“Some men arrived carrying a paraplegic on a stretcher. They were looking for a way to get into the house and set him before Jesus. When they couldn't find a way in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof, removed some tiles, and let him down in the middle of everyone, right in front of Jesus. Impressed by their bold belief, he said, ‘Friend, I forgive your sins.’” (Luke 5:18-20 MSG)
Here is the sixth of seven ways a small group can reach people for Jesus this Christmas season:
Your small group must work together to get the job done.
Have you ever tried to carry someone on a stretcher with only three people? It doesn’t work. If all four of the friends hadn’t helped, the paralytic would have fallen off the stretcher.
Some people will only come to Jesus through a group effort. Studies have shown that people come to Christ more quickly when they come through a supportive environment!
That’s why small groups are so essential in bringing people to Christ.
When you talk to someone at work, and it’s just you and that person, you’re the only witness. If you’re able to bring them to a group event during the Christmas season — particularly one that is fun — they’ll go, “Wow, these people aren’t goofy. They aren’t religious nuts. They’re normal people.”
Jesus says that “where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them” (Matthew 18:20 NIV). This means when we reach out to others, we’re “working together with one mind and purpose” (Philippians 2:2b NLT).
Watch a short video sample from Pastor Rick on the importance of love. Saddleback Resources offers 40 Days of Love, a six-week, video-based study for small groups or individuals that searches the Scripture for what love is, the characteristics of love, and how our relationships can be transformed by love.
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller The Purpose Driven Life. His book, The Purpose Driven Church, was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.
This devotional © 2011 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.