What an incredible amount of “stuff” out there on why, how, when, and who we should invite to church. I even read an article on “the right seasons to invite.” I didn’t know our extension was limited to seasons, or cycles, or patterns, or theory. Trust me, it’s not. It should be as the Holy Spirit leads, guides, and directs. Yet, it is also something we should never put off or defer. All churches should be inviting churches, and all Christians should be inviting people.
I guess I have always felt that inviting and encouraging others to come, to worship, to fellowship, and to meet Jesus was a part of our DNA. That it didn’t need or require special services, deeper training, or a workshop in advance. I mean, if we have been brought from death to life; from darkness to light; from despair to hope ~ shouldn’t we want and truly desire others to receive the Lord too? And have what we have? For others to experience His love, mercy, and grace? I would hope so. Sharing Jesus and giving Jesus away is part of who we are, what we are about, and what we believe as Christ-followers.
Do you want to know an interesting statistic?
Even in our super-fast, lightning paced, highly technological world and culture, with many ways to stay connected electronically and through social media, the #1 way people first come and get connected to a local church community is through a personal invitation (and yes, some love based follow up). To me, this is just icing on the cake: our God is personal and intimate. I really do believe it is His will that we are personal and intimate in how we invite and encourage others to join us.
Here are some reasons you should invite your family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors (to name a few) to Bridgeway:
- To come to a saving faith in Jesus Christ. This is the paramount reason, no doubt. Everything else falls in behind this and we have to be reminded that many have never heard, much less received Christ as Lord. In the NT Book of Acts, there is a powerful record about a man named Andrew, who had a brother named Peter. Andrew brought his brother to meet Jesus, and in God’s time, Peter became one of the early leaders (an Apostle) for the Church. Friends, eternity can be altered when we invite others to encounter and experience God.
- They can connect with new friends and with a family of faith. I would like to think that for everyone reading this, who is a part of a local church family, can testify: “Some of my best friends are here at Bridgeway,” or “here at _________” (fill in the name of your local church). Friendship is one of the greatest gifts God has given us ~ it is a blessing and a treasure. Now, wouldn’t it be awesome if you invited someone to church and they made many lifelong friends?
- They will be encouraged and built up. Many reports state that only 20% of an iceberg is visible above water. That means that 80% of your average iceberg is not visible; it is hidden. I feel that many people’s struggles, trials and tribulations, can be like that too. It is hard for anyone to know what someone is going through, and this is especially true for those who do not have a church community who is surrounding them. More and more our culture and world bends toward isolation, individualism, and “sheltered” life that is lived in much obscurity. A simple invitation to “join us for worship” or “come to a Colony Group” may be a welcomed delight for someone who is lonely or isolated.
So who can you prayerfully invite and encourage to join us this week? Ask God to bring to your mind, heart, and soul those within your sphere of influence. Let us not blow the opportunity ~ let us respond to God’s grace by loving people and caring about them the very way He does. And if you do invite and bring someone with you, please introduce them to me. I would love to greet them personally and give them a gift for being our guest. Thank you in advance.
We are better together!