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Week Three Sermon

Friendship in Action — Doing the Ask!

Message three in a four week series leading up to Friendship Sunday. Regular text is message content; indent/italics indicates illustration. Be sure to obtain proper licensing before showing movie clips. 

This series of messages has been about preparing and inviting people to Friendship Sunday.

We’re trying to answer the question: what does it take to be invitational, to invite them to church and to Christ?

Next Sunday is Friendship Sunday. How do we extend the invitation?

How do you make “the ask?” How do you tell them, “Come and see.”

Friendship Sunday – What is it?

• To what am I inviting my friends?

It is a friend-friendly, safe Sunday to invite your friend to church.
This is going to be a Sunday where you’re going to want to get people here.

• Our Congregation’s Goal: _____ Guests

This isn’t about making an attendance goal – it’s about connecting people to Jesus.

• Your Personal Goal: ___

Last week we talked about putting some actual names down.

• Building Bridges

We have to be intentional about building bridges in order to extend the invitations. There are 3 natural bridges that you can use.

Review this material from last week – use the diagram again from the PowerPoint

  1. Trust – Family and Friends
  2. Hope – Crisis, Uncertainty, Change
  3. Faith – Previous church involvements

Today I want to teach you how to go about “making the ask.”

To get this training mindset locked in for you, I want to show you a clip from the movie, “Monsters, Inc.” (Set up the movie – explain how the film’s story line works in scaring children and capturing their screams to power the city.) In this scene they are training new recruits as well as showing how Sully, the monster who’s “got it down,” still trains daily for his task.

Enjoy!

VIDEO: MONSTERS, INC
IN: SCENES 3 AND 4
OUT: Fade toward the end of scene 4 when “Mike” notices a TV commercial regarding “Monsters, Inc.” Cut it before they sit in the chairs.

I want you to be at your best – so you’re going to get some training
Do a little working out on how to put this into play

The How? - The Andrew Principle

• Be confident - God is at work

As you go about this task inviting people, you need to be sure that you’re not alone!

"Come," He (Jesus) replied, "and you will see” . . .   John 1:39

Come and see – God’s at work.
As you’ve been praying, God is at work on their hearts to prepare them for your invitation.
Their soil is ready to receive the seed of your invite.

• When you’ve met Jesus – you’ve got to tell someone else.

Think about the excitement of what it means to know Christ.

The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, "We have found the Messiah" (that is, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus.       John 1:41-42

Story is told about a regular church attender named, Wilt Durant. In 40 years of involvement in his church, Wilt led one person to Christ. You know what they say, if only one person comes to Christ, it’s worth all the effort, right? Well, one Sunday in 1992, his pastor preached on winning people to Jesus and Durant responded to the invitation and devoted the remainder of his life to winning souls. Since that time he’s led over 600 people into confessing Christ as their Savior. He isn’t casual about his witness; he averages 60 faith conversations per week.

• “The Ask:” Come and see!

“Come and see,” said Philip.         John 1:46

Look who was invited!

• Andrew and Peter: Brothers – they were family

• Philip and Nathanael: Friends

God invites you to start with the people you already know.
Use the bridges of trust, of hope, and of faith.
Write down the names of the people who are on your list.
They are real people, real lives of individuals whose eternity may not be secure.

Here’s what Wilt Durant considers the secret to his success: (1) He senses the urgency of the hour when many will go into eternity and Jesus’ coming is at hand. (2) He expects God to work. (3) He is living for God’s purpose (4) He has a “willing heart.”

“Making the Ask!”

1) Indirect = Email + Impact card + Verbal invite + Contract + Reminder

This takes all the “scary” out of it.

Here’s what you do: 

  1. Send an email inviting them to Friendship Sunday – tell them what it will be like
    Will you come as our guest? I’ll check with you later in the week.
  2. Then take the “Impact/Invitation Card, “ address it to my friends, put a stamp on it, pray that my friends will respond.
  3. No talking yet at all! At some time I’ve got to make a verbal connection
  4. Make a phone call – describe the event – extend the invitation. Your friends are more apt to say yes. If one of the couple is more apt to say “Yes,” than the other, ask them – hey, use your head!
  5. Make a contract with them – offer to pick them up at a particular time – or meet them in front of the church or at the coffee bar at a particular time – “I’ll be outside the front entrance of the church waiting for you.” They can have confidence that you’ll find them and sit with them so they won’t feel alone.
  6. Now, on Saturday make a follow-up phone call and restate the contract, tell them you’ll see them in the morning.
  7. Pray – ask for God to do an awesome work in their lives

Not scary at all – I don’t have to see them face to face until Friendship Sunday!

• Direct = Conversation + Invitation + Contract + Impact Card + Reminder

Easy to figure this one out – have a face to face conversation and make the ask
Then do all the other steps
It’s not complicated – it’s just doing the ask

Critical Stuff! – The Next Steps

• Introduce them to others on Friendship Sunday

• Visit the Welcome Center together – we need the Welcome Card done (registration card) so that we can send a thank you and a follow-up for the future. Make sure they get their gift.

• Assist with childcare, Sunday School – don’t just point in the direction, go with them

• Bible Class – take them with you and introduce them around;

• Coffee Bar – introduce them. The more connections they make the more apt they are to come back and might just see people they already know – a divine appointment!

• Thank you note – personal thanks from you

• Follow up invitation – make contact with them again, invite them back

A Friendship Sunday Celebration Attitude

Hotel training to welcome guests to their hotel is amazing!
Here are some of the training points – very specific things they do to treat guests

1. 10-5 Rule
When I got within 10 feet of her she greeted me. When I got within 5 feet of her she shook my hand.

2.  Escort our Guests
Help them get there – bathroom, nursery, wherever?

3.  Extend Courtesy
Let’s state the obvious - be friendly – let it come out of you naturally.

4. Our guests have names – use them
There will be name tags for every person on Friendship Sunday.

5. Exceed expectations

6. Have fun
Let them see you’re real; enjoy it.

We’re ready!

Your training is done – it’s time now to go do the ask.

You’ve got the names.

You’ve got a direct and an indirect method.

Are you ready?

Let’s go to work!