Monday, November 05, 2007

Saints,

Recently, I was talking with a Christian brother of mine and in the course of our conversation, he said something that stuck with me...and prompted me to action. He was talking about inviting people to church and the thought occurred to me that...well...I hadn't done that for a while. Unfortunately, I think I got stuck in this sort of "Tired of people saying no, I'm comfortable and don't want to 'mix it up', I'm too busy to ask someone to come to church with me, it's not about going to church but living out Jesus to them" mentality. But something seemed fresh and new about inviting people to church...so I tried it. I invited the first family member I talked to, and she said to talk to her husband as he is the one who doesn't like church. Then I invited someone I work with...and he said that he really needed to come but the time wasn't right. Then, I invited my brother...and he accepted my invitation! He came to Amadeo on Sunday and seemed to really enjoy it. In fact, there was a hint of coming back sometime in the future.

This made me wonder why I am not doing this as a regular practice. Afterall, what's the risk? They may so no?! I can live with that outcome.

I took the following excerpts from an article in the Autumn 2007 Cutting Edge Magazine and wanted to share with you.

"For gathering to work it must be intentional and cannot be haphazard. It must be planned, really written into your time-line, it must be thought through and budgeted for. We all need to know the steps like rungs on a rope bridge. How do we meet, invite and draw people in?...

Every time I stopped to fill up with fuel and get back in the car after paying Maggie would ask 'well, are they (meaning the fuel attendant) coming to a BBQ?' The more people we could talk to, invite to our home, to our dinner table, to our local coffee shop, to a BBQ, to anything where we could connect the better. Anyone who phoned or e-mailed to inquire about the Church, anyone new who showed up at a meeting would usually be invited back to our place for dinner where we would tell them our story, talk to them about Jesus, pray for them-anything we could do to get them! I recond for every 10 people we met, only 1 stuck.

To think after that once we have gathered ten or twenty people that everyone else will do the gathering is not true. You will stop dead in your tracks if you count on that. So you say, 'But I can't look after those I have time, I don't have the energy, I'm bi-vocational...' " Mike Pearson, 'A plan of action: Getting unstuck in church growth'

Though this article was written specifically for church planters, I believe that it's our charge, too.

Let me encourage you to step out in faith an invite people in your "circle" to come with you to church. You never know when they'll say yes and begin a fresh or new relationship with Jesus.

Robert