Jesus’ first miracle was at a party; a wedding reception. Scripture teaches us that Jesus went out of his way to spend time with others who didn’t know him, usually around a meal. Sometimes that was an individual (like with Zacchaeus), but most of the time, it was in a group. The reason for throwing a party is simple: to connect with others on a relational level. We tend to forget that relational intentionality counts for a lot. As people get to know someone who has come alive in Christ, they’ll naturally see differences that will spark their curiosity. Parties are also great places to share interests and passions! For the follower of Christ, the biggest passion is their love for God. So we can use lesser passions – holidays, football games, block parties, etc. – as a connection point for what really drives us.
Generally, you find an excuse to invite others. You figure out a way to work out food and drinks and establish some parameters (the party will go from this time to that time). You pray about whom to invite. You pray before the party begins. As the party is going on, you have fun and you silently pray that the Holy Spirit would provide you with insight into questions to ask or topics to bring up. After the party is finished you pray again. And then you follow-up with notes of appreciation for those who came. It’s pretty straightforward. The party isn’t an excuse to preach or sell something or make a big invitation to church. It’s just a party. It’s a first step.
Bill Hybels wrote a great book called, Just Walk Across the Room (available on Amazon here). Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to walk across a room to talk with someone. A party is a great excuse to stretch yourself relationally in a way that honors God and is selfless. And one benefit is that it’s FUN!