When it comes to evangelism, there is one thing we know: People come to know Jesus through relationships with Christians. Nathanael came to know Jesus because his friend Philip said, “Come and see” (John 1:43-51). Because of Philip, Nathanael met Jesus and became a follower.
It is because of you and me that others will know the amazing love and grace that is found in Jesus Christ. But first, we have to open ourselves to be in relationship with others. Here are 4 ideas for building relationships.
1. Meet someone for coffee.
Step out of your comfort zone and invite someone to meet you for coffee. Coffee shops are neutral grounds. Is there a new person in your Sunday school class or small group? Is there someone you know but don’t really know? Invite them to join you for coffee and have a non-agenda conversation. The only purpose is to get to know the other person better.
2. Share a lunch break meal with a coworker.
This follows the same thought as getting coffee with someone. When we share a meal with someone, we remove the barriers of “us” and “them.” And you never know what someone will share – or what you will share – when the barriers are removed. No wonder Jesus ate with so many people.
3. Invite someone to lunch after church.
Most of us have lunch plans after church. We either go to the same Mexican restaurant every week or we have people over to our house. Whatever your normal plans are, what would it look like to invite someone from church to join you? If someone has been visiting for a few weeks, go the extra mile and invite that person to join you after church for lunch.
4. Invite three people over for dinner one night.
The introverts reading may be getting weary by now. By hosting a small gathering for dinner at your home, you are creating a hospitable space for relationships to be made. You could even partner with another couple or family and host together. I’ve heard wonderful stories about how people have come to see what it means to follow Jesus through such dinners.
Try one this week and see how it goes.