The Unspoken Funnel System

As we think about evangelism, one of the significant factors that
plays into how we invite people into life with Jesus is determining the
role that church strategy has played in the process. In the last 30
years, many churches have tried to be intentional about creating church
services that feel safe for a Christian to bring their non-Christian
friend. Though the motivation comes from a good place, it has put a
greater emphasis on the church being built on an unspoken funnel
system. I see it going something like this …

CHURCH SERVICES

small groups

serving

Get new people to come to a church service. Get church service
people into small groups. Then the goal has been to get the small group
people into some kind of serving opportunity.

I recently taught on the idea of evangelism being built on
the idea of integrated friendships. These are relationships where we
embrace the idea that God is already at work in the lives of people
wherever they are in their spiritual journey. Our role is to join the
work of God already in progress in their life [we also talked about how
this would mean that we would then be inviting them to join the work of
God that is already in progress in us]. So instead of immediately
thinking about how to get your friend to a STATUS worship gathering, you
might instead consider their story. You might instead consider the
questions they are asking about faith, Jesus and/or the Church.

See Also

Through discerning the activity of God that is already at work in
the life of our friends that aren’t involved in church, we want the
people of STATUS to consider looking at the experiences, environments
and relationships that make us a home with multiple entry points versus
a room with only one way in.

So you might invite a friend to STATUS by first inviting them to a
local serving experience. You might first invite them to STATUS by
bringing them to a MUSE theology gathering that we hold downtown in an
art gallery. You might first introduce your friends to some people at
your house church. We don’t want our structure to look like a funnel
system for robots who are all the same. Instead, we are teaching our
community that there is more than one way to invite someone to join us
on our journey. Each of those ways are dependent on that person’s story
and the questions they are asking in this season of their life.

Thoughts?

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