This week’s sermon, Faith and Friends, is our third sermon from the first chapter of the Gospel of John and serves as a review of Phillip’s story in verses 43-46. The Bible has many stories about friendship and faith. King David had five friends who helped to shape his life and Jesus had at least three committed friends aside from the twelve disciples.
Friends bringing friends to Christ is one of the greatest methods used for growing the Kingdom of God. When Andrew and the other disciple set out to follow Jesus, it was possible because of their relationship with John. The first question Andrew asked Jesus was, “where are you staying?”. Jesus could have given him an address but he instead said, “Come and See.” When Phillip tells his friend about Jesus and the friend questions if it is even possible; Phillip likewise replies, “Come and See.”
Although I’m not one for quoting a lot of numbers I believe these are some to which we should pay attention:
A survey from the Institute of American Church Growth showed that somewhere between 75-90% of new believers come to Christ through a friend or an acquaintance with an established relationship who explains the good news on a one-on-one basis. To me this is really good news because it says that God has given each of us the huge capacity of influencing another’s life for Jesus Christ. Here’s the other side of the story.
There are 160 million Americans who are unchurched
– If invited to attend church, 31% said they would be “very likely” to come
– 51% said they would be “somewhat likely” to come
– That means 82% of the people who do not go to church in America are likely to attend if they are invited
– Only 21% of active church goers ever invite anyone to church
– Only 2% of active church goers invite the unchurched
Let’s all accept the challenge of not being a part of the 21% or the 2%. Let’s choose to grow God’s mission forward through personal invitation. Let’s choose to be a ‘Come and See’, congregation!
May It Be So!