Last week we started talking about the importance of GATHERING PEOPLE in order to plant a church. But how do we go about gathering people into the church? John 1 records the experience of several of Jesus’ first disciples and illustrates one approach that many have found very effective. It’s an attractional model, because it involves inviting people to “Come and see”.
The next day again John was standing with two of his disciples, and he looked at Jesus as he walked by and said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God!’ The two disciples heard him say this and they followed Jesus. John 1:35-36
If you have come to know Jesus your life has been changed. Share your testimony with your friends and acquaintances. Take just a few minutes to share who you were before you met Jesus, what you discovered about Jesus, and how it has changed your life. Most people are open to listening to a few minutes of your story, and stories can be very influential.
Nathanael said to [Phillip], “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see”. John 1:46
After you share your testimony, consider inviting them to come to a worship service or a special outreach event. The church is the Body of Christ and as we express love and acceptance in a tangible and genuine way, people often find themselves drawn to discover more. Likewise, worship is filled with a presence that they have never experienced before, but that we know is the manifest presence of Jesus.
Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?” Jesus answered him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” John 1:48-49
When you bring a friend to church or a special event, pray that they will have a personal encounter with Jesus. The church has been given the authority to minister in Jesus name. When we lay hands on people and pray for them all sorts of transformations can take place. Similarly, just like Jesus, we can speak prophetic words that bypass people’s defenses and alter their thinking.