We started this idea this past Christmas season. Everyone Bring One. We didn’t spend a lot of time pushing it. But it’s a very important concept for our church.
I remember it clear as day.
I was having a conversation with a leader at a church I used to work for. I have always been very passionate about the church reaching the hopeless with the hope that we have. As we were talking, I share with him this simple concept, and he seemed to really resonate with it. This was all I said: if everyone in our church brings someone to church this year, and half of those people stay, our church would grow by 50% this year.
What this means is that a church of 200 would grow by 100 over the course of a year.
Perhaps 50% is optimistic. Call me Santa Claus if you want. I’m optimistic. I actually think a number higher than 50% is possible.
..if they are part of our 8 to 15.
If you didn’t know, the likelihood of someone coming back to church greatly increases if they come with someone they know. Of course there are more things that go into that. They need to have a good experience. Ultimately they need to have an encounter with the God of the Universe – which is the only thing that can guarantee their return.
But, if they’re invited by someone they know.
And, that’s if each of us only invite one person. We could grow by 50% if we all bring someone to church this year and half of them stay. But, what if we invited more? What if we invited at least 4 people this year?
Why 4? Well, we are on this journey called “The Disciples Project.” We spend two months going through a module, and then we do a month that’s more outreach minded. That means we will have 4 months this year that are dedicated to reaching the people you invite. 4 months.
What we hope and desire is that each of us will spend 6 to 8 weeks, that time that we’re in the module, investing in a relationship with one of our 8 to 15. Invest in the relationship for 6 to 8 weeks, and then, invite them to the outreach series.
Or, what I really hope is that we won’t be dependent on an outreach series. What I really dream is that we all have that courage to share our own story of hope. What I really dream is that we will all start to make the invitation, not to church but to the relationship. But if you just can’t do it, invite them to church.
Of course, you don’t have to wait until the outreach month, you can do it any time. And we’d love it if you would. But, we really think that this will create a good rhythm for each of us. Invest for 6 to 8 weeks, and invite. Invest for 6 to 8 weeks and invite.
And during those 6 to 8 weeks, pray. Pray a lot. Pray as often as you can remember to pray. Set reminders on your phone to help you remember to pray. Pray for that person you’re going to invite. Pray that God would, through the power of His Holy Spirit, open the eyes of their heart and mind. So that the gospel can be planted in the good soil. Pray. Pray and Expect God to create the opportunity to invest and invite. Pray and Expect God to prepare their heart. Pray and Expect for God to start doing things in their life. Pray and Expect for them to respond to God’s call in their life.
So, now is the time to start investing. These are the 6 to 8 weeks to start spending time with that person you’re going to invite. Have them over for dinner. Buy them a coffee. Help them with a project. Find ways to serve them and be there for them and care for them. Love them unconditionally. Not because you want to manipulate them, but because that’s what we’re supposed to do anyway. And if we can do it with one, we can do it with another. If we can learn to love like we have been commanded, we will see God move in powerful ways in our midst.
If every 6 to 8 weeks, everyone brings one, and 50% of them stayed, do you know what that would do? It’s astounding really. If we everyone brings one and half of them stay, well, let’s just say, it would be pretty amazing to be a part of a church like that. That’s what I’ve always dreamed of, God moving in such a miraculous way that we can’t even keep up with it.
What do you say? Let’s do it! It’s not even a question if we can, it’s a question of if we will.