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The Art of Inviting

Written by Lutheran Spokesman | May, 2015
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Do I doubt that church will
be a blessing in someone else’s life, as it is in mine? Perhaps
I fear rejection, or being
seen as a religious zealot.
But remember– we are
zealous for the Gospel.

Invite: verb, transitive: to request the presence or participation of another person 

FACT: 

According to Barna Research, 73% of
people who do not attend church have never been invited.

LEVEL 1—Movies, dinner, lunch, weddings, birthday
parties, and so forth. 

We invite people all the time. It’s part of living with others. We invite people to share a meal with us or come for a visit. We invite them to see a new movie or to go out to eat. We invite them for a variety of events. Most people don’t find this kind of inviting difficult at all.

Questions: 

To whom do we frequently extend invitations? 

What invitations are easy to extend? 

LEVEL 2—Church 

Inviting people to church or to a church activity can be more challenging for us. Why is that? Do I doubt that church will be a blessing in someone else’s life, as it is in mine? Perhaps I fear rejection, or being seen as a religious zealot. But remember–we are zealous for the Gospel. If anything in life is worth being zealous about, this is! Tremendous blessings are dispensed here in God’s house. Here the Holy Spirit is working through the means of grace—the Gospel in Word and sacraments. We already have those blessings, so why wouldn’t we want to invite others to share them? Not everyone is ready to attend a worship service every Sunday, but why not start by inviting a friend to a special service—like Palm Sunday, or Easter, or Christmas Eve? What about extending an invitation to a church potluck dinner? Everyone likes good food. Inviting someone to church doesn’t have to be hard. It does involve some risk, but the potential blessing
for the invitee is huge!

Questions: 

Whom in your life would you like to invite to
a church activity? 

Which activities would that person particularly enjoy? 

LEVEL 3—
Faith in Jesus Christ 

Our world is full of people who are hungry for meaning in their lives. Many long for someone to help them make sense of life. Luther defined Christian evangelism this way: “We are hungry beggars showing other beggars where to find food.” How can we not share our faith and hope in Jesus Christ? So many people desperately need this Good News in their lives! Even if they don’t end up coming to our church, we need to present the Gospel and allow the Holy Spirit to do His work through the Word. Nothing is more important than this! Let us pray for God to empower us to be clear witnesses to the Gospel of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. May God open our hearts, eyes and mouths to opportunities to bear witness to our Savior. Let us pray for courage to invite, invite, invite!

Questions: 

Which people come to mind as opportunities for you
to witness the Gospel? 

How might you share the Word of God with them?

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