INVITATION TO HANG OUT/CHURCH
By Lee De Groot
VII. CLOSE YOUR EYES
VIII. REASONS/EXCUSES WHY YOU DON'T
IX. REASON WHY YOU SHOULD AND VERSES
X. THE TRUTH AND VERSES
Trevor had a great idea. He wanted to have a gathering of 9 of his closest friends at his house for next Sunday. He was planning a gaming party. He had figured out how to connect all 10 of their laptops so they could play all together. It was guaranteed to be a great time. So he sent out the invitations. They looked something like this:
WHO: My buddies
WHAT: Gaming Party
WHEN: Sunday Night
WHERE: My House
WHY: Just to hang out
Sunday all 9 of his friends showed up with laptop in hand and so the gaming began. The 10 friends were joined together for hours of friendship and a common goal. It was such a great time that Trevor decided he would text the same 9 buddies and he would invite them again for next Sunday. Again, Sunday arrived but only two friends showed up. So the three of them had their own little gaming party. It was not as much fun just having three computers going, but they were still joined together for hours of friendship and a common goal.
It bothered Trevor all day that seven of his closest friends did not show up. By late Sunday night Trevor was angry, so he texted them to find out why they hadn't shown up. They all had an excuse...it was a nice day so two of them went to the local college football game, two went double dating to the drive in movies, one went to the gym to lift with some other friends, one went to the lakes with his family, and the final friend just wanted to stay home. Trevor heard all the reasons/excuses and yet deep down he was still hurt. He had planned for this night of hanging out and he had invited them!
ACTIVITY: (Blank invitation and pens)
Hand out a blank invitation to each student and have them think of their own night of hanging out with friends.
*Who would you send it to?
*What kind of party would it be?
*When would you hold it?
*Where would you have it?
*Why would you have it?
After the students have their invitation finished ask them...
How would it feel if you had planned for an event and had invited about a dozen friends but only 1 or 2 showed up?
Would your feelings be hurt?
Would excuses help the hurt and disappointment?
Would you continue to invite the same friends week after week if they continue to not show up?
ACTIVITY: (paper and pens-write out the answers to these questions or just discuss their answers)
What excuses have you used to get out of something you didn't want to do?
What excuses have you used to get out of plans with someone you didn't want to hang with?
What excuses have you given your parents to not be with them?
What excuses have you used to not do what your parents have asked you to do?
ACTIVITY: (LEADERS: Prior to the meeting: Buy invitations or print out an invitation for each student and include the details below):
YOU ARE INVITED TO HANG OUT!!!!!
WITH WHO: Your Father
WHERE: At my house
WHY: Because I want to spend time with you.
CLOSE YOUR EYES AND PICTURE THIS:
Imagine...WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF.....God comes to you in physical form. He is actually standing before you. He is human-like. It's Wednesday night and He says "Hey I would like you to come to my house Sunday. He invites you to His house. God wants to hang out with you: He wants to listen to some music, maybe even sing along to some of the songs, read a little of His book and talk about what you read, and He just wants you to hang out with some other of His chosen friends. Big question....Would you go? Would you think of all kinds of excuses not to go?
REASONS/EXCUSES FOR NOT ACCEPTING THE INVITATION TO GOD'S HOUSE:
*LATE SATURDAY NIGHT
*SUNDAY IS THE ONLY DAY TO SLEEP IN
*FRIENDS AREN'T GOING
*PARENTS/FAMILY AREN'T GOING
*TOO MUCH HOME WORK
*DON'T FEEL CONNECTED
*WHO CARES IF I'M THERE
*TOO MANY HYPOCRITES
*I'M GOING TO THE LAKES/CAMPING AGAIN THIS SUNDAY
*IT'S NICE WEATHER
*HANGING OUT WITH OTHER FRIENDS
*ONLY DAY AT HOME
*DON'T FEEL WORTHY
*DON'T WANT TO MISS THE BIG GAME
*ONLY DAY WITH FAMILY
*NEED TO CLEAN MY ROOM
*NEED TO WASH MY CAR
*IT'S TOO HOT
*IT'S TOO COLD
*IT'S TOO WINDY
The list goes on and on.
WE ARE ALL INVITED TO GOD'S HOUSE REGULARLY, EVERY SUNDAY!!!!!!!!!
AND YET IT IS SO HARD TO BE PUMPED AND MOTIVATED TO GO EVERY SUNDAY!
REASONS WHY ALL CHRISTIANS SHOULD MEET THEIR FATHER AT HIS HOUSE REGULARLY:
1. The Church is made of many parts and we are one of the parts.
"Christ's body is made of many parts, yet it is still one unified entity."
1 Corinthians 12:12
2. Just like the human body...it functions best when all the parts work together...Have you ever been in a tug of war? You grab the rope with both hands wrapping all 10 of your fingers around the rope making sure you have a good grip and then you pull with all your might. Now, try to do it without using your thumbs. It probably would not work so well. Right? It takes every part of the body to function at its best.
Activity: Play tug of war in a variety of ways, not using a certain body part like your thumbs, excluding certain members of your team, ect. Discuss how necessary every person and every part is vital to the church.
"As members of the body of Christ, we belong to each other."
3. God goes on to say He want us to meet together or hang out together so we can encourage each other in our walk with Him.
"Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching."
4. God has invited you to His house.
"If God had a refrigerator, your picture would be on it. If He had a wallet, your photo would be in it. He sends you flowers every spring and a sunrise every morning... Face it, friend. He is crazy about you! "
— Max Lucado
5. We need to continue to learn about Him. Can you imagine standing before God some day and He asks you this question..."So what did you think about My book" Could you answer Him? Have you read it and studied it? How about this question..."When I invited you to My house on Sundays why didn't you come?"
Some of you may think you will be more regular with your church attendance once you are older and more settled and have lived more life.
The truths about this statement are:
1. The church needs you...you are the future leaders of the church. You are the future elders, deacons, Sunday school teachers, gems and cadet counselors, catechism teachers, youth group leaders, regular church go-ers, praise and worship leaders, evangelism committee members, grounds members, search committee members, or even the pastor. But even right now you can help with VBS, Sunday school, you can be a choir member, you can serve on the evangelism committee, you can help in the nursery, join in on the fund raisers for the church, go on mission trips with your church, if you are 18 you can go into the prison systems with local groups and worship with the inmates or witness to them, you can volunteer to help with the nursing home services or just hang out with the residents, and the list goes on and on.
"Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity."
I Timothy 4:12
Allow for some discussion of what they can do to be members of the church, where can they get involved? What are their interests? What are their gifts?
6. We do not know the number of days God has ordained to us. We might not live to be older and settled down.
"You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed."
CONCLUSION: Now is the time. Do not wait to accept the invitation sent to you by your Heavenly Father. He wants you to visit with Him regularly in His house with all the other friends He has asked over.
"Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another..."
Father God, thank You for being so patient with us and for being such an awesome Father to us. Thank You for making each of us and ordaining each of our days. Help all of us to encourage each other and to continue to come together and worship You and to make a habit of it as You ask us to do in Hebrews. Help us to put away all our excuses. Guide us and help us to say yes to Your weekly invitation. Help us to show up when You ask us over to Your house. In Your precious Son's name. Amen