Summary: We have been given a great invitation to extend to th world around us
The Great Invitation
September 8, 2013
On December 17, 1903, Orville and Wilbur Wright made their first flight of an airplane at Kitty Hawk NC. On their 5th attempt, the plane under the control of Orville, embarked on a 12 second flight.
Wilbur rushed to the local telegraph office and sent the following message – WE HAVE FLOWN FOR 12 SECONDS - WE WILL BE HOME FOR CHRISTMAS!
Upon receiving the telegram their sister, Katherine went to the newspaper office, told the editor of her brother’s new flying machine, and informed him, they would be home for Christmas, if he would like to set up an interview.
He told her that was nice, and he would be sure to put something in the paper regarding the boys.
On December 19th, the local paper placed the following headline on the 6th page of the paper: “WRIGHT BROTHERS HOME FOR CHRISTMAS” (SermonIllustrations.com)
The newspaper missed an incredible opportunity to report on some of the most amazing news in history. They completely missed the point. Sadly many churches fail to share the best news of history. We cannot afford to miss the purpose and the point of the church. We have been called to point people to a life changing encounter with the Jesus.
Here are just a few examples of what the early church was able to accomplish:
Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day. Acts 2:41
And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. Acts 2:42
12 The apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers used to meet together in Solomon's Colonnade. 13 No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people. 14 Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number. Acts 5:12-14
Big Days in the Early Church
Pentecost 120 to 3,000
Acts 4:4 to at least 5,000
Acts 6:7 Added a large number of priests
Acts 8:5-25 Revival in Samaria
Antioch Great many people came to believe
Acts 21:20 Rapid growth (tens of thousands)
Key questions on personal evangelism
Who am I currently reaching?
Who is like me?
Who is not churched?
The key is how well the church is able to help people move from one level to the next. Each level is an increase in their personal commitment. Moving people deeper allows for greater growth of the church.
Community – People who are outside the church
Crowd – People who are occasional attendees
Congregation – Regular attendees
Committed – members
Core – Leaders
One key to helping the church grow is to reach new people and getting them to attend, while simultaneously moving people from the crowd to the congregation. What would happen at the average church if they could gain new families and fringe families to start attending?
There are two types of people that we need to reach if we are going to start fulfilling the Great Commission: the unchurched and the de-churched. Unchurched people are those who have no connection to a local church. Often these people have no church experience and do not value church. These would often be the most difficult people to reach. The second group is the de-churched. The de-churched are people who have been a part of church somewhere at some time but no longer attend church anywhere. De-churched people are more likely to attend church if they were invited by a friend or family member.