Finding Common Ground – Running Encounter
Key Bible Verse: “I have come to call sinners to turn from their sins, not to spend my time with those who think they are already good enough.” – Luke 5:32
Bonus Reading: Luke 5:27-32
Norm Wakefield, author and professor at Phoenix Seminary, led a home church back in the ’80s, when it was generally unthinkable to skip Sunday morning services. The group met for worship on Sunday nights instead.
They found that it didn’t usually work to invite people to a service on Sunday mornings, because that was likely their morning to sleep in, go running, and hang out at the bagel shop. For most, dressing up and going to church didn’t provide a suitable alternative to this favorite time of week.
So Norm’s small “congregation” spent Sunday mornings running together and going to bagel shops for coffee. They would invite their friends to come with them to worship, and the response was amazing.
They didn’t look at their friends as projects. They just genuinely cared, got involved in their lives, and built relationships. As a natural result, the Sunday morning connection time brought more people to faith than most churches see in a year of services.
Of course, they had to put up with criticism from churches that thought it was improper to skip church on Sunday morning—that form was more important than function.
—Mike Bechtle in Evangelism for the Rest of Us
My Response: What, besides church, could I invite an unchurched friend to share with me?
Adapted from Evangelism for the Rest of Us (Baker, 2006)