Sitting here in starbucks working on leadership track development, about to shift gears to meet with some of our male pastors to brainstorm the Total Man Retreat for 2011. So in the few minutes I have before they get here, I want to share with you my experience with inviting people to church. I do and have always loved the opportunities to share the love of Jesus with people. Really get in deep conversation about it and lead them to a relationship with Him. However that doesn’t always happen in every conversation we have with people who we would want to come to church. Many times you have time to merely invite people. We use a tool at harvest called an invite card. Its a business card type of an invitation. It has the information for our campuses on it, and leaves a blank place we can put your name and number. I use these all the time.
My experience with inviting people to church is simple. People are excited to be invited. I haven’t invited anyone to church yet that was antagonistic to me, or rejected me. They don’t always come but I have never been treated badly when I have invited someone to come to church. Its a compliment to someone to be invited somewhere. I say this just to encourage everyone, the normal everyday person, no matter what the “experts” say, are not antagonistic towards the church, or to those who would invite them. I think sometimes people “experts” make these sweeping statements about how people view the church, that are based on pop culture, but I encourage you to ask the next person who says something like that, “How many people have you invited to church, and how did they respond?” Usually the extreme silence gives you the answer.
So, here are some easy practical ways to invite people to church or engage them in a conversation about Christ.
1. Change your thinking: From they don’t want to hear, and don’t want to be invited, to, They are excited to be invited.
I believe that most people would at least try church out if they were invited to go. What are you losing to Invite them?
2. Just invite them.
Be friendly, look for a time in the conversation before you go separate ways to invite them to come to church with you.
3. Be available for a conversation.
Slow down a bit and be available to talk. When you are in a public place don’t be glued to your phone, look up and engage people. People want, and love to talk. Be available for the conversation and the opportunity will present itself to invite them to church.
4. Use a tool to help you.
If you have something like an invite card, use it. It provides you with something to give, it helps you give them information that will keep you connected.
5. Look for opportunities to do something Kind for someone.
This always creates an open door to talk about Jesus or invite them to church, because they want to know why you did that for them.
6. look outside your family, and close friends.
What’s wrong with inviting someone you have met for the first time? Remember they are excited to be invited!