And the Lord Added to their Number…
Why aren’t more new faces coming to our microchurch? Even though microchurches are communicated from the pulpit and information is easily accessible on the website and in each campus lobby area, there is one consistent thing you can do as a leader that actually gets people there. National surveys consistently demonstrate that 80-90% of those who visit a church function and those who confess Jesus do so because of this. What is it?
It is much simpler than you imagine!
The truth is clear across the board: the thing that leads to people confessing Jesus and becoming part of a microchurch community is simply being invited. People want a personal touch. They want to be personally invited. Making a connection with you, the microchurch leader, or someone from within your group, has been proven to be one of the best first steps in getting someone connected.
It’s funny because we invite people to listen to our conversations, our stories, meals, movies, and to the things that we love and believe in. Yet somewhere at the bottom of the list we hesitate when it comes to inviting them to experience the good news of Jesus. We don’t want to be too pushy, so we overly correct and take a seat on the side lines. Or we meditate more on our perceived fears of rejection or embarrassment rather than on the truth of God. Much like Moses, we make excuses despite God’s commission and promise. We live in a free country where inviting people to hear the Gospel has no cost to the one inviting. Yet, on the other hand, it may have a significant eternal cost to the one not invited. So, how do we set our minds on things above, unashamed of the Gospel of grace, compelled by God’s genuine love for others, in order to fulfill the great commision and see Kingdom growth within our microchurches?
1) We Ask God for His Heart.
We must be motivated by God’s love for people, lest we come across as a sales person. What drove Paul to re-enter the city of Lystra where he was nearly left for dead? Or what carried Jesus to endure the cross? It was the joy set before Him, God’s deep love for us, and the chance that a lost person might come to know this love. Everyday pray and inspire your mc members to pray. Here are a few things to pray for:
- Pray to be broken for God’s heart for the lost.
- Pray for urgency and your role in fulfilling the Great Commission.
- Pray to be consumed by the Holy Spirit.
- Pray against perceived fears and complacency.
- Pray for discernment so that you know how to approach others.
- Pray for the courage to seek out the opportunities the Lord provides to invite people into your life, to microchurch, and ultimately into the Kingdom of Heaven.
- Pray for your microchurch to multiply this year as the Lord adds to your group.
- Pray for divine encounters.
2) We Invite and Invest
- Be a greeter: You don’t need to be on the Hospitality Team to welcome guests. Be on the lookout especially for first time guests, or those you have not yet met, and go out of your way to welcome them, engage them in conversation, and invite them to your microchurch that week! Make it a goal to meet someone new at every service and when possible in your everyday life, and invite them to join a microchurch. If your group isn’t the best fit, no problem, simply connect them with another microchurch leader in that moment.
- Follow up: Make it a habit of getting someone’s contact information within 10 minutes of meeting them. You could say something like this, “I would love to send you the address for our group, could I get your phone number?” Be sure to call or text them that week with the information but also ask them about their day, prayer requests, and mention something he/she shared in conversation so that the person knows you were actually listening! You’d be surprised that even though you invited them, most people are still waiting to be contacted and encouraged to show up.
- Be discerning: People are in different stages in life and come with different experiences that have shaped their perceptions when it comes to the church and trusting others. Your goal is to help them connect with the truth found in Jesus, whatever that next step might look like.
3) We Inspire our members to do the same:
Remember, we cannot save anyone, nor can we decide for anyone. Our role is to invite and let God do the rest, while also empowering and encouraging others in our microchurch to do the same. Lead by example and make time within your microchurch to pray for your VIP lists and discuss ways you can maximize the opportunities and the influence you have in their lives. Encourage them to think about family members, friends, co-workers, classmates, neighbors, waiters, teachers, their health professionals, teammates, and those they will seek out on weekend gatherings, etc… Set goals. How many people do you want to see in your microchurch this semester experience the Kingdom? How does your microchurch plan to achieve this goal? Community is essential to the healthy Christian life, so pray them in and invite them in as you live inspired!