People are waiting to be invited. People are longing to be included. So go ahead and seize your holy opportunity and watch what God does!
by Chuck E. Tate, author of 41 Will Come
As Easter quickly approaches, I can’t think of a better time to be intentional about inviting people to church. You may have heard more than one pastor say, when promoting Easter to a congregation, “This is our Super Bowl!”
Here’s a comparison to confirm that this statement is not all hype:
The Super Bowl is the most-watched sporting event of the year and the most-watched television program of the year. Likewise, Easter Sunday is the most-attended church service of the year.
Millions of people who watch the Super Bowl typically don’t watch football; and millions of people who attend church on Easter typically don’t attend church.
Allow me to share an example from my home to illustrate this point. My wife hates sports and has zero interest in football, yet she participates every year in preparing food, and yes, she even sits and watches the Super Bowl—not only the commercials, but the game!
The question we need to ask ourselves is this: “How can I take advantage of the one week where unchurched people and nonbelievers are most likely to say “yes” to a church invitation?”
The short answer is to simply invite them.
According to Dr. Thom Rainer, 82 percent of the unchurched are at least somewhat likely to attend church if invited. Here’s what’s crazy—this statistic isn’t limited to Easter Sunday. This means it is highly probable that an unchurched or nonbelieving neighbor, coworker, friend, or family member will accept our invitation.
Here are four tips to help you make the most of your holy opportunity:
Invite on the phone.
Invite with digital communication (i.e., text messages).
Invite via social media (i.e., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snap Chat, LinkedIn, etc.).
There’s really no excuse for not being able to invite somebody to church during Holy Week, especially in 2018. In fact, it’s common for churches to take intentional steps to help make this as easy as possible for parishioners.
Consider these ideas:
Print invitation cards to hand out.
Create event pages with a built-in “invite friends” button.
Create social media graphics to share, and tag friends.
The church where I ministered last weekend got really creative. They set up a portable photo booth in their lobby and invited individuals and families to take a selfie. Participants received a digital copy of the photo that included the church’s Easter service information in the frame. Instant invitation!
Meet your guests in the parking lot or lobby.
Walk them to the coffee bar, kids’ classrooms, etc.
Show them where the restrooms are.
Lead them to their seats and sit with them.
Communicate the service format and other helpful details before the service begins.
Attending church for the first time (or first time in a long time) can be intimidating, especially if you don’t know anyone. A lot of people have skewed perceptions based on past church experiences. Being intentional to offer assistance ahead of time can put your guests at ease from the get-go.
Arrange a ride for your guests. “Hey, I will even pick you up!”
Arrange to take your visitors to lunch or dinner. This little incentive can make all the difference. “Hmm, I can put up with a seventy-minute church service for a free burger at Red Robin. Let’s do this.”
Prearrange introductions to friends. “This is my friend, Chuck. He looks like Sammy Hagar, but he can drive fifty-five.”
Sometimes questions about your faith, church, or life can lead into an opportunity to invite someone to church.
Answer questions before your guests ask them (worship style, church culture, service dynamics, etc.).
Be ready to answer questions that will be asked as a result of the service or the sermon content.
As Christians, Jesus commissioned us to share the gospel (Good News). Sometimes, the easiest way to do this is to live in such a way that causes others to ask us questions about our faith or the church we attend. Seize these moments as opportunities to share Christ simply by answering questions.
A few years ago, I was hanging out with a friend as he was grilling some meat. He point-blank looked me in the eye and said, “You’re a pastor, so I know you believe in God. Do you believe in the devil?”
“Absolutely,” I answered.
“I don’t,” he quickly replied, matter-of-factly. Then he asked, “Why?”
I spent the next few minutes answering his questions. Then I invited him to church. He came. He committed his life to Christ and began attending regularly with his family.
Ask God to set up divine appointments.
Ask God to reveal the people you should invite.
Ask God for favor with whomever you are going to invite.
Ask God to prepare the hearts of those you will invite.
“He [Jesus] said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields’” Matthew 9:37-38 (NLT).
People are waiting to be invited.
People are longing to be included.
So go ahead and seize your holy opportunity and watch what God does!
41 Will Come by Chuck E. Tate
In the Bible, it rained for forty days and forty nights. Day 41 came and the rain stopped. The people of Israel wandered the wilderness for forty years. Day 41 came and a new generation entered the Promised Land. For forty days, Goliath bullied Israel and dared anyone to fight him. Day 41 came and David slew Goliath.
Do you see the theme? Don’t quit. Don’t give up. Perhaps you’re stuck in a downpour or lost in one of life’s deserts. Maybe you’re facing someone or something that could take you down. You might feel stuck on your journey, but 41 will come—it’s on its way.
No matter how long your battle—days, weeks, or years—Chuck Tate offers you seven keys to help you hang on to the promise and truth that God will come through for you.