Earn the GIG (God Investigation Group) Badge
By earning this badge, you will:
- Know how to welcome seekers
- Be able to give an invitation to faith
A community of Skeptics, Seekers, and Christians
Destiny and Seth wanted to create a fun and welcoming community for seekers and Christians. Outreach became an intentional part of their missional purpose. They prayed for more boldness and new faith to take themselves more seriously. They used K-Pop dance practice to make their small group more fun! Destiny did an invitation to faith and used listening prayer, both for the first time in her life. As a result, and by God's grace, they saw one of their friends become a follower of Jesus. We will teach you to do the same, below.
Let's be like Jesus
Throughout the Gospels, Jesus creates community among disciples, tax collectors and sinners. The disciples are not “supposed” to hang out with notorious sinners. But Jesus wants them (and us) to learn “mercy.” How do we learn mercy? By the very act of becoming friends with and learning to express love and welcome to those who are very different from us. Jesus goes to Matthew’s home, getting on his turf. GIGs are one of our favorite ways of emulating Jesus. Read Matt 9:9-13, and see how Jesus wants to inspire you.
Read Matthew 9:9-13
9 As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him. 10 While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples. 11 When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 12 On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
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4 Steps to a Fruitful GIG
Step 1: Name your Mission Field
Ask Jesus who he wants you to reach with his love. It is helpful to clarify your missional focus and purpose. Whom has God put on your heart? For Destiny and Seth, it was the K-Pop dance community.
Jesus, who do you want me to reach out to with your love?
- Reach out to a coach for help discerning.
Step 2: Team Effort
GIGs are better as a team effort. Who can you invite to partner with you? Outreach is more fun and fruitful when we do it together and everyone contributes their talents. Spend a few minutes praying and answering these questions:
Jesus, who should I reach out to and invite to partner with me?
- When will you invite them? Text them now for a conversation.
- Share what God has put on your heart and ask them who is on their hearts.
- Ask them what role they might want to play in our outreach
Step 3: Develop the Habit of Fun
Jesus was the life of the party. Everyone wanted Jesus at their wedding, or dinner party. Unfortunately, we Christians can become serious and boring. We need to intentionally create space to have fun together, especially online using zoom. In partnership with your coach, decide together how you want to develop the habit of fun. Be creative. As you offer a fun and friendly community, more seekers will join you.
Jesus, how do you want us to offer fun to friends and strangers?
- Check in with your coach or staff (weekly or monthly) to keep trouble-shooting how to become more welcoming.
Step 4: Offer an Invitation to Faith
Seekers often wonder how to become a follower of Jesus. It is an act of love and kindness to explain clearly to them what it means to follow Jesus, and how one does that. It takes practice to offer a clear and motivating invitation to faith.
- Pick the GIG series that you want to offer, below.
- Practice the invitation to faith that you will find at the end of the GIG series, ideally with your coach.
- Calendar it in. It helps with accountability if it is in your calendar for a few weeks from now.
- Pray for non-Christians and nominal Christians to make an adult commitment to following Jesus.
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Choose a GIG Series
These two excellent GIG series will help Christians and seekers explore Jesus together as you share honestly about injustice or about your real selves.
Choose one for the next three or four weeks.
Option 1: Jesus and Justice
Skeptics and seekers love Jesus breaking the chains of injustice. Look at the first week's study, look carefully at the reactions to racism on the left side, check out Jesus crushing the head of the serpent, and see how the Holy Spirit empowers the people of God to create justice. This four-week study and invitation to faith will explore Jesus bringing justice to our world.
(You will find the invitation to faith on page 10 but, it is titled "The Good News.")
Option 2: Jesus and our Most Real Selves
Skeptics and seekers love our invitation to be more real. They want a place to be completely honest and see Christians be real about our insecurities and brokenness. They are intrigued by the idea that Jesus could do that for us. This three-week study will highlight Jesus as the one who honors our real selves.
(Be sure to use the link at the end of week three for the invitation to faith.)
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Practice the Call to Faith
Seekers and nominal Christians will need your help. Offering them a clear invitation to faith is an important act of love.
Inviting Skeptics and Seekers
As we saw in Matthew 9:9-13 above, Jesus loves to create community between his disciples and the tax collectors and sinners of his day. It is important for you to keep inviting and welcoming non-Christians. Please talk to your coach about new ways that you can welcome non-Christians. (see Fun Badge for other ideas)
Jesus, who do you want me to invite to our small group?
Spend Time Practicing
The best way to learn to give an invitation to faith is by practicing. Read through the invitation to faith at the end of the GIG materials, or using this invitations to faith guide. Practice it out loud a few times with your coach, or with a friend.
When you give an invitation of faith during your small group, give the summary to everyone and read it together, when you are face-to-face. Screen Share when you are on zoom. Then create space for everyone in your small group to respond personally.