A rhetorical question was asked by one of our church members last spring at a church meeting: “How many of us are inviting friends to worship here at South Calgary?” The question was followed by a short silence as we all knew the answer.
Sometimes, we make the mistake of sitting in our pew on a Sunday, looking around and wondering why God isn’t increasing the ministry of South Calgary. I think that God is waiting for us to get out of our pews and do our part.
We could spend significant time analyzing the reasons we hesitate to invite people. But let’s be honest, most of what we call reason are excuses. What we need is a greater dose of courage and boldness. In 2 Timothy 1:7 the Apostle Paul says: “God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love and sound judgement.” (HCSB).
Each of us have a network of neighbors, coworkers, and friends who are Christians, but are not attending a church, or who have an interest in spiritual matters but have not begun to attend a church.
Imagine the change that could take place by Christmas if every one of us were serious at inviting two people to join us in worshiping with us on Sunday morning. We will be making more coffee, there will be a louder buzz during the greeting time, and most importantly, God will be giving us the opportunity / responsibility to serve a larger group of people.
INVITING DIFFERENT GROUPS
1) People showing an interest in spiritual things. Though this group of friends are interested in spiritual conversations, the idea of walking into a church building is SCARY! Don’t push them, but don’t let them off the hook too easily. Do not stop with their first answer of “no.”
Over the course of weeks, use gentle persistence. Let them know what to expect in a typical service; singing, prayer, offering, announcements, sermon, after service coffee. Let them know that you will meet them at the door. Consider offering to pick them up. Plan ahead of time to go for coffee or lunch with them.
2) People who have stopped attending a church. It is September, hunting season starts soon, it is open season on these folks. They know that you know they used to attend a church. It is perfectly acceptable for you, as a Christian, to challenge them on this topic. Take a deep breath, be bold, and tell them that for their spiritual health they should be attending a church. Ask “Why don’t you come to South Calgary with me this Sunday?” Again, plan to meet them at the door and plan to go for lunch after the service.
3) People attending other evangelical churches. These people are OFF LIMITS. We do not invite people attending other churches that preach the gospel.
4) People showing very little interest in spiritual matters. Do not push the subject. Continue to be a real friend. Care about the person, show love. Invite them to your home. Get to know them and let them get to know you. Pray for them. As time goes on, it may be prudent to invite them to a Kids In Praise performance, a Christmas Eve service, or other special event.
Pray with me that God’s Spirit will give us boldness and courage to invite people to our services. Pray that God will strengthen and increase the ministry of SCCC.