Inviting Others To Church - A Pine Valley UMC ministry blog in the Renovate series
I do not ever remember being "invited" to church because as long as I can remember church was part of my life. However, I know one of the biggest gifts in my life was an invitation to go on the Walk to Emmaus (a three day spiritual retreat). Although I knew nothing about it, I know it was God nudging (ok, pushing) me to go. It was very much out of my comfort zone - very much! I trusted God and He was faithful beyond belief. At age 32 I was already a Christian but I gave myself to God 100%, not 90%, not 99% but 100%. That is when my life changed! That person who sponsored me had no idea what God was going to do with that invitation but they were obedient in inviting me!
Some people may already attend church. Some may not be comfortable with church. But there are many other things at church to invite them to. It could be inviting them to a program at church or a small group. Matthew 18: 20, "For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them." Because you know God is already there, they just have to show up. This could help this person move along the path to a new relationship with Christ or a deeper relationship with Christ. If you pray about who to invite, and what to invite them to, God will guide you. If my sponsor had not been bold enough to invite me, I cannot imagine the blessings I would have missed out on over the last twenty-plus years! And not just me, but my husband and my parents, who I sponsored, and so many friends! When I was invited to attend an Emmaus weekend it caused a ripple effect, changing many lives and it continues the ripple effect.
The Bible gives several scriptures on inviting people to church. Colossians 3: 16, "Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts." Romans 10: 17, "Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ."
Andrew, in John's gospel, brought his brother, Peter, to Christ. Then he brought a boy to Jesus who had five loaves of bread and two fish! Albert McMakin who was 24 years old invited AND picked up Billy Graham and took him to an evangelistic meeting. That night, in that meeting, Billy accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. I cannot imagine if Mr. McMakin had not extended that invitation. Imagine that ripple effect that continues for generations!
Why not invite someone to go to church with you? You never know if you are a piece of the puzzle in God's plan for them. Our God will do over and above all we can think or do. He just needs us to be a witness for Him. In the closing words of the Bible, God extends His invitation to all. He says, “Come!” Revelation 22: 17, “The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!” And let the one who hears say, ‘Come!’ Let the one who is thirsty come, and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.”
Invite someone to worship on Thursday nights at 6:30 pm or Sunday mornings at 8:15, 9:45 or 11:15.