For many people, walking through the doors of a church is a daunting prospect. They may not have been into a church building for many years. Their knowledge of what goes on inside a church may be shaped largely by what they see on the TV. There are almost certainly many more factors to make walking through the door a daunting experience. And yet, if we want people to share in the Good News of Jesus Christ, then we must find ways to help them cross the threshold into the church.
Home groups can be a wonderful tool for just that. Inviting a friend or acquaintance to a home group is a much easier invite to accept than an invite to church for many seekers: Gathering for a meal and chat with a group of friends is fairly normal in wider culture; while at church things can go unexplained and without an opportunity to query, a home group provides a more personal and safe space to journey and question; finally – and for me most importantly – home groups are a wonderful tool in evangelism because they place relationship front and centre.
Relationship is key for many people’s journey to faith. It’s in walking closely beside others, seeing how they live, asking questions, having conversations and sharing life together that faith is often formed. Relationship is key. Home groups provide a great space for these relationships to form. So, if you are launching a group for the first time, or if you have been running a group for years, I urge you to consider, ‘Who could I invite?’