Your experience at a big Christian event like the Urbana Student Missions Conference, and the energy for GIGs you found there will go a long way in drawing friends to your own GIG back on campus. As a Jesus follower, your enthusiasm will be winsome. If you're not excited about what happened in your GIG at Urbana, why should anyone else be interested in participating in another one?
Here are 5 tips for making an inviting invitation while you're riding high on your GIG-training experience:
1. Pray first.
To show us what the Father is like, Jesus told the story of the shepherd who left 99 sheep to find the one that was lost. Ask God to help you join his search-and-rescue effort. Who is the lost sheep he wants you to go after? Is it a hurting friend on your dorm floor? Who do you know that the Father seems to be drawing to himself?
2. Pinpoint a friend who has shown interest in you.
Ask yourself, "Is there someone who has indicated they'd like to get to know me better? Am I in a relationship with a friend who is ready to go to a deeper level in our friendship? Someone who trusts me and might be interested in hearing what I'm learning about God?"
3. Tell your Urbana story.
Ask a friend or two to meet you for lunch or coffee. Tell them you want to hear about their winter break and tell them about yours.
When it's your turn—after you've asked questions and listened attentively to them—describe your Urbana experience. Try something like: "I had an amazing experience attending a conference about global concerns and how God wants us to respond to the needs of the world. We discussed human trafficking, poverty, and international business ethics. And we did this cool thing called a GIG—a Group Investigating God. Every morning, we got together with students on our hotel floor for coffee, and we looked at what Jesus is like and what his concerns are. It was pretty cool. I've never done anything like it. We investigated God together."
4. Ask a friend if they want to repeat the experience with you.
Explain how you met for four mornings and that you would like to repeat the experience you had with a few of your friends. You can say something like, "Everybody shares his or her own perspective, and it's really eye-opening. You learn what people are thinking about God and life, and you learn what Jesus thought about God. Would you be interested?"
5. Set a time and place to get together in the next day or two.
If your friend shows interest, ride his enthusiasm and don't let much time come between your invitation and your first GIG. If possible, meet within 24 hours of your invite, so life doesn't get in the way before you can meet again. Capture the interest your friend has shown and honor his support of you by hosting your GIG ASAP!
If you've been to a high-powered event like Urbana or even a chapter evangelism training recently, will you give these tips a try? If you do, share your progress and prayer requests in a comment below.