Have a Matthew Party (Connection Night)!
In Luke 5:27-32, Matthew, a tax collector, decided to follow Jesus. Upon making this exciting decision, the first thing he did was to throw a big feast (or party) and invited all of his other friends who were also tax collectors to his house.
Of course this made the religious folks of the day very angry and they accused Jesus of eating with, drinking with, and being a friend of sinners.
To these accusations, Jesus replied…”Who needs a doctor: the healthy or the sick? I’m here inviting outsiders, not insiders- an invitation to a changed life, changed inside and out.” (Luke 5:31 MES).
This was uncomfortable for the religious people because
- Matthew was not a speaker sharing from their platform
- He wasn’t one of their chosen select few
- Matthew was considered the “filth” of society
- The meeting was not held in the synagogue
- It was not labeled a study of scripture (or Bible Study)
It was simply… dinner at Matthew’s place and Jesus was a guest.
Although Jesus didn’t share in the lifestyle or sinful habits of these tax collectors, He was able to look past their outer appearance and, with the love of the Father, see people who needed a Savior. We know this by His reply in Luke 5:31 (above).
What is a Matthew Party?
It is a get-together (or party) with the purpose of getting to know those around you and, in love, introducing them to Jesus. The invitation list should consist of both people that are still far from God as well as a few Christ-followers.
As Christians we need to remember that we can do many good things for God, but if we do not truly love others, it is all for nothing!
Here are a few ideas you might consider for a Matthew Party at your house:
- A picnic
- A block party
- A pet show
- Open house celebration
- Friend day
- A pizza party
- Super bowl party
- Free chili feed
- Neighborhood barbeque
- Game night (outdoor or indoor)
- A sidewalk carnival
- Free spaghetti feed
- Neighbors night
A few points to consider:
- Be sure that those who are already Christ-followers are outnumbered so that those who are far from Christ don’t feel like they are being ganged up on.
- Try to decide which Christ-followers would be best for those on your invitation list. You might think about age, stage in life, interests, temperament, etc. You want this to be a wonderful experience for all.
- You should never find yourself “enjoying” the ways of the world- or participating in them. Think of an event you wouldn’t want to miss, plan it, prepare for it, promote it, experience it and then FOLLOW-UP those who attended. Make sure a clear Gospel message is shared.
Remember the goal is to always- in love- to point to Jesus!