HOW TO INVITE PEOPLE TO CHURCH
Dr. Greg Tyree
It is a statistical fact that only ten percent of Christians have the “spiritual gift” of evangelism. It is also a fact that only five percent ever lead someone to Christ. This means that only 5 out of 100, or 1 in 20, will lead someone to Christ, and that only half of those who are “gifted” to, actually will!
But it is every Christian’s job to lead people to Christ, and part of that responsibility lies in inviting people to Church. Why should you invite people to church? There are at least five reasons:
- They will hear the gospel at church; some may even get saved at church
- They will connect with Christians at church
- Felt and real needs may be met at church
- Your church will grow by you inviting others
- People are more likely to come to church when invited by an individual
Most Christians are nervous, or even a little “afraid” to invite people to church. They fear rejection, the loss of a friendship, or may feel that they will “mess things” up, due to a perceived lack of competence in this area. But you can invite others to church! You will be successful at this! People you love may come to Christ, and the church that you love may grow!
Inviting people to church is not so much evangelism (soulwinning) as it is pre-evangelism. I deal with evangelism in another work; this pamphlet deals with the less-intense art of inviting people to your church.
Inviting people to church is not complex, and a simple “plan” may help you feel more assured and confident, and will certainly increase your effectiveness. I call this The 12-Step Plan to Inviting People to Church.
Step One: Have a Right Relationship with God
You must be right with God before you can genuinely and effectively invite others to church or to know Him. Let’s face it; if you feel that things are not right between you and God, you will not invite others to church. If you are truly right with God, you will certainly want to invite others to church!
Step Two: Have a Right Relationship with Those in Your Church
Likewise, you must be right with the people in your church. No one who is at odds with their brothers and sisters can effectively invite others to that contentious congregation. Be right with others, and you will surely want to see your church grow.
Step Three: Maintain a Positive Testimony Before Others
Your testimony at work, in your neighborhood, at school, in your family, an in society will have a great effect on people’s response to your invitations to church. When people see that you truly love God and others, they will be more likely to respond to your invitations to church.
Step Four: Pray That God will Give You a Burden for Lost People
You must truly love people to reach out to them. If you believe that people must be saved through Christ to go to heaven, and if you believe that people who die without Christ will go to hell, then you must have a burden that reflects this belief. If you don’t have such a burden, pray for it; God will give it to you! Remember, “You have not because you ask not.”
Step Five: Pray Consistently Regarding the
Opportunity to Invite People to Church
Each day ask God to open doors for you that you might invite others to church (or to Christ). Pray that you will recognize those opportunities when they arise. Finally, pray that you will have the courage to follow through when God opens a door of opportunity. Look for windows in conversations. Listen for “life-events,” such as crises, trauma, conflict, or others, that may predispose someone to be more open to a church invitation. It is not rocket science; simply “ask.” Say, “My church may be a place that will help right now; won’t you be my guest this Sunday?”
Step Six: Try to Understand Lost People as Much as Possible
The biggest error many Christians make regarding their relationship with lost people is failing to understand how lost people think. Try to “stay in tune” with how your friends and relatives “think.” Read popular contemporary novels, listen to some secular music, watch some blockbuster movies, and just “listen” to what’s “out there.” The better you understand them, the better you can relate to them; the better you relate to them, the more effective you will be in reaching them. You can be in the world without being of it.
Step Seven: Get to Know “FRAN.”
FRAN stands for “friends, relatives, associates, and neighbors.” Make a list of all of these you would like to invite to church and get to know them better. Pray over this list, think about this list, and strategize how you will approach the people on your FRAN list.
Step Eight: Get to Really Know Your Church
You should really know your church. Know its purpose, mission, and vision. Know its programs. Know its facilities. Especially know the people at your church. Pay attention to your bulletin, and keep up with your church’s events. Surf your church’s website your church’s services, and participate in your church’s ministries. The better you know your church, the more effective you will be in inviting people to it.
Step Nine: Plan Your Work and Work Your Plan
People don’t plan to fail; they fail to plan. The same is true when it comes to inviting people to church. Most people simply don’t “plan” to do it. Be intentional about inviting others. Make a list of “prospects.” Think ahead of time how you will approach them. Build relationships that will open doors to conversations about faith. Hand out tracts, send cards or notes, and leave brochures or bulletins. “Plan” on reaching people and I am sure you will!
Step en: Be Prepared to Be Persistent
The honest truth is most people you invite to church will not respond the first time. Don’t be discouraged. They are not rejecting you. They are just as afraid as you are! If someone puts you off or flat out rejects your invitation, try again later. Use courtesy and old-fashioned common sense, but don’t quit on them! Also, keep in mind that you must invite many people to church to see one come! On a daily basis invite a few (or many), and in time you will see many of your invitees at church worshipping God!
Step Eleven: Have Faith that God Will Bless Your Efforts
It us up to us to “plant and water,” but it is up to God to “bring the increase.” Leave the results of your efforts in God’s hands. Have faith that He will honor your sincere attempts to reach lost people for Him. Have faith; God uses it!
Step Twelve: Share with Others What God is Doing Through Your Ministry of Inviting Others to Church
Be sure to share with others in your church about what God is doing in your ministry of reaching out to others. This will encourage them, challenge them, and perhaps give them confidence that they can do it, too! Remember, the more people who invite others to church, the more who will come to Christ!
Don’t let the 12-Step Plan intimidate you; it can all be summed up in the ABCs of inviting others to your church:
A- Always look for opportunities to invite others
B- Be ready to seize the opportunity when it arises
C- Communicate in such a way that says you care
D- Don’t be pushy; there may be future opportunities
For a very extensive treatment of evangelism, see my book, Winning at What Matters
Most: How to Lead Someone to Christ (www.leadingpointministries.com). In the meantime, get busy inviting your friends, relatives, associates, and neighbors to church! You can do it!