It doesn’t matter really. They are both concepts of the future. They’re both things to work towards. But some people need to hear it one way, and other people need to hear it the other way.
Goal: Encourage 100 people to invite their friends along to the Life evangelistic course.
Problem: Thousands of people are going to hell, only the gospel of Jesus can save them, and we’ve got 100 people at church.
Goal: Make Sunday meetings God-glorifying, challenging and encouraging.
Problem: We’ve only got one opportunity each week when we gather God’s people together… what should we do?
If you give your team goals, they’ll have a clearer idea what you want. If you give them problems, you might get better ideas.
If you’re putting on an event for non-Christians, I think the most loving goal is “get a second date”. Make the big aim that they come back again. Make the big purpose that they don’t walk out thinking, “Well I’m not coming back to this next week!”.
If they tap out after one night, it becomes 100 times harder to ever get them back again. They think they’ve looked at it “enough”, they think they’ve given Christianity “a go”. But if they come back, even just one more time, that second date is when they really start listening. That’s when they begin to invest in relationships. That’s when begin to evaluate. Its really rare that ever happens on an evangelistic “first date”.
1. The strategy doesn’t change, just the goal. The strategy should always be “preach the gospel”. Having the second date as the goal will affect HOW you preach the gospel. Just like if you were preaching on the sinking Titanic, it would change HOW you preach the gospel.
2. Don’t let yourself think that God can’t convert people on night one. Of course he can! Pray that people would move from never even hearing about Jesus to trusting him fully in the space of 90mins!