The Bible tells us that we are to make disciples of all nations, but how are we to do that when uttering a simple invite to church causes our palms to get sweaty, sends our hearts beating out of our chests, and causes our mouths to feel like the Sahara Desert during dry season?
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Matthew 28:19
Most people have no problem inviting family, friends, and neighbors to social gatherings, but we choke when it comes to inviting them to a church service. Why is that? Fear of rejection? Fear of judgement? Maybe a little of both? We put so much pressure on ourselves to try to take the right approach, at the right time, with the right people, while in the right surroundings. We try to be formal with people we are normally very informal with. We need to approach people about going to church with us the same way we approach them about coming over for a BBQ. Lose the formalities!
It doesn't really matter how someone ends up at church, as long as church is where they end up! That being said, here are three ways to invite people to church without sending yourself into a nervous breakdown in the process!
It’s very easy for most people to invite friends and family over for a BBQ, right? What better incentive to join someone for church service than the promise of lunch (savory meats sizzling on the grill) afterwards? Let’s be real, there are jokes about the Baptists beating the Methodists (or insert any denomination you’d like) to the local restaurants after church for a reason. Church services end around lunchtime. We go to church, then we eat. Simple as that! So, here’s an idea: Invite your friends to church service and then to join you for a BBQ afterwards. BE INFORMAL! “Hey, why don’t you come to church with us tomorrow morning? After service we’ll come back to our house and throw some burgers on the grill for lunch!” Some might call that form of invitation “food bribery,” and I’m okay with that. Whatever works!
Share Special Occasions
If church service isn’t the route you want to take for a first time invite there are plenty of other options you can choose from in order to get your friends to walk through the church doors for an initial visit. Is there a special event happening soon? Maybe your spouse is getting baptized or your child just got a part in the annual Christmas skit? Perhaps a concert, festival or seasonal celebration is coming up? Perfect! These special occasions are the perfect way to introduce your friends to church life outside of Sunday morning services. If you can get them to visit during one of these occasions, the next natural step will be inviting them to church on Sunday.
Mix It Up!
Don’t be afraid to bring your church and non-church friends together. Sometimes it’s simply a matter of non-church friends being uncomfortable going to a service because they don’t know anyone else except you! Maybe you and your church friends participate in things such as supper clubs, or meet ups for movie nights or monthly lunches. Maybe everyone is getting together for a Christmas wrapping party or cookie exchange during the holidays? Invite your non-church friends to to join you! Introduce both sets of friends, and once everyone starts getting to know each other your non-church friends will be more likely to accept an invitation to a church service because the ice will have already been broken. Easy peasy!
The point is, inviting your friends to church can be a natural extension of your relationship with them. So go out there and see who wants to come to church with you!