One of the most important questions for us to be asking right now as a church community is simply, “How do we effectively reach out to the people in our surrounding community?” This is an important question first, because in order for our church to grow in the way it needs to grow to continue moving forward it is essential to connect with people in our community who are not already connected to any other church. Second (and actually this is an even more important reason), it is our call as followers of Jesus. Jesus commissioned all of his followers to, go and make more followers (See Matthew 28:19). If this is our commission, then as a community we need to ask and answer how to do this. We will be talking a lot about this in the weeks and months to come, but I thought I would get the ball rolling here. For the next few weeks I am going to share a few practical ideas on how we might begin to connect with some of the people who may one day be part of our church and who one day may come to put their faith and trust in Jesus. The great thing about any of these ideas is that they are things that just about anyone can do. Here we go:
- Eat with Non-Christians. We all eat three meals a day. Why not make a habit of sharing one of those meals with a non-Christian or with a family of non-Christians?
From my perspective, this is one of the suggestions that could come most naturally for many of the people in our church. We include a meal as part of our Sunday gatherings, and we eat well. Every week I look forward to tasting the culinary creations of our community. We are blessed with some really good cooks. Seriously, how many people can say they have homemade cheesecake after worship? We can! What would it look like if we combined our communal love for good food (both making it and eating it) with a regular invitation to share with our friends who are not yet followers of Jesus, or who are not connected with any faith community? Dinner and conversation. Dessert and conversation. Hanging out around food with no agenda other than friendship. We’re already good at that, and it may be the key for some that opens the door to a deeper connection.
*Some of the ideas shared in this series originated in a blog post by Jonathan Dodson. That original post can be found here.