Back in March I started a new worship gathering for high schoolers. I sent out post cards, emails, Facebook invites, MySpace wall posts, and much more. Still the initial turn out wasn’t anything to brag about. However, the people who came were excited about what was going on, and we continued to improve.
I continued with all of my attempts to invite people to come, but I quickly figured two things out.
- All of our first time guests came because a friend invited them
- Guests come in groups
One week we made some adjustments to our setup which got three of our core students excited about that week. They then went and invited all of their friends to check out what was happening. The next week we literally doubled in size. Some of the people who came merely received a text message, got excited, and invited a couple of friends to come along.
What made the rapid growth work and stick was that since they were invited by a friend and brought friends, they were instantly able to connect with someone.
The difference between my efforts and there’s was that I wasn’t offering a personal invite. I was offering a mass invite. When students made personal invites, people came.
When you read the gospels, you see frequent snap shots of him interacting with individuals. While he did preach to thousands, he also stopped to notice the lowest of individuals. Some of the most powerful glimpses from Jesus’ life involved His interactions with individuals.
In our attempts to make evangelism easier, it seems we’ve made it more difficult. We’ve taken something deeply personal and made it impersonal.