God's Invited Guests

Do you remember the first time you were invited to a small group?

Do you remember the first time you were invited to a small group? I do. I had visited Centerville Christian Church in Dayton, Ohio, and met a few people my age. (I was 28 at the time, and was shopping for a church. I had not yet given my life to Christ.) They invited me to their group, and I noticed that some of them were single and others were married, but that didn't matter; they all seemed to have a strong desire to grow in the Lord, and they really cared about each other. And, besides that, they were fun to be around!

I remember especially how it felt to be invited to this group. I felt like people cared about me, that they wanted me to be part of their group. One of the greatest human needs is the need to be wanted, to be included in a group of others. I also felt cared about. They were genuinely concerned about my spiritual life. Unlike some other churches I had visited, however, I didn't feel like a "spiritual conquest" among these Christians. They cared about me as a person and I felt like they wanted to be my friend. And that made all the difference in the world to me.

We have a great privilege to invite people to our small groups, especially when they do not yet know Jesus as Savior and Lord. But remember, it is God who is doing the calling. In John 12:32, Jesus said he would draw all men to himself. As I, being sensitive to the Spirit's moving, invite someone to our group whom Jesus is already drawing, I am just doing my small part. They are God's invited guests; I am simply the person who gets to extend the invitation.

Ask God who He is already drawing, watch how He moves in response to your prayer, and then extend an invitation … and see what God will do through you!

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