One of the most powerful ways to help someone is through a simple invitation. It is amazing to see what happens when believers intentionally ask the people around them to come to church or Bible study. We have from 2 to 5 regularly attending non-Christians in every one of our Bible studies because we encourage those who attend to invite their family members, friends, co-workers, and strangers.
I start by teaching a young disciple how to invite a person to the restoration process by sitting in the back of chapel with them and looking for the new visitors. I point visitors out and ask my disciple to watch as I invite them to a newcomer’s lunch. Once at lunch, after getting to know the person, I invite them to Bible study. The whole time my apprentice is observing how simple and relational the invitation is. This is the most effective way to teach another person to reach out. Folks usually come to church looking for ways to get connected (and you would be shocked at how many non-Christians come to church on a regular basis). After they have seen me model the invitation for a couple of Sundays, I have them take the lead and I observe.
Once he is comfortable with inviting folks from church to lunch and Bible study, it’s time to invite people to church. I have them watch me invite people in natural settings like standing in line at the burger joint or working out at the gym. I usually keep a few business cards with the time and place of the church service so people don’t have to remember. It’s really very easy. I was asking a guy about his car one day and added to the conversation, “Hey, you ought to check out this great chapel I go to” and handed him a card. The young disciple saw how natural it was to invite even a perfect stranger.
Obviously, you don’t want to come off as a salesperson. But if you genuinely care about people and invite them one at a time, they will see your heart and most will appreciate your efforts. Can you imagine what would happen to your church’s attendance if everyone in the congregation made it a goal to invite 2-3 people a week? Just a simple way to get people started down the road to restoring their image.
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© 2008 Following Jesus by Chuck Wood All Rights Reserved