Have you ever wondered how to invite someone to church? Maybe you memorized the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20) in Bible School and thought about “making disciples.” One of the steps involves engaging with people who do not already participate in a faith community. The key phrase is “engaging with people.” It’s great when they magically show up, but most people who experience God begin that journey because someone invited them to church.
In our church, we talk about being welcoming, and we mean it. However, sometimes we have to do more than make people welcome when they happen to wander inside. All of us who profess to follow Christ can wrestle with how we live out our faith. We occupy different places on our individual spiritual journeys. If inviting someone to church seems like a foreign concept, that’s okay because even ministers struggle with it. If you want to invite someone to church but don’t know how, here are some suggestions.
“I’m going to University Baptist for ice cream this Wednesday. Do you want to come?”
“Do you want to play softball with us on Friday? Our church has a team and we would love to have you join us.”
“I just heard that there’s a Beatles cover band rocking out in our church’s fellowship hall. Do you want to go with me to hear them?”
The direct approach
“Do you have a church? I was wondering how you all are approaching regathering.” [If the answer is no, then say] “Well, if you’re ever interested in checking one out, ours is pretty cool.”
“Can I pray for you?” [If the answer is yes and the person is receptive, then say] “Is it okay for me to share this with my small group so they can be praying for you too?”
“I’d love to have you check out our church.” [This works in the context of a conversation about churches, and I said it recently to the man cutting my hair.]
The book club that transforms into a small group
“Did you see that new book America’s Peacemakers? A group of us are going to read it. Are you interested?”
“I’m interested in ___ by ___ too. Do you want to read it together?”
Friends & Acquaintances
“I can’t meet on Sunday mornings because I’ll be at church. You are welcome to come and we can meet after.”
“One of our newer ministers is preaching this Sunday, do you want to come with me to help support her?”
The most important part of any invitation is sincerity. Mean what you say and believe that it’s important. If you don’t believe it or struggle to believe it, ask yourself why church is important to you. Think about what is meaningful and life-giving. Remember the most inspirational part of the faith community and the experience of being part of the family of God.