It was three weeks before Resurrection Sunday (Easter). It was announced in worship that there would be a Work Day on the following Saturday to beautify the church property, especially focusing on the exterior. Members were encouraged to bring their wheelbarrows, rakes, shovels, hedge trimmers, and gloves.
A men's class decided to participate, and one of the members of the class invited an unsaved friend. He lived nearby. He was introduced to everyone that day, and the group quickly got to work. I could not believe the amount of mulch that had been delivered. There were lots of people with lots of work implements.
During the course of the day, I watched as this friend worked shoulder to shoulder with this group of men. He filled wheelbarrows. He trimmed. He shoveled. He worked hard. He got hot and sweaty. But I also noticed that the class talked with him and each other. They laughed. They told stories. They got to know each other.
At the end of the day, everyone was tired but able to see the progress. Things looked great! Everyone began to load up their tools and head home. Everyone thanked each other, and especially greeted and thanked the guest. He smiled and expressed his enjoyment in the day as well.
The next day, the men's class was pleasantly surprised when this unsaved friend showered and showed up for Sunday School. He had seen the time for Sunday School on the church sign and had decided he liked being with these men. And he returned the next week, and the third week, and the fourth week, and the fifth week. Then on the sixth week, he accepted Jesus as his Savior and Lord.
The class had befriended him. They had done so by working on a project together. During the project they had worked hard but had a good time together, and in the course of the day and the following weeks in class, they had shown the love of Jesus to him.
Sometimes men have no interest in social activities, but they are willing to participate in a project. The church and the Sunday School needs to do a better job of reaching men with the love of Jesus Christ. And projects may be worth trying. It sure worked this time, and I have seen it work many other times. Pray. Invite. Work. Laugh. Care. Be revolutionary!
For more ideas about connecting with guests, check out these blog posts: