He drives a Jaguar, wears a Rolex, and depends on nothing or no one except the balance of his checking account and the bottom line of his investments.
They live from welfare check to welfare check struggling to find comfort in each other as their son suffers with leukemia.
She's a recent college graduate, healthy, athletic, popular, and the only child of entrepreneurs.
Widowed, she walks to the mailbox each day alone never expecting to get anything but bills, just hoping to catch the compassionate eye of a caring neighbor.
He spends most of his time working to pay for the college classes he's trying so desperately to pass.
Three times she was married yet now spends each day trying to avoid the topic of her last divorce so she doesn't appear to be the failure she has come to believe she is.
His big grin and servant's heart make him everyone's favorite at the grocery store where he is cashier, yet he fights a raging battle with pornography every night.
The list goes on and on. These people live in my community, and they live in yours. Although their stories are drastically different their need is the same. They are living in this imperfect, confusing, tempting world without eternal hope. We see them every day. We work with them, live next door to them, recreate with them, go to school with them … but do we know them?
God made us relational beings. He created us to be in relationship with Him and He created us to be in relationship with each other. Dave Earley says in his book '8 Habits of Effective Small Group Leaders:'
"The three victories to win the war for a soul (are):
- Win them to you
- Win them to your group or church
- Win them to Christ
People make a connection with God by making a connection with God's people.
In the coming month have your small group host a "Heathen Party." Decide what kind of party you want to have (depending on the size of your group you may want to have two or three parties).
- Movie Night … Have 4-6 members of your group invite one or two people to watch a movie at a group member's home. Ask everyone to bring either drinks or snacks. Spend some time talking about the movie afterwards.
- Game Night … Ask 4 members of your group to invite a person (or two couples each invite another couple) to play a fun interactive game at one of your group member's home. Ask everyone to bring snack food to eat and something to drink.
- BBQ Night … Have everyone in your group invite someone to a BBQ at a group member's home. Have everyone bring his or her own meat, drink and a salad or dessert to share. After dinner, do a couple of icebreakers or silly games.
- Picnic in the park … Encourage your group members to invite someone to a group picnic in the park. Ask them to bring their own picnic lunch and drinks. Play softball, volleyball, horseshoes, Frisbee golf or other outdoor game. Include children too!
Implore your group members to continue building a relationship with those they invited to the party. Let them know the goal is to eventually invite their 'party invitees' to your small group. Sharing a fun experience together can win them to your group where the Holy Spirit can then work to win them to Christ.