I am sure most of you have heard a pastor, or other church members say “invite your friends to worship (church) with you.” Why would we do this? I hear all the time people say things like, “all my friends already have a church home,” or “so and so won’t come to church with me,” or “I’ve tried and I can’t get anyone to come with me.”
One thing I am concerned about is when we allow these reasons to be the end of asking and inviting people to worship with us. When we invite someone to church, whether our friends or people we just meet, what are we doing? If we have the mindset that we want people to come to church with us so we can have more people join us, this may be projecting from our body language (and our spirit) and would be unappealing to those we desire to invite.
Here is something to consider: we go to worship, we are the church. So we should stop inviting people to come “to” church with us. Instead, we should invite people to come to worship with us to grow the Kingdom of God and invite people to experience the real presence of God within the concept of a full worshipping community.
We like to think that the Christian faith can be grown and nurtured individually; but this is not the case. The New Testament clearly shows being a Christian is also being part of a faith community that works together, through the grace of God, to work and walk with God to show and usher in the Kingdom of Heaven right where we are.
With this in mind, what are some other reasons we should invite people to come to worship with us?
Inviting others gives them another chance to hear the gospel
How do you feel about sharing your faith on a daily basis? Our society seems to look down, or have a negative viewpoint, of people sharing their opinions, especially our faith. If this describes you, having someone come to worship with you should give them a chance to hear the gospel presentation within the context of a worshipping faith community. I hope the community of faith you belong to gives people the opportunity to hear the good news of Jesus Christ each and every week.
Inviting others gets us out of our comfort zone
This is what seems, to me, to get to people more than ever. We like to live in a comfort zone and don’t do anything that pulls us out of feeling safe and comfortable. My challenge for us is to really consider how the Christian life is not supposed to live in a comfortable manner. Even when we are in sticky, uncomfortable, or even dangerous situations, we have the presence and grace of God already with us, never leaving us. This is the best and safest place we can be, in the arms of God, wrapped up in His grace and presence. Inviting someone to come to worship is a great step to getting us out of our zone of comfort zone. Why?
We invite because people might just say yes
This is a good thing to stop and think about. People just might say “YES” to the invitation to worship with you. What a good thing to think about. Now, there will be those who say no. This would be a good time to be the church (Body of Christ) in action and seek to develop a deeper, more meaningful relationship with that person, demonstrating your true motive for them is to come to a meaningful relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Lunch, any group activities, or anything you can think of would be a great way to develop trust in those you wish to invite. After more trust is developed because of building a relationship, they still might say “no” to coming to worship; but they could also say “yes.”
We invite because it’s a great way to have faith conversations
Having people join you in worship is a great way to begin faith conversations. Maybe something that was said, prayed, or sung struck a cord and they just need to talk more about it. This is a great time to reinforce the concept of God’s grace and presence in their life, as well as how you have and continue to experience His grace and love daily. Remember this, it is not the pastor who can develop relationships in a meaningful way with each and every person. Pastors try to do this; but the relationship building really happens with the members of the faith community. But most importantly, Christ calls us to.
We invite because Christ call us to
This is the best reason to me. Before Jesus ascended into heaven, he gave his disciples and followers the Great Commission to go into the world and make disciples in all nations. We get to do this on a daily basis, wherever we are. As you are on your way, and in your daily life, pray for guidance of who God is working in the heart of that the Holy Spirit is inviting you to connect with.
Inviting people to come to worship is more than just trying to “fill the pews” or “getting more members.” It is about offering Jesus Christ to the world and inviting them to come into a relationship with God through Jesus Christ and experience the true life and joy that is found only in Him. This is how we get to be part of God’s redemption of the world and ushering in the Kingdom of God. How awesome is that? We are invited and called to work with our creator to show others what life in Christ really is. We get to grow the Kingdom of God (because of our love for God) with each step we walk in faith.