What if we sought to cultivate a habit, perhaps already present for some but maybe new for others, of inviting someone to church every weekend? No pressure; no gags; no gimmicks; just a happy and sincere invitation: “would you come to church with me this weekend?”
I hope to encourage many in our home church to embrace this habit, and maybe a few others, too. And there are at least 7 good reasons why.
First of all, inviting people to church who currently do not have a home church significantly increases the probability of them hearing the gospel, which in turn significantly increases the probability of them believing said gospel. This is a two-fer: two good reasons summed in one.
Secondly, when you invite someone to church, it will likely increase your propensity to pray for them, pray for your church, pray for the actual gathering to which you are inviting them, and even pray for “me” (Lord, help the pastor to say something that somehow connects with my friend/family/neighbor/colleague). This, too, is a multi-faceted benefit, as is usually the case when we pray.
Next, when you bring someone to church with you, it increases your sensitivity to and awareness of the environment. You are desperate for the other people at church to appear friendly and warm and genuine (and maybe not unnecessarily weird). You yourself might sport a metaphorical “hey I am happy you’re here and care about you” button. This, often, in contrast to when we come guest-less to church with the temptation to just slink in and keep to ourselves (often too distracted by the eclipsing importance of what irritated us on the way to church or what we want to eat afterward – and “why is this church coffee so bad”). Furthermore, you might well pay more attention to the appearance of the facility, the need for improved sound equipment, and for pens in the back of the chairs that actually work. Who knows, you might even become aware of how important the hospitality crew is, finding yourself volunteering to serve on those front lines.
Inviting people to church has an ego-involvement benefit. By that I mean that when you invite people to church, it becomes “your” church. You are a greater stakeholder than when you remain simply a visitor emeritus.
The general likelihood of your church (and hopefully my home church) continuing to grow numerically is increased in direct proportion to… new people coming there. So, inviting people to church regularly is a really terrific way of causing your church to grow. Luke 14:23 hints pretty strongly that our Lord is a fan of His House being full.
Many Christians can trace their family’s faith to the salvation of a parent or grandparent. Others encountered Christ as a child or teenager – because somehow someone brought them to church. What I am saying is that inviting one person to church might impact the destiny of generations. Whole families might well be saved. Marriages can be restored. Children can hear of hope and promise. Teens can learn security and integrity and purpose. A man (a godly prayer warrior, helper of the hurting and servant of children) in my church is the great-great (maybe another “great” I can’t remember) grandson of General William Booth of the Salvation Army. Consider what generational avalanche might occur if we invite people to church – this weekend.
Finally, if we make a habit of inviting people to church, for all the above reasons and more, we will change the world. So, essentially, the fate of the world really hangs on you inviting someone to church this weekend. (Too much? Well, you get the idea anyway).
Thanks for reading.