Are you gearing up for Christmas at your church?
Of course, you know you’re going to get lots of visitors—people who don’t normally come to church at all. Whether they come to a carol service or Christmas Day services, or some other Christmas outreach event, you expect to see new faces, and you plan to explain the gospel as clearly as you can in that brief evangelistic window. “Make the most of every opportunity…”, and all that.
But for most of those people it’s a ‘first date’ with God. They aren’t coming to church really expecting to or prepared to make a lifelong commitment to God.
So Dominic Steele has come up with a brilliant strategy: give people a clear ‘next step’ in their relationship with God this Christmas. Show them what is involved in a second date.
To that end, he’s put together the following video, which you can show in church and then refer to in the main talk or sermon:
So the first step is to show people the video that plants the idea of further investigation.
The second step, if you can do it, is to find someone in your church that you could interview that has come to faith through doing the Introducing God course (or a course like it), and who can testify that it wasn’t a scary but an enjoyable experience, and was really helpful in getting to know God.
Then you preach your normal Christmas gospel message, and end by saying something like this:
Well that’s it. Jesus is the Lord, the Christ, the King, the one who will save the world. He calls everyone back to him. To honour him. To trust him.
Question: What will I do?
Well you might be at the point of beginning to check out Jesus.
That Introducing God course we advertised. We are starting it in a small group, straight after the holidays - Tuesday night January 20th.
You could come along. It’s relaxed friendly. Over a meal. Every view welcome. Nothing off limits.
The card to RSVP is on your seat. I might just ask everyone to fill that in. Then no one feels self-conscious. And if you are considering coming to the course in January, just write ‘Considering Introducing God.’
Now, it could be that you are here thinking: “Yeah Yeah Yeah! That’s great! I’ll come to the course. But I actually want to fix things with God today.”
How might you do that? Well if that’s you - then it is to speak to God
Now, this may be for you. If it’s not that’s fine …
Now, as we sing our final carol - celebrating Christmas - we will collect those cards… and if you did indicate that you would like to do the Introducing God course then we will be in touch in the new year.
Of course, to round up everyone into a course, you might have to offer several courses on different days, different times and different starting points. Some might even end up as one-to-one versions of the course (for those visitors who don’t find such a thing too threatening).
The video above can be downloaded for playing on church screens, and the materials for the Introducing God course are available from Matthias Media.
We'll be praying that there are lots of 'second dates' after Christmas in your part of the world.