INVITING PEOPLE TO CHURCH
Preparing for Invitation Weeks
Like many other churches, St Thomas' conducts 'invitation weeks' a few times a year. These are times when we encourage our members to invite family and friends so that they can hear a clear gospel message.
On this page you will find a number of resources to help prepare you for an invitation week at church. One of these resources (directly below) is an interview with David Robertson about inviting people to church. This was also included in the CEC podcast. The rest of the resources have been compiled from different weeks of our Evangelism module.
Inviting People to Church
Gerard O'Brien sat down with David Robertson to ask for advice on inviting people to an invitation week.
Duration: 33:49Speakers: David Robertson and Gerard O'BrienPublisher: St Thomas', North SydneyDate accessed: 11/3/20
Inviting People to Church with David Robertson
Podcast duration: 36:03Publisher: St Thomas', North SydneyDate accessed: 13/3/20
STARTING A GOSPEL CONVERSATION
Starting a Gospel Conversation
In this video, Sam Chan teaches how to build relationships. Skills like asking open questions and active listening are important to develop a conversation about faith. The steps he gives to sharing the gospel are:
- Listening to their story - encouraging them to speak
- Sharing your story and how God has worked in your life - your testimony
- Sharing and discussing gospel stories
We will look at steps 2 and 3 over the following two weeks.
Duration: 7:43Speaker: Sam ChanPublisher: Church by the BridgeDate accessed: 17/5/2019
Sharing your Testimony
In this video, Sam Chan provides guidance on how to shift the conversation from actively listening to their faith story to sharing a compelling and engaging personal testimony and then linking it to a relevant story from the Bible. He provides a structure to help you write your testimony which we have reproduced from his book below.
Duration: 10:32Speaker: Sam ChanPublisher: Church by the BridgeDate accessed: 14/6/2019
'The problem is fear. We just don’t fear enough.' In this article, Glen Scrivener turns some of our fears and misconceptions on their head.
'As the old saying goes, “What grips the heart wags the tongue.” Or, to put it the way Jesus does, “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:34). We speak out what we are “full of.” This is an inescapable fact of human psychology. We are always evangelising.'
Estimated read time: 5:20Author: Glen ScrivenerPublisher: Desiring GodAccessed: 21/5/19
Turning a Conversation Toward Jesus
In this video Becky Pippert gives practical advice on how to turn a conversation towards Christ. Her steps are:
- Ask questions to find out about the person's passions and interests
- Be sincere
- Ask thought-provoking questions that relate to their areas of interest and reveal their fundamental beliefs and values
You will find an article by Becky Pippert in Digging Deeper that describes her approach.
Duration: 4:29Speaker: Becky PippertPublisher: The Gospel Coalition USDate accessed: 17/5/2019
Will everyone be saved? If not, why not?
'Jesus talks more about hell than heaven.'
Duration: 00:54 Speaker: Tim KellerPublisher: The Gospel CoalitionAccessed: 14/6/19
SKILLS FOR DEVELOPING A GOSPEL CONVERSATION
Being a Good Listener
This short video shows how being a good listener builds rapport and pleasure. It identifies four skills:
- Encouraging people to elaborate or dig deeper by being curious and asking relevant questions
- Urging clarification
- Not moralising - showing sympathy and acceptance.
- Separating disagreement from criticism
Duration: 4:57Publisher: The School of LifeAccessed: 17/5/2019
In the post-Christian, post-modern age in which we live, the methods of evangelism have to change in order to keep the mission alive. Carey Nieuwhof identifies five shifts in how we evangelise that are critical for reaching post-moderns.
Estimated read time: 5:20Author: Carey NieuwhofPublisher: CareyNieuwhof.comAccessed: 17/5/2015
ENCOURAGEMENT FROM THE BIBLE
Romans 10:17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.
Romans 10:14–15 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”
GROUP OR PERSONAL REFLECTION
- Using the Steps Towards Faith diagram, think about some of your friends and develop some questions that you could ask them to start a conversation.
- Active listening is critical to engaging others. Evaluate your capability to actively listen. What skills are you confident using? What areas of active listening do you need to develop? How might you do this?
- Try starting a conversation sometime this week and discuss it with your discipleship group or evangelism group using the Coach Yourself to Confident Evangelism guide.
I want to tell my friends, family and others about how they can have a relationship with you. I know that it is difficult for me to do this in my own strength. Please help me to step out in faith, trusting in the strength of the Holy Spirit and start a conversation this week about Jesus. Lord I am asking you to be with me during this conversation. Help me to find the right words and build a good relationship with the person. And Father, I pray that you would give me courage to invite them to church and that they would be able and willing to come.
In Jesus' name. Amen.
The Evangelistic Conversation
Dave Jensen provides concise, practical steps to effective evangelism. In summary:
- Prepare a strategy
- Nudge the conversation to spiritual questions / values / faith
- Ask a question directly related to the gospel
- Ask permission to share the gospel
- Ask a question to engage in discussion about the gospel
- Explain sin and repentance
- Ask if they would like to pray
- Give them something gospel-related to read
Estimated read time: 6:40Author: Dave JensenPublisher: GoThereFor.comAccessed: 17/5/2019
Four Steps to Turning Conversations to Christ
Becky Pippert shows how to shift a general conversation to a deeper conversation using a hierarchy of questions. These are:
- General interest questions
- Specific interest questions
- Issue questions
- God questions.
Estimated read time: 4:20Author: Becky PippertPublisher: The Good Book CompanyAccessed: 27/5/2019
20 Evangelism Questions To Start a Conversation
Here are 20 approaches to start a conversation about God, faith and the gospel.
Estimated read time: 2:20Author: Campus CrusadePublisher: Evangelism CoachAccessed 17/5/2019
How to Have an Evangelistic Conversation
This article provides some helpful hints and thought-provoking questions to start a conversation. The author includes a description of what you might include about the Gospel.
Estimated read time: 3:40Author: Bob RobinsonPublisher: PatheosAccessed 17/5/2019