Today, we’re starting a new series called Ice Breakers. I will be teaching this series with a good friend of mine—Dave Thompson. Y’all welcome Dave!
What is an icebreaker? An icebreaker is a question you ask and answer around people you don’t know very well to break the ice. These are questions you ask so you can start a conversation and get to know a person. Here’s a great icebreaker question: “What is your favorite hobby?” “What do you do for a living?” That is a great icebreaker question—unless you’re a pastor. If you’re a pastor, that answer shuts down conversations. This is a bad icebreaker question: “How much do you weigh?” “How old are you?” The whole reason why you try to break the ice with people and ask icebreakers is because of the principle of connection. We long to connect with other people.
Studies show that when a person comes into a relationship with Jesus that the clock is ticking on their relationships they have with people. Studies show that once a person becomes a Christian that 85% of all Christians sever relationships with outsiders after a year and a half. Somehow, we have bought into the lie that to follow Jesus, we have to sever relationships.
Look at how Jesus responds to these religious people who prided themselves on severing relationships with people who weren’t as good as they were…
When Jesus heard this, he said, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do.”
Matthew 9:12 (NLT)
Big Idea: Don’t sever relationships, leverage relationships.
Check out the sermon manuscript or watch online to see the whole message.
As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at his tax collector’s booth. “Follow me and be my disciple,” Jesus said to him. So Levi got up and followed him.
Mark 2:14 (NLT)
As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at his tax collector’s booth. “Follow me and be my disciple,” Jesus said to him. So Matthew got up and followed him. Later, Matthew invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. But when the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with such scum?” When Jesus heard this, he said, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do.” Then he added, “Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: ‘I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.’ For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.”
Matthew 9:9-13 (NLT)
What are ways not to sever but leverage relationships?
First, Don’t make someone into a project.
Second, Don’t wear our religious feelings on our sleeve.
Third, Start Now. Take out your cell phone.