Even as our culture moves a post-Christian direction, it’s not uncommon for Christmas and Easter church services to be the largest of the year. These services continue to draw seekers and skeptics who are haunted by the suspicion that modern secularism is not the end-all and be-all; that there must be a deeper reality and truer story that holds the promise to change our lives and world for the better.
That deeper reality and story, of course, is the gospel of Jesus.
However, for many people (myself included), helping people connect to that message is no easy task. Where do we start?
With Easter Sunday around the corner, may I make a humble suggestion? Invite them to church this Sunday.
Granted, this idea is neither flashy nor innovative, but this Sunday may be the best and easiest Sunday to invite friends, family, and neighbours to. Many people are still open to attending a church service, especially around the Christmas and Easter holidays. And unless your church really pulls an epic Easter fail, the truth and power of Jesus’ resurrection will take centre stage!
Some people hesitate when it comes to inviting their friends to church. Me too. I find that questions and doubts can shut down the invite before it has a chance to even be considered.
- How will they react to the invitation? Will they be weirded out? Will it affect our relationship going forward?
- What will they think of our church? Will they “get it”?
- Will the service fall flat? Will the music and/or message sucks? (and I ask this as the message-giver!)
While well-intended in their sensitivity, these questions often plant doubts that keep us from ever extending an invite. By focusing on the what if’s, we actually remove faith in God’s leading and power. Instead, we localize our faith and trust in our ability to “deliver the goods.” Our confidence gets rooted in whether we can extend the perfect invite to the perfect service with the perfect music and perfect message at the perfect church.
I hope the issue with this line of thinking is obvious: there are no perfect any of those things. And that’s OK. Our imperfect invites, imperfect services, imperfect music, imperfect messages–our imperfect churches–are not an obstacle for God. The hope we offer people is not our perfection, but Jesus‘! Not only that, but God delights in using our weakness as a conduit of His power and glory (cf. 1 Corinthians 12:9).
So this year I’m challenging myself (and you!) to invite one friend, family member, or neighbour to church this Sunday. Your invite will be an act of faith (who knows how they will respond?…), but when it’s done relying on God’s resources and not our own, great things can happen.
How To Invite Your Friend To Church
Ready to take the plunge and invite someone? Here are a few simple ways to invite them to church:
1. Email or Text. Today I invited two people to our Sunday service via a short text message:
Hi _________, I’m not sure if you’d be interested, but I wanted to extend an invite to our church’s Easter morning service this Sunday. It starts at 10am at Nelson Covenant Church. No pressure, just wanted you to know that there was an open invite. If you have any questions about the service or our church, let me know. 🙂
2. Phone call. This is more personal than an email or text, but may put people on the spot depending on what they are doing at the time of the call. You’ll have to judge based on the nature of the relationship.
3. Face-to-Face. This is the most personal approach, but like a phone call, picking a context that doesn’t feel like you’re cornering someone is probably important. If an opportunity arises, however, this is ideal. It allows you to fully express yourself (i.e. tone, body language, etc.) to the person which helps people feel your care and warmth.
You’ve got four days until Easter Sunday. Take the initiative and invite someone to join you at church this Sunday. Worst case scenario: they say “no thanks.” Best case scenario: they say “Yes!”, not just to joining you on Sunday, but ultimately to Jesus and his gospel.