I CAN’T Invite People To My Church!

The most likely reason “non-church going people” attend a church service is because someone invited them. Most do not pass a church building (no less on Sunday) and say, “I think I will attend that church this week.”  Nor do most people comb the last pages of a newspaper to see what church services are available this weekend (Do they still have that in newspapers?).

I might also suggest that for many people, accepting the Lord as their personal Saviour has a clear connection to being invited to and attending a church service.  Over the years, I saw far more accept Christ after the presentation of a salvation message than were ever saved by my personal witness to strangers or friends — and I personally talked to a lot of people about Christ over those years.

There was something about a focused, biblical, and coherent congregational presentation about the work of Jesus on the cross for the forgiveness of our sin that resulted in a repeated response. [1]  It was a combination of God’s people knowing that they could invite a friend or family member to hear the Gospel, their prayers during the invitation, the work of the Holy Spirit with the Word, the Sunday atmosphere of music and worship, and a purposeful presentation of the Gospel story that resulted in 100s of professions of Christ,

I do recognize that inviting people to church is more and more difficult in America — for a variety of reasons.  Nevertheless, church members and friends inviting others is critical to the effectiveness of the Gospel message and church growth.

Churches need to . . . .

  • use a variety of church activities and events to bring about a level of comfortability for responding to an invitation to a “Sunday church service”/ Gospel presentation [2]
  • provide known & focused Gospel messages to which the members and friends of the church can invite others
  • make totally sure that when a “member” of the church invites others, that the “member” is not going to be embarrassed by what is said or done in the service

Again, I was reminded this past week (Father’s Day – [3]) how important opportunities for inviting others are – – – AND how a local church & pastor can totally embarrass those who extended an invitation to others to attend church with them this Father’s Day.

I am not arguing whether or not a local church or pastor ought to preach a special Father’s Day sermon or continue the present series. [4]

I am arguing that a pastor can so embarrass the members and friends of a church by being shamelessly inappropriate as to what he says and preaches.  I am saying that pastors can confuse the offense of the Gospel with their own offensive and ignorant comments, that those members decide to never invite others to church.

The members have come to the place that they lack confidence in what will be said or done — “Who knows what our pastor might say!”  They have learned that the preacher has little to no sensitivity or even common sense once too often.

Sometimes, a “member” can only say this to their friend or invited guest — “I’m sorry!”

The preacher has so insulted or offended their friend or guest that, no surprise, members and friends of the church say, “I can’t invite others to my church.  I never know what the pastor is going to say or preach on, which will not unnecessarily offend my guest and make the Gospel less winsome.”

Some would love to invite a family member, neighbor, co-worker, or friends,
but they are saying . . . .
“I can’t invite people to my church, last time I did and . . . .

Yes,  I do recognize that in America, inviting people to church is more and more difficult — for a variety of reasons.  However,  just maybe, one of the reasons people don’t invite others isn’t their lack of love or courage!
Titus 2:10
. . . . . 

1. After 36 years of preaching a salvation-centered sermon on the first Sunday of every month*, on what the congregation understood as “Salvation Sunday.” There were clear and known times when a full Gospel message was preached.  There were not a dozen times when no one responded to the Gospel message.  Month after month, and on special days such as Christmas and Easter, new people who were in attendance raised their hands, professed Christ, and/or came forward during the time of invitation.

Tacking on the Gospel at the end of a message is generally ineffective and defective.  There is not enough information as to what the Gospel message is to knowingly and honestly respond.  While some come forward, it is typically because they have heard the Gospel over a period of time, understand it, and are ready to respond.

*NOTE: On Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter, “Salvation Sunday” typically changed to the Sunday on which that holiday was observed.

2. Not all plays by a football team on the gridiron are aimed at a touchdown.  While any play might result in a touchdown, some of the moves and actions are designed to position themselves on the field.  Likewise, not all activities and events conducted by a local church are designed for a “touchdown.”  Some are designed for getting positioned to invite others to a service that is on the 5-yard line!  

A golf outing, a church softball team, kid’s clubs, ESL classes, church organized soccer fields and teams, gym nights, ladies craft nights, an all-church picnic, a baby shower, food kitchens, benevolence giving, all-church trips, weddings,  outings, a swim party, a Super Bowl / March Madness get together, etc. . . . . are opportunities for others to become more comfortable with the local church.  Many activities, events, and ministries criss-cross with each other and lead to people inviting and attending a Gospel service.  Different activities and events have different aims!

3. Mother’s & Father’s Day are unusual days in American life — Those days always fall on a Sunday. No surprise, they are celebrated and promoted by the church.  Therefore, a good number of moms and dads, as well as grown children, find themselves attending church beyond “Christmas-Easter.”

It is a Gospel mistake not to take advantage of these two days as a local church.  Don’t miss it!

4. If you invited your lost father, or you, as a father, asked and invited your lost children to attend with you, your thinking might be far different than that of the pastor.  Mother’s & Father’s Day are unique opportunities for reaching family members with the Gospel!

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