Okay, so you have your seeker. Then you invite them to look at the Bible with you to discover what God is like and how he might want to speak to them. But you ideally want to do this on their turf. There are three types of turf when you are reaching out to someone who does not yet know or is new to Christ—your turf, their turf, and neutral turf.
Traditionally in our churches and ministries, we have always tried to get people to our turf—our buildings, our services, our programs, or our small groups in our homes.
I started a Spanish-speaking Discovery Group on neutral turf (in a restaurant) three years ago. I knew very little Spanish but my “person of peace” did not speak English, so I recruited a bi-lingual friend to help. The group led to the birth of a thriving Latino ministry in our church and an online Spanish Christian radio station. https://radio6.citrus3.com:2199/start/radiocristoviene/
But the good news of Jesus is not going to go viral on our turf, it will only go viral when we move it onto their turf. In other words our goal is not to get people to our turf but to let the gospel penetrate and transform our communities. Some of these people will eventually get enfolded into our churches but as groups multiply and new leaders are formed some new and diﬀerent churches may begin that reach diﬀerent populations. The ultimate goal is to bring God’s kingdom to our world, not simply to grow an existing church. I think some of you may have just lost interest! But hear me out.
Jesus did not invite the woman at the well to a building, he went to her village. Cornelius did not come to Peter’s house, Peter went—against his own wishes—to Cornelius’ house.
Jesus did not say, “Get people to come and then make them disciples.” He said, “Go…, and make disciples… And I’ll be with you.” (Matthew 28:18-20)
If you meet them on their turf or neutral turf, they can easily invite their friends or family members. Those folks won’t come to your place. But just as Cornelius’ family and coworkers came to his home to hear a new message (Acts 10), and Levi’s friends came to his pad to meet Jesus (Mark 2:13-17), your seeker’s friends will come to their place. Do you realize the foundational importance of this issue? We
are not bringing the community in. We are taking the Good News out into the community to transform it.
Ideally you start with a few people. But you actually only need one person to begin. You don’t invite them to a class or to a series, you just invite them to meet with you to explore what God says in the Bible. It can be a small beginning, one or two people for one or two meetings. If that goes well, you invite them to continue looking at the Bible with you.