The Art of Neighboring: The Power of Invitation
When I was in college, I struggled finding a church. I tried the big United Methodist Church in town, but it was just so foreign to my rural, small church background. It was a massive sanctuary and the pastor wore a robe. Although I had grown up in the United Methodist Church, I had never seen a pastor wear a robe. In hindsight I suspect it wasn’t the robe, but the person wearing the robe that rubbed me the wrong way. So I tried all the Baptist churches in town with my roommate who was a lifelong Baptist. I bet I tried over a dozen churches. I drifted from church to church until a coworker named Sandy told me about her church. She said it was relaxed, but there was a passion about their worship. She told me their preacher delivered a solid Biblical sermon and that the church had a loving atmosphere. She even told me she would meet me there the next Sunday. I spent the remainder of my college years in that church.
It’s amazing what a personal invitation will do. Although fewer people are attending church in America today and much has been written about the secularization of our country, still 82% of those considered “unchurched” are at least somewhat likely to attend a local church if a friend invited them. That’s pretty amazing when you think about it. 82% of those who do not attend church would attend if someone they knew invited them. But the sad part is that seven out of 10 unchurched people have never been invited to a church in their whole lives. That tells me we have neighbors and coworkers and family members who are simply waiting for someone to invite them to church.
This Sunday at First Church we will be concluding our series entitled “The Art of Neighboring” as we examine the “Power of Invitation.” We will look at the core reasons for inviting others to church, some practical steps to inviting someone, and how inviting a person to church can possibly change their life for eternity.