presented by Christian Downs, Regional Director of ALPHA USA
What are the FEARS of EVANGELISM?
Here is a list a few fears in the context of inviting someone to Alpha; our evangelistic outreach tool…. How does this compare to your experiences?
Who will I invite?
How do I invite someone?
What if they say no?
What if they come and hate it?
Will they think I am weird, it is church stuff?
Will it help their life?
Here is a video on how not to invite someone to Alpha.
Table Discussion: Briefly, what fears you face when talking with someone who is not a believer?
Tips on leading an INVITATIONAL life, a life of INCLUSION
“Follow me, I will make you fishers of Men.” Mark 4:19
- Knowing people outside the Church.
- People need a Christian that they can trust first.
- They need to have a reason to listen to us before we just jump straight into the gospel, times have changed.
2. We can either give people a reason to say YES or say NO to JESUS.
- We can either be the hypocrite that confirms the bad stereotypes and make people continue to say NO to Jesus and live in the darkness.
- OR, we can be the reason that people want to explore this faith thing further and come into the light.
The Process of how people come to faith has changed.
Lets look at the last couple generations compared to people in our society today.
- 30-50 yrs ago – It used to be: “Is it True, then I will believe…” People just had to look at facts and then they would believe.
- 10-20 years ago, it shifted to the question, “Is it Real?” Has it impacted people around me and actually made a difference? Then they would be intrigued.
- Now, “What’s in it for me?” “How will it change my life?” That’s the process people go through now with fewer people having the stories and faith conversations as a kid. We are almost past Post-Christian and entering into Post-Atheism.
What does that look like in practice?
- Be intentional about demonstrating good deeds.
- Invest in relationships: In your calendar, with your budget, and socially.
- Exceed typical expectations.
- Listen well – (extraordinary interest, reflection), and then check back in the future with ongoing interest and care.
Table Discussion: Can you think of 3 people in your life right now that don’t attend church? (96% don’t)
Have you ever tried sharing your faith with them or tried inviting them to a church event?
Leading a life of Hospitality means to love the stranger.
- Let’s look at the root of the word.
- Philo + Xenos = Hospitality
- Philo = To Love (Greek)
- Xenos = Stranger (Greek)
- Hospitality means to LOVE the STRANGER
Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God (Romans 15:7).
Show hospitality to one another without grumbling (1 Peter 4:9).
2. Helping people along the journey is relational not transactional.
- It is not just a quick one-time thing, it is on going.
3. Idea: Host a Dinner Party.
- Think of how you like to be treated at a great event, a drink, introduced to people, you are seen and heard and made known.
- Sharing and Inviting is best when personal and not via technology
- Facebook and other media forms are great but only when in addition to the in person conversation. Other forms of advertising only bring credibility to the personal inviotation.
- Good Hospitality replaces “you should” with “let’s do”
- It’s an invitation to come with you.
- Pray and focus on a few at a time
- Try intentionally praying for just a couple so doors can be opened and your boldness to present to start that conversation when the time presents itself.
Table Discussion: What is the best event you have ever hosted or attended? What/Who made it different? Who is the most hospitable person in your life? What act of loving the stranger can you implement this week?
What empowers us?
We are instructed to go and make disciples. The word “go” is used 1513 times in the bible in one translation. We are not meant to stay put, but be mindful and intentional as we go. Remember the 96% out there who don’t attend church regularly.
- Illustration from Scripture: Consider when Jesus left the 99 to seek the 1.
*Our current church in the U.S. is almost the reversal of the 99 and the 1. Jesus left the 99 to go find the 1. Our chuch is almost reversed in that we have the 1 and have forgotten the 99 that are out there that we are called to GO and invite.
2. We need to focus on the people close to us.
***Try the 1.1.1 method (1 pm, 1 person, 1 minute)
- Every day at 1pm set an alarm
- Pray for 1 person (Same person for 30 days)
- Pray for that person for 1 minute per day.
Jamie was a person who I was praying for using this 1.1.1 method and he actually even started a faith conversation with me. He is not a believer and now wants to come explore faith and ask questions.
3. We need to focus on the people different than us.
Embracing some different crowds and acting how Jesus did, in LOVE.
Jesus acted in LOVE
Remember: You can count how many seeds are in a piece of fruit, but you cant count the amount of fruit that is one a seed.
Let’s not be afraid to plant seeds of live in people’s lives so that they are ready to seek the light and see generations changed.
Table Discussion: Who Can I start with? When will I see them next? What else can I do to get involved?