Holding a Matthew Party

  • by Student Linc

TWO SCENARIOS

Tori was living in a dorm with a few people around her who were different. Different was good in this case. They were friendly enough, but lived a very straight and narrow lifestyle. She knew they were Christians though she wasn’t sure what that meant really. She was a Christian, too, wasn’t she? After all, wasn’t she born in America? But, she didn’t feel comfortable talking to them about anything personal.

Hunter thought,  "Those Christians cramp my style. They’re dull and boring. Do they ever have any fun? Do they just read their Bible all day? Why are they nice to me? What do they want?"

While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and “sinners” came and ate with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and 'sinners'?” On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners” (Matthew 9:10-13).

In the eyes of the Pharisees, the tax collectors were the lowest of the low. But Jesus mingled with them, reminding the Pharisees that those who are sick need a doctor, not those who are well. Tori and Hunter might not come to a Bible study or Christian meeting, but they might come to a party or social thrown by Christians. At a party you can create a non-threatening environment where Christians and non-Christians can gather and have fun together. This casual atmosphere can knock down some of the barriers and stereotypes non-Christians may have toward Christians.

STEPS TO TAKE

Parties and socials are part of the process God might use to bring someone to Himself. Most people come to a social because of an ongoing relationship. A personal invitation to a non-Christian (“I’m going to this party. Would you like to come with me?”) as opposed to a more generic invitation (handing a student a flyer) is more likely to get a non-Christian to come to a party.

REAL LIFE STORY

Joe had seen the ’50s party signs all around campus. He recognized Cru from other events they had sponsored. But, he didn’t want to just show up by himself. A Christian on his hall floor invited him to go out to eat with a big group before they headed to the party. Joe thought, Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad after all. These guys are pretty cool and they hang out with some really neat girls. Why not?