Summary: "What does it take to bring people to Jesus?" The answer is what it has always been: God’s truth shared in love and friendship, illustrated daily in the life of the one sharing the Gospel.
Making the Invitation
One of the two who heard John speak, and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first found his own brother Simon, and said to him, "We have found the Messiah" (which is translated, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus.
(John 1:40-42 NKJV)
When we talk about our faith in Jesus Christ, someone will inevitably remind us that what we believe is fine for us but not for them. All this leads us to ask, "What does it take to bring people to Jesus?" The answer is what it has always been: God’s truth shared in love and friendship, illustrated daily in the life of the one sharing the Gospel.
For more than 50 years the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association has been helping believers share their faith through friendship and relationship. The simple plan they use to encourage believers in friendship evangelism is called Operation Andrew.
Operation Andrew gives you a plan that can help you invite someone to Jesus. This plan shows you how you can prepare yourself for the time when God wants you to invite someone.
Identify those who need Christ. Ask God to help you have His eyes and His heart for those who don’t know Him. Write their names on a card and place it where you can see it every day.
Pray daily for them. Pray that God would begin to show them their need for Christ and that He will help you to live in such a way that they see the difference Christ is making in your life.
Build bridges of friendship. Spend time with them. Have them over for dinner, play golf, go for coffee, listen to their problems. In other words, be a friend.
Share the Gospel. As you listen and befriend, God will open a door for you to talk about your relationship with Jesus Christ. The opportunity may come for you to invite your friend to an outreach event, a Bible study, a Christian concert or your church. All of these can be used by God to prepare your friend to accept Christ—but don’t wait for an event to share Christ if the door is open.
Help them grow in their new relationship with God. If your friend accepts Christ, you are the one who should help him or her get connected with a church and grow in Christ. A new believer is like a spiritual infant and needs someone to be a spiritual guide and mentor.
If your friend does not receive Christ, don’t be discouraged. Continue to be a friend, knowing that it takes time and cultivation to see a seed germinate.
What you are doing is simply preparing the ground. You are not going to change the person. God does that. But you can invite someone to a place or an opportunity where they can see changed lives and experience God’s love – a love that changes lives. Today, I want share with you a few tips on how to invite. How you do you get someone close enough where they can hear God’s message of hope? Next week I will talk to you about how to share with others in a non-threatening way.
One simple way to share your faith is to simply invite them to Jesus. You don’t have to talk about Jesus, or feel pressured to convince others about your faith. You just simply invite.
Remember, most non-Christians think Christians are strange and weird. Going to a church is an unusual experience efor many. So you have to real, and non-threatening. How can you invite someone with sincerity and without causing fear?
HOW CAN YOU INVITE?
One simple way is to invite them to an IBC Bremen house group. Some people may not come to church, but they may come to your house group. It doesn’t meet in a church. You meet at a more convenient time. You meet with a smaller group of people with the same interests and age. That appeals to some people.
Invite them to an IBC Bremen “food event”. BBQs, picnics, and house group meals or just any excuse to eat is an excuse to invite. Perhaps you can invite someone to the fellowship that we have downstairs. Most people are shy and they can’t overcome their fear alone. But put a donut and a cup of coffee in their hands, and they can hide behind the food.
Invite them to a special service or event at IBC Bremen. If you think it is appropriate, then invite them to a special service. We have family services, Vacation Bible School, house group services, Christmas, Easter and Church Anniversary and Mother’s Day. These special worship services may draw some people.
Invite them for a special sermon series that you think might appeal or interest them. I am not a perfect preacher, but I do try to preach in series – normally monthly. I try to address topics that interest people. Generally every month will be a different topic.