The One Time When Giving Friday
Nights to Jesus Does Not Work
by Josh Hunt
It has been my privilege to teach the Friday Nights for Jesus strategy to hundreds of churches and thousands of Sunday School teachers all across the country. By in large I have received very positive feedback. But in one case, it doesn't work.
My own experience was that we had 90% of the people who had visited our church who we had into our home ended up joining the church. This was true for those transferring membership as well as those coming to faith in Christ for the first time. I have received plenty of feedback to the effect that others have received a similar response.
One pastor from Ohio told me he was averaging 97% of those he had in his home joined the church. Another from Orlando told me he was hitting 100%. Every single person that he had had in his home had joined the church. Another pastor in California told me he did a slightly different approach with a "pastor's chat." In this plan, he had 25 recent visitors in his home all at once on a Sunday night. (They are a new church plant that does not have a Sunday evening service.) It was a more formal presentation of the church's vision along with a get acquainted time but the results were about the same. 90% of those who came to his home joined the church. I head a charming story from someone recently who sent me an email about a month after I had done a conference. The email stated that in just a month they had someone in their home, this couple heard the gospel, both prayed to receive Christ and both had joined the church. It was encouraging because it all took place so quickly after the conference.
But there is one situation where the plan does not work. It has happened several times. Here is how it works.
Several times a pastor has come to me and said something like this, "Josh I read you book and I loved it. I really liked the part about giving Friday nights to Jesus. That is a really cool idea. I love that idea. Really fresh approach. Great idea." "Oh, so it is working well for you?" "Well, we have not tried it, but it seemed like a really neat idea to us. I really feel good about that idea."
In this case the idea never works. You see, you only get credit for the things you actually do, not for the things you think about.