Every week I ask you these three questions: PRAY – INVITE – BRING
What initially brought you to church?
- 6-8% Walked in by own initiative
- 2-3% Liked a program offered
- 8-10% Liked the pastor
- 3-4% Had a need met by the church.
- 1-2% Were Evangelized
- 3-4% Attracted by Sunday School
- 70-85% Invited by a relative or friend!
The average is 83% came to church because of an INVITE by a friend or relative.
Billy Graham Association issued a statistic that says, the average Christian can identify 7 unchurched people that they have a personal relationship with. They conducted a national survey and 82% of the non-churched say they would come to church with a friend or relative if invited.
1. Look what can happen through only ONE INVITE?
A. How did Jesus choose the 12 Disciples?
- Did he get resumes?
- Did he do interviews?
- Did he give them a discipleship test?
A careful review of the Bible and history reveals that most of Jesus disciples were invited to join by another disciple.
B. Jesus’ First Disciples
Matthew 4:18-20 tells a story of Jesus walking by the Sea of Galilee and calling out to fishermen who were in boats. He says to them, follow me. It appears from this story that these men randomly got out of their boat and became disciples that very day. This might have been their call to full time ministry, but the book of John gives the story of their first encounter with Jesus which predates Him calling them from the boats.
35 Again, the next day, John (the Baptist) stood with two of his disciples. (The two were John and Andrew)
36 And looking at Jesus as He walked, he said, “ Behold the Lamb of God!”37 The two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.
38 Then Jesus turned, and seeing them following, said to them, “What do you seek?”
They said to Him, “ Rabbi” (which is to say, when translated, Teacher), “ where are You staying?”
39 He said to them, “ Come and see.” They came and saw where He was staying, and remained with Him that day (now it was about the tenth hour). (4pm, according to a Jewish Day)
40 One of the two who heard John speak, and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. 41 He first found his own brother Simon, and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated, the Christ). 42 And he brought him to Jesus.
Now when Jesus looked at him, He said, “ You are Simon the son of Jonah. You shall be called Cephas” (which is translated, A Stone)
Philip and Nathanael
43 The following day Jesus wanted to go to Galilee, and He found Philip and said to him, “ Follow Me.” 44 Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter.
45 Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote — Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”
46 And Nathanael said to him, “ Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.”
a. Some of the people we invite are going to be skeptical at first. Invite them anyway and trust God to do the rest.
47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him, and said of him, “ Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit!”
48 Nathanael said to Him, “ How do You know me?”
Jesus answered and said to him, “ Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.”
49 Nathanael answered and said to Him, “ Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!”
50 Jesus answered and said to him, “ Because I said to you, ‘I saw you under the fig tree, ’ do you believe? You will see greater things than these.” 51 And He said to him, “ Most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.
C. Look at all of the invites in this story:
- John the Baptist invited Andrew and John
- Andrew invited Peter
- Jesus invited Phillip
- Phillip invited Nathanael
- John invites his brother James
D. The ripple effect. Each of us are networked with other people. We never know what God’s plan is for a person when we invite them to church or invite them to meet Jesus.
E. Andrew invites his brother Peter to come and meet Jesus.
Look what happens as a result of that one invite:
- Peter becomes one of Jesus closest disciples.
- He preaches the sermon on the day of Pentecost and 3000 were converted.
- He becomes the first Bishop of Rome
After the death and resurrection of Jesus, Peter and Andrew become an evangelistic team. This team of brothers left Galilee and began seeking the lost tribes of Israel. They would go to a part of the world that we now call Great Brittain, Greece and also Bulgaria. They established churches and started Christianity among a group called the Anglos and Saxons who lived along the Black Sea.
Around 449 A.D. Britian was settled by hundreds of thousands of new people not there in Peter’s day. It was the Anglos and Saxons. They brought the gospel with them to Britain which eventually became 80% Christian.
- This is where the Pilgrims trace their roots of Christianity.
- We have Christianity in America today because of the pilgrims.
You and I have the gospel today because Andrew invited Peter to Christ.
2. The Great Invite ( The Great Comission)
Matthew 28:18-20 ” And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
You never know what is going to happen when you take the time to invite someone to Jesus.