When you think about reaching out to others, what do you invite them into?
I believe that what is needed in the body of Christ is believers who are willing to generously offer Jesus-centered friendships to others they meet. Far too often, we encounter spiritually interested folks and we invite them to our “meeting,” our “church,” or encourage them to “get plugged in” to some ministry. However, for many of us we simply do not know how to practically invite people into a relationship with Jesus. Often this can be because we simply do not feel qualified or capable to help others connect with Jesus. We feel that an expert would be better suited for such a task. After all, we don’t want to mess up something as important as following Jesus!
This need not be the case.
Personally getting involved in the Great Commission may take making room in your calender and it may take stepping out of your comfort zone, but not much more is needed than the Expert living in you! A mentor of mine always says that Jesus doesn’t need your ability but your availability. Life Transformation Groups can add further practical clarity to what making yourself available for a Christ-centered friendship could look like. You can read more about Life Transformation Goups (LTGs) here. In LTGs, two or three get together to share insights from the Scriptures, be open and honest with each other about our struggles, and pray for one another and those that the Lord has placed in our life. Sadly, many believers I meet do not have friendships that could be characterized as such, but discipleship starts these types of friendships.
So perhaps you could invite someone into this kind of friendship today–because it would be good for them, but also because of the need in your own life to follow Jesus with a friend. How might you approach someone about this? Perhaps such an invitation could go something like this:
“Hey, I don’t know if you are interested in this or not, but I would love to get together with you regularly and talk about spiritual things! I have found that I really need people in my life who would like to read the Bible, discuss what we hear Jesus saying to us personally from the Scriptures, be open and honest about struggles, and pray for each other. Would you be interested in something like that?”
Could you make such an invitation to someone today? What if you made this offer generously to those you encounter? How many would take you up on such an invitation? Give it a try and don’t be surprised if you find that more people want such friendships than you have time for! In the next post we will discuss multiplying Christ-centered friendships…