10 Ways to Invite Someone to Church

A few months ago Chuck Lawless wrote a great article on “Why Church Members Don’t Invite Other’s to Church” (Click to read article). It stirred a great burden in my heart to explore why people are apprehensive to invite friends and family to church. Chuck said, “several years ago, more than one study showed large percentages of unchurched people would consider attending a church if someone simply invited them. The problem is not the attitude of the unchurched; rather, it is often the failure of church members to invite others.” With Labor Day behind us and the fall season moving forward with full steam, it’s that time of the year to start thinking about inviting people back to church.  Here are ten ways to invite people to church in the weeks coming up:

  1. Think/Pray about Who to Invite: We need to get in the habit of thinking and praying about people on a daily basis that we can invite to church. Maybe it’s someone you go to school with, work with, or live beside. If you “do life” with these people Monday through Saturday, why not invite them to participate in the most important part of your week? Unchurched people are “sheep without a shepherd” (Matt. 9:36), in need of redemption and a church family. Think about inviting these people to church this Sunday using verbal conversations, text messages, or social media. Be creative!
  2. Don’t Fear Rejection: While it’s true nobody likes to be turned down, take the risk to invite somebody to church. Chuck Lawless stated that church members told him there were a few times when people said “no,” but few people could tell of times when they were rudely or unkindly rejected. Don’t fear being rejected, just ask!
  3. Focus on Being a Witness over Worship (Music): A lot of times we are scared to ask people to come to church because we are scared they won’t like the music. We think “it’s too loud,” “it’s too boring,”  “we sing it over and over again,” or “nobody knows the songs.” Remember music is just one part of the service and you never know, they may just love that part! 
  4. Focus on Principles in Preaching: We know the pastor or speaker on Sunday doesn’t always hit home runs with every message. While it’s painful to admit, we often think that people might not like our pastor or his preaching. This can tie into the issues of music. However, having someone come to church, a discussion at/over lunch can be a great way to talk about one or two principles we picked up from the message. Sometimes unchurched people need help understanding what was said and how to apply it to their lives. This is where you can help! After inviting someone to church take them out for lunch to discuss the principles in the morning message.
  5. Focus on People more than Problems: Every church has it’s issues. We know that while us as regular attenders may know all the ins and outs of what’s going on at the church an invited guest isn’t going to see all the issues facing a congregation. If they do see one or two issues this is a great time to ask them how they think that issue can be resolved or even help the local church grow in that weakness. Remember, unconnected people love to get plugged in and help!
  6. Care more than the Crowd: Some people are terrified about going to church due to all the people. We don’t like being cramped, have to search for a parking space, or wonder around. A big way to help a new person cut through the crowd is to bring them with you or meet them at the door, show them around the church, introduce them to new people, and let them sit with you in service. Never leave a new person unattended. Remember, you were “new” once too. Keep in mind how that felt.
  7. Embrace the Challenge: Like number one, some church folk never think about inviting others because no one has challenged them to do so. I challenge you right now to invite someone to church this Sunday! 
  8. Embrace Spiritual Conversations: Many people get sweaty palms even thinking about inviting someone to a local service. Remember, people are all searching for something. If we believe the local church is the hope of the world then we must get past the awkward and invite people to participate in the local congregation that is gathering. Don’t forget how many times Jesus tells us to not be afraid!
  9. Remember it’s our Job: We know you want to let the Holy Spirit work but remember that God wants us to do our part and that involves asking the Holy Spirit to help us ask others,”Would you like to come to church with me this week?”
  10. Go the Distance: We have people coming to our congregation from so many places. Some are close and some are a drive. Don’t be scared to ask someone to drive the distance you drive to come to church. We will drive hours for a good meal, so why drive to go to a great church? 

So we challenge you, invite someone to church this week, and next week, and the weeks after! Think and pray for God to reveal who that is. Embrace that challenge with boldness as a steward of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Don’t give up! Stay after it and know this is not a one time event but a daily discipline we must practice to reach our communities. Remember, some people have to be invited multiple times to come once and even asked again to come back. It persistence that matters as those people in your life will see how much you love and care for them. It’s worth the effort to see people come to know Christ and make Christ known near and far!

-jordan

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