary: I have a great plan to reach people for Jesus. It's a plan used by Jesus and by Philip. Do you know what it is and are you willing to help me make it happen?
A couple of people from a church were going door to door, knocking on doors and passing out information about Christ and their church. One woman answered who was not at all happy to see them. She told them in no uncertain terms, that she didn’t want to hear message and slammed the door in their faces. But to her surprise, the door bounced back open. She tried again, really putting her back into it and slammed the door and it bounced back open. Convinced that one of the church people was sticking their foot in the door, she reared back to give it a third slam when one of them stopped her and politely said, “Ma'am, before you do that again, you really ought to move your cat.”
This morning I want to introduce you to a man named Philip. Philip was a man who was on fire for Jesus. He was so in love with Jesus, the early church made him one of its 1st Deacons. Later, when the church was persecuted, he went on up to Samaria and, when found a group of people who’d listen to him, he told them about Jesus and ended up baptizing nearly everybody in town.
Right after that, in Acts 8, an angel appears to Philip and sends him on a mission. And Philip doesn’t have to knock on doors, and he doesn’t get a door slammed in his face, and the guy he talks to isn’t offended or angry with him. Instead, the man Philip talks to is eager to hear about Jesus and even asks to be baptized… doesn’t have to be talked into it. And then the man Philip baptized goes on his way rejoicing.
How many of you would sign up to talk to someone about Jesus IF you thought that would be the result almost every time? (Almost everyone put their hands up)
Well… have I got a deal for you. Right here in this text is a recipe for success like that. A recipe on how to talk to people about Jesus and changing their lives. And I’m so convinced that this will be a success that I am personally going to invest my time in making it happen. And I’m looking for volunteers to help (long pause)… those volunteers are YOU!!!!
But first let me give you a short outline of what we’re going to talk about today. GOD SENT Philip to the Eunuch. Philip WENT to the Eunuch. Philip STUDIED with him. And Philip CLOSED the deal.
So, using Philip (and Jesus) as examples, I have a GREAT PLAN to help you bring to Jesus. So, (you might ask) what is this GREAT PLAN you have, Jeff? (I waited until they asked the question). It’s very simple… I’m asking you to (pause) throw a party! And I want you to ask your unchurched friends over for a barbecue. Then I want you to introduce me/Scott to your friends, and I want you to be willing to host a Bible Study in your home.
Now, I don’t want you to invite CHURCH people to this activity (unless they’re helping you). This is totally about a Bible Study for people OUTSIDE our congregation. If you don’t want to teach the Bible Study, that’s OK. Just host it. I’ll teach it, or Scott will teach it, or one of the Elders, or someone else in church will teach it. If you don’t feel comfortable leading the study, we’ll do it for you. But the idea is to introduce your friends to Jesus, and to the church.
And I’m convinced this will work.
ILLUS: I was at Hillsboro Family Camp in Ohio a couple weeks back and I talked to a couple of men from churches that were having a hard time of things. So I shared this GREAT IDEA with them. Both of them said… they’d done it in the past and it was always successful. One of the men told about his father preaching in a small congregation of about 25 people, and that he’d done this Bible study idea in his own home. He said at one point they had more people in his home than they had in the church and they began funneling people over to the church building.
ILLUS: I already have a few people on board to make this happen. Roy and Sherri are tentatively planning to start their barbecue on September 5th and watch the Bears and Green Bay play.
But, why should this work? Well, it should work because it is closer to the Biblical model than knocking door to door. Not that I’m knocking knocking door to door, it’s just that this fits what Jesus did better than that. Do you know what Jesus did in His ministry? He ATE WITH people… and then He talked to them about eternity.