My church is going through a book called “8 to 15”. I encourage all of you reading this to pick up the book and go through it with us, it will help you in keeping up with the conversations we will be having on this blog. The basic premise in the book is that God has given us each 8-15 people in our circle of friends (our “oikos”, which is a Greek word meaning our extended household or circle of influence), and it up to us to focus on impacting their lives for the kingdom. In the first week we read chapters 1-3, when you pick up the book you will realize that the chapters are short and to the point.
It is easy for us to recognize the 8-15 people in our lives that we have the most opportunity to share our faith with. These people in our oikos can be other Christians who we are responsible to help encourage further growth in their faith, and it can include people that we work with or hang out with that do not know our Lord and Savior. The latter is the group that we tend to have the hardest time with.
We have all been in that situation where we are hanging out with our co-workers or friends and we know that it would just be so awesome if they knew God. We don’t want to push them away from God and we generally don’t like the idea of looking like an idiot if they ask a question about God that we don’t know the answer to. Honestly, it sounds crazy but they don’t want to make you look like a dummy either. Most of our unsaved friends would love to go to church with us if we just asked them to. They don’t expect you to have all the answers; they just want to know the answers that you do have.
Chapter 3 had some crazy stats that I never had a clue about. 96% of the unchurched are at least somewhat likely to go to church if they are simply invited. Only 21% of churchgoers actually invite their friends to church in a one year span, but only 2% invite someone who is unchruched in that span! It also turns out that very few of the unchurched had even been told how to become a Christian.
So… your job this coming week is to invite one friend to church. The worst that can happen is they will tell you they just aren’t feeling it. That is not the end of the world, just keep being their friend and wait till they finally come around. But the opposite side of that coin is that they may come to know Christ. I think the latter is way worth the risk.
After you have invited your friend let us know what happened in the comment section. The more we know about your journey with your friends, means that more of us can be praying for your friends. Let’s see what we can do with the 8-15 God has put in our lives!