The Power of an Invitation
Sunday, February 4, 2018
- You never know what hangs in the balance of an invitation
- At every major intersection in your life, there’s been an invitation
- An invitation can change everything – We can look back at invitations that led to a defining moment in our lives – whether we said yes or no
- You have the power to change the trajectory of someone’s life through a single invitation or a series of invitations
Jesus words to His followers begin and end with invitations.
- OT-NT / Gospels / Gospel of John / Author / That you might believe and because you believe experience new life in Christ
TEXT: John 1:35-49
35 The following day John was again standing with two of his disciples. 36 As Jesus walked by, John looked at him and declared, “Look! There is the Lamb of God!”37 When John’s two disciples heard this, they followed Jesus.
38 Jesus looked around and saw them following. “What do you want?” he asked them. They replied, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?”
39 “Come and see,” he said. It was about four o’clock in the afternoon when they went with him to the place where he was staying, and they remained with him the rest of the day. 40 Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of these men who heard what John said and then followed Jesus. 41 Andrew went to find his brother, Simon, and told him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means “Christ”). 42 Then Andrew brought Simon to meet Jesus. Looking intently at Simon, Jesus said, “Your name is Simon, son of John—but you will be called Cephas” (which means “Peter”). 43 The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Come, follow me.” 44 Philip was from Bethsaida, Andrew and Peter’s hometown. 45 Philip went to look for Nathanael and told him, “We have found the very person Moses and the prophets wrote about! His name is Jesus, the son of Joseph from Nazareth.” 46 “Nazareth!” exclaimed Nathanael. “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” “Come and see for yourself,” Philip replied. 47 As they approached, Jesus said, “Now here is a genuine son of Israel—a man of complete integrity.” 48 “How do you know about me?” Nathanael asked. Jesus replied, “I could see you under the fig tree before Philip found you.” 49 Then Nathanael exclaimed, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God—the King of Israel!”
- Jesus began His church with simple
- “Come and see” “Come, follow me”
- This is huge for us because what often hinders us from sharing our faith is the fear that we won’t know what to say or how to answer the questions that might come our way. But Jesus doesn’t dive into their questions, He invites them to “come and see”
- When He does, they turn around and invite others
- Andrew brings Simon to Jesus
- Phillip tracks down Nathanael (Come and see for yourself)
- It’s also freeing because it reminds us that we don’t have to be the answer for people.
- John the Baptist realized this – pointed to Jesus
- Jesus’ spent the next three years offering invitations.
- Woman at the well (John 4)
- Invites a crippled man to stand and receive healing (John 5)
- Invites Peter to leave the boat and walk on the water
- Some people rejected His invitations (John 6)
- “At this point many of His disciples turned away and deserted Him.”
- I am the living water – come and drink (John 7)
- Zacheus – Come down let’s have dinner at your house
- Matthew – leave your lucrative tax booth and follow Me
- “Go into the highways and byways and compel them to come in”
- Jesus’ final instructions to His followers were that they be inviters.
- Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations,[b]baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” – Matthew 28:19-20
- The Great Commission is a commission to INVITE
For 2,000 years the church has continued to grow because of the power of an invitation…
- Institute for American Church Growth asked 10,000 churchgoers this question: “What was responsible for your coming to Christ and your church?”
- 79% A friend or relative invited me
- The power of an invitation comes from the strength of the relationship.
- Lifeway Research / 15,000 adults / 67% would respond to an invitation from a family member / 63% would respond to an invitation from a friend or neighbor
- The value of an invitation is determined by the opportunity given
- The invitation to “come and see” is an invitation that has eternal potential
5-year vision / Leadership multiplication for the sake of targeted transformation of families
- How do we know if we are reaching families?
- The Blue Bag
- It is not the goal – it’s a way to measure our invitational effectiveness as a church