Andrew told Peter. Philip told Nathanael. Four friends brought the crippled man. In passage after passage, we find that when someone meets Jesus, they want to bring a friend or loved one to meet Him too. Everyone, especially one who has recently trusted Christ as Saviour, knows someone else who needs Jesus. Telling someone about Jesus is the greatest demonstration of friendship a person can show.
Much soulwinning takes place through people that we already know. Family, coworkers, neighbors, and even the barista at Starbucks are already past the complete stranger phase. There is no ice to break. They are (mostly) willing to hear what we have to say, and they know we are not some fly-by-night salesmen.
One way to encourage your congregation to bring in their friends is to have a “Friend Day” Sunday service. It’s something everyone can do. No soulwinning training is required. It’s as simple as saying, “Our church is having a ‘friend day,’ and I thought of you. Would you be my guest that day?” You can’t invite your members’ friends for them, but you can help in many different ways. Here are a few simple suggestions.
ASK THE CONGREGATION TO TURN IN A LIST OF THEIR FRIENDS’ NAMES AND EMAIL ADDRESSES. This prompts the congregation to think about who they will invite and compiles a prayer list for the church. If they don’t have an email address, ask if you could send their friends a reminder postcard.
SEND A BRIEF EMAIL REMINDER TO THE FRIENDS. Just give a friendly “hello” with the service times. No long essay is needed.
BAKE COOKIES FOR YOUR MEMBERS TO DELIVER TO THEIR FRIENDS. It’s hard to say “no” to chocolate chip cookies. Also be sure to deliver them fresh—you don’t win friends with stale cookies.
SET UP A GUEST TABLE IN YOUR LOBBY. Offer a welcome gift like a coffee mug. Offering a token gift in every service is a great way to meet your guests in church. Some churches offer Bibles or a devotional book.
BREAK THE ICE WITH A FUNNY VIDEO ON FRIENDSHIP IN THE SERVICE. Interview people in your community by asking them what a friend is and video it. (See thebaptistvoice.com for an example video).
What a great opportunity to tell people about the greatest friend we can have—Jesus Christ! So many lonely people are longing for a real relationship with God but do not know how to have one. Be a friend, and remember Proverbs 18:24, “A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.”
Watch the Friend Day 2010 video from Lancaster Baptist Church.