Simple ways to invite someone to church
By Pastor Tom Anderson
Methodists and Lutherans have something in common. They are the least likely of all Christians to invite others to church. 53% of Methodists have not invited anyone to worship in the last 6 months. This is related to the fact that Methodists as a group are the least likely to attend church regularly themselves. Christians who attend regularly themselves are the most active in making invitations to others. (see the article in Outreach Magazine)
Yet Jesus tells us that nothing brings more joy to God than seeing people return to him! (Luke 15:7) Here are some simple ways you can jumpstart your inviting others to come to church:
Send a text. This has the advantage of being very low-key. Your friend or acquaintance is less likely to feel pressured or stressed. A text does not have to be impersonal. Take some time to craft your message so that it comes from your heart and demonstrates warmth.
Use Social Media. Most people know how to post pictures of what they’re having for dinner, the latest puppy video or family activities. Why not be strategic? Look at the activities and posts on the Thrive Church page. Find ones that you think match your friend’s interest. Message it to them or share it on on your feed with a personal invitation to #someone. Post the link to our worship service videos on social media. Give it your warm endorsement!
Bring it up in conversation. Start by sharing something that touched you about church–a song, a child, a service project, a meal or a message. Ask your friends if they attend a church. Then just listen to what they have to share. There is no need to press them–just give them the gift of listening. Whatever they say, thank them for their honesty. Leave them with an open invitation should they ever wish to go.
Host an online/in-person gathering. Many people are intimidated by showing up cold at a strange place on a Sunday morning. Think about gathering friends online or in your home for a watch party. Choose a recent service from our YouTube channel. Offer some snacks, enjoy good discussion about the service together. This is a huge step forward for many people.
Make an event out of your invite. Offer to ride together to church or plan on meeting them at the door, walking in with them and sitting together with them. Make introductions and walk through the facilities with them after worship. Go out to eat afterwards or serve them a brunch in your home. Help them process what they experienced.
No matter how you invite, remember that your invitation is powerful. The vast majority of people who come to faith in Christ started by responding to a personal invitation from a friend to come to worship. Build relationships of trust and caring with those around you. Pray for them. Make invitations to them. The Holy Spirit will walk across the relationship bridges you build!