My church is starting the Alpha Course in about a week, so it has given me the opportunity to invite friends and neighbors to join me. The Alpha Course is an opportunity to explore the Christian faith in a relaxed setting over ten thought-provoking weekly sessions.
God has used the simple course to lead many people to faith in Jesus. I am hoping He will do it again with my friends and neighbors and the friends and neighbors of others in my small group.
The last two weeks have been really great for my missional community in large part due to the fact that I have something tangible to invite people to do – the Alpha Course. It has forced me to bring up spiritual conversations by inviting people to join me. I realized this week that I really needed something like Alpha to invite friends to “come and see” what we believe.
Go and Tell
There has been a lot written and spoken of these days on the need to be a “go-to” church instead of a “come-to” church, and rightly so. Sometimes believers fall into the trap of believing it is the work of the “called” to share the gospel and that their role is only to try to get people to come to their church so they can hear the professional Christian share the gospel.
This is an unbiblical way to look at “calling.” All who are in Christ are ministers of the gospel with the same call and responsibility to share the gospel with their friends. Jesus last words to His disciples were to “go and tell” the good news to the ends of the earth. We are all called to be “go-to” Christians.
Come and See
While we are all called to “go and tell” there is nothing wrong with inviting friends to “come and see.” It is not either/or. It is be a both/and. We “go-to” lost communities of classmates, coworkers, and neighbors and build relationships there and we make it our aim to live and share the gospel among them. Then, when there is opportunity, we invite them to “come-to” our church, small group, and evangelistic events.
Sometimes having a place to invite them to is just what we need to open doors for the gospel to be shared in relationship. I know it has already helped me to have a safe place to invite my friends to “come and see” Jesus. One friend, whom I have been praying for and sharing the gospel with for many years has even agreed to “come-to” Alpha with me!