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Thinking aloud, help me out…

What if...

All home groups in a church came together for 5 weeks of evangelism training. Don't groan- it's not about techniques, it's just holding out the goodness of the good news to stoke the fires of our love for Christ. At the end of the 5 weeks we hold an evangelistic dinner to which people invite friends and there's a talk. Those interested in Christ are invited to join the home groups.

For the next 5 weeks the home groups study material that goes over the previous 5 weeks but going a bit slower and with outsiders in mind. At some point (towards the end) each home group is tasked with holding their own little evangelistic dinner party where a speaker (to be provided) challenges them at closer quarters.

Therefore we teach, we do it with them, then we help them to do it themselves. Hopefully it becomes something they feel able to continue to do under their own steam.

Not hugely radical I know. Just trying to bring food, evangelism, community and discipleship together where they belong.

Thoughts please!

0 thoughts on “Thinking aloud, help me out…

  1. Paul Huxley

    I think that new christians rarely need too much help with evangelism early on. So I'd be tempted to periodically do the first stage, and keep doing the dinner parties in between.

  2. Nick M-S

    It's a great idea! Do it!

    I'm sure there are more profound thoughts to be shared and the hows and wherefores, but that's my initial reaction!

  3. Pedro

    Yes please sounds good! I also like Paul's point that when ppl are first gripped by the gospel it's often difficult to hold them back from speaking it out and drawing others in. I think us longer-in-the-tooth Christians would also greatly benefit from being alongside the fresh newbies who can help remind us what it's all about!!

  4. Gav

    I really like the concept but I think it depends on the level your people are at already and what they have been exposed to. For example, for a church that hasnt held any events before could, I think, form a group that organizes these events at first and then when we learn how to run them in the area we then train the smaller groups. Of course you need a gifted speaker as well.

  5. codepoke

    Door to door sales used to be a good way to make a living. Those days are gone because we quit trusting. Everyone's got something to sell, so we're all double-quick to hang up at the first whiff of "an opportunity." Then someone figured out the side door to sales - Relationship Marketing! Multi-levels came along and taught us not to trust our dearest friends, family, or even acquaintences until we'd verified they weren't going to make a profit on our willingness to listen.

    I hear you repeatedly repeat that Christianity is a proclamational entity. I'm not persuaded, if only because proclamation's been so horribly co-opted. Yes, the Christ is the Eternal Word, but that Word was not made words - He was made flesh. Christianity is a flesh entity, and there are any number of reasons we need to emphasize the corporeality of our lives in Christ.

    Preaching sounds way too much like that old saw, "The secret of success is sincerity. Once you can fake that you've got it made." (Jean Giraudoux).

    Instead, let's teach our home groups to do more than study the bible. Let's teach them to really invest in each others' lives. Let's teach them to ask each other for help and to share their fears and pains. Teach them abiding in The Vine is relating to Him in that very way. Then teach them the Tree of Life is an invasive species. It's a vine plant that roots wherever it spreads, and the more roots it has the more fruitful it is. Then make sure they know it's OK to cast some tendrils amongst the unconverted; the good things you want to see will happen.

    But if you start by proclaiming proclamation, you're just going to fill up your evenings with chances to talk.

    People need to relate deeply, richly, rootedly, because that's how the Trinity lives. If we're going to focus for a month on something, let's focus on the small group's organic, intrinsic, foundational strengths. Create a people really rooted in Jesus and each other, and you'll create all the evangelism opportunities you need.

  6. Glen

    Thanks everyone.

    Missy - I was even thinking of adding a "door knock your street before the dinner party" stage after hearing your experience. I may yet.

    Codepoke - As I said at the end of the post, "I'm trying to bring food, evangelism, community and discipleship together" so I value your thoughts here. People rooted in Jesus and each other is just what I'm aiming at. And I'm trying to get away from centralised events and towards equipping the groups themselves to foster attractive communities. Ideally I'd want the central teaching around food also and with plenty of opportunity for group time. But I really like your thoughts on "trees of life"!

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