Everything you are about to read is based upon the assumption that you attend a church that is “guest friendly.” I’m assuming you attend a church where people are intentionally friendly to new faces and gracious in spirit; a place where the worship is Christ-centered, and the gospel is clearly preached in grace and truth. This is the type of church every Christian WANTS to bring friends to.
The truth is, recent studies show that a large majority of people are open to being invited to church by a friend or family member. If you have a healthy church, you have a greater head-start than many!
So here are five quick, simple ways to help your guest be in church with you on Sunday:
1. Pray for Your Guest—Who do you know that needs Jesus? Are you praying for them regularly? Pause and pray for that person now. Are you asking God to work in their hearts? Seems simple, but it’s so simple we don’t do it. Begin by praying right now for someone you would like to bring to church this weekend (or soon.)
2. Speak Up with a Friendly Spirit—Gulp! I know, this is the hurdle. Opening your mouth is a fearful thing when it comes to “religion.” I figure it this way, if Jesus opened His palms to my nails, then I can open my mouth for my friend. This doesn’t have to be mechanical or weird. Just kindly say, “Hey, would you like to come to church with me Sunday?” I know, it seems random, or even scary if you don’t do it much. But you just might be shocked! Because of point one, God is already be working to soften the heart of that person. So, decide right now—WHO will you invite to church this weekend?
3. Add a Caring Expression of Love—A cup of coffee and a danish before church, lunch after church, an offer to pick them up, a gift book or Bible while they are with you, a thank you note or gift card—there are many ways to express love to people. Food always speaks care and compassion. Jesus fed a LOT of people! Couple your invitation with some “second mile” expression of personal interest. Be a true friend, not just a religious recruiter.
4. Team Up with Others—Chances are you and other Christian friends know the same lost or discouraged person. Perhaps you could get together with the morning service being the hub. Perhaps you could schedule a fellowship at your home with Christian friends, and intentionally invite a guest to participate. Perhaps you could all meet for coffee before church. There are a lot of ways to be creative and courageous with the help of others. I know of several occasions recently where our EBC church family members scheduled home gatherings with Christians for the express purpose of inviting a non-Christian friend. It breaks the ice and touches the heart! Christian community is a powerful evangelistic tool.
5. Cultivate Compassionate Habits Toward Others—Instead of seeing through people all day, see people. Ask your coworkers how you can pray for them. Leave a hand-written note for a waitress. Tell someone at a drive-through that they are doing a good job. Smile at people. As you cultivate compassion, God will naturally open doors for you to converse and encourage. Yesterday my wife was in a store. As she checked out, she began talking with the attendant. The conversation went from “Where are you from” immediately to “My daughter just moved to Newington” to “Oh, your husband’s a pastor? My daughter is looking for a church!” It all happened in a moment because of a smile and warm spirit.
There are open doors and opportunities all around us. The question is, will we be too busy today to do the thing that could have the single greatest eternal impact? Your simple, loving, kind invitation to a healthy church could radically reorientate someone’s life and eternal destiny through Jesus!
Don’t be anxious over “how” to do it. Just rest in Him, be yourself, and trust Him to do the hard stuff!
I pray God will richly reward your desire to bring a guest to church with you Sunday!