by Jeff Tunnell www.bigbearchristiancenter.org
Following Joel’s blog from earlier this week and congratulating Liz Lynberg, let’s talk about inviting people to the cell meeting. Both testimonies in Monday’s blog demonstrate the importance AND success of contacting people with a specific invitation to your cell.
Occasionally I will ask during a Celebration in our church, “How many of you came here, or to a cell, because you were invited by someone with whom you had previous relationship?” Consistent with most organized surveys on the subject, I see nearly 80% of the room raise their hands.
Having some experience with direct sales businesses it is common to hear that for every “Yes” you receive, you will have to get past 40 “No”s! Using a quote from Richard Price and Pat Springer,
“Experienced group leaders…realize that you usually have to personally invite 25 people for 15 to say they will attend. Of those 15, usually only 8-10 will actually show up, and of those only five to seven will be regular attenders after a month or so.”
Dave Early summarizes that statement with, “This means you can grow a new group of ten to fourteen regular members in a year by inviting one new person each week!”
What is your habit in this area of cell development? Do you keep your cells “open” from week-to-week so that new people can join at any time? Is there ever a period of time, or situation, where you do not invite new visitors to join you? How do you determine who you will invite? What type of invitation questions do you find successful in bridging the relationship gap that exists with a person you do not know well? What role does prayer have in this activity?
5 thoughts on “Invite!”
Here at Wellspring, we try to encourage cell members and cell leaders to invite people to their LIFE GROUPS at all times. We do have one exception (or perhaps two). We discourage people from inviting believers from other evangelical churches to their LIFE groups (only unchurched or unbelievers). To a lesser extent we want people to have one main LIFE group. Yes, they might visit other groups, but we don’t want them simply “floating.” I know, Jeff, that this wasn’t the main thrust of your blog, but this is what came to mind. . .
I’d like to argue with traditional number games that was presented in Jeff’s article. We are not selling anything. We are sharing the covenant(the promise) that was made 1st to Abram, then to Jesus. 1st promise did not cover the sin.Jesus shad our & future sins by his blood.Therefore in this Devil’s economy we must strive to build God’s economy through small groups standing firm in the word & empowered by the Holly Spirit.In my view we must focus on people that are receptive to new ideas 1st & foremost. I just came from the Bible Study group of businessmen, who were getting together for many years. None of them go to full-gospel church & I felt more pain that I felt with non-believers. I think the answer is simple: we must start building God’s economy with each other doing everything as Christians as we are doing now refusing to be invloved in deceptive Devil’s business practices across the board using our make sense knowledge & competence. I am not sure if there any other country on this earth where we can do that easier then in the United States.
Here’s my take: Few people, even born-again Christians who are no longer churched, have much interest in an invitation to a church meeting even if it’s in someone’s home.
People do want relationships though. People are starved for genuine relationships that are not one sided or fake.
So I rarely invite my unchurched friends to my lifegroup until I have invited them to become friends with all the people in my group outside of lifegroup meetings. It’s all about cross-pollinating relationships to build a Christian community around an unchurched person so they know what they’re being invited into when a meeting offer comes around.
Sometimes the lifegroup meeting invitation comes just a couple of weeks after meeting other members of my group or the other members invite the person because it’s the natural thing to do. Other times, it requires months of relational overlap for them to feel comfortable with what will go on in a meeting to accept an invitation. I talk about the meetings a lot though and a fair amount of the time they ask me about it and then I invite them.
I share all this because it’s not a numbers game as Vladimir stated above. It’s about relating to people as friends, becoming close to their friends and family, inviting them to become close to your friends and family, and showing them the love of Christ through your actions, reactions, and lifestyle. Coming to a lifegroup meeting happens naturally and at the appropriate time for everyone if tthe principles of relational evangelismare employed.
Okay friends, I’ll come back to this next Wednesday! Thanks for the comments.
Randall, the process you described here really struck a chord in my spirit. I’m going to take the time to assimilate all you shared.
Yes, people do want genuine relationships. Christ in us makes it possible and worthwhile!