One of the things I’ve always loved about our church is that we’ve always responded to the challenge to do whatever it takes to invite someone to church, even when it means having an uncomfortable conversation.
However, something really hit home last night in the conversation my son, Clayton, and I recently had with a waitress.
We asked her if she attends church, and she said no.
We then told her that we would love for her to come to NewSpring, and she lit up and said, “Oh wow, someone else invited me there, too!”
Clayton then pointed to me and said, “That’s the pastor.”
She replied, “Oh yeah, I remember you. I came one time about six years ago, and you were wearing a t-shirt that said, ‘God is watching you download that porn!'”
I laughed and told her that I remember wearing that shirt. I asked her if she did not come back because the shirt offended her, to which she replied, “Oh no, the shirt didn’t bother me at all; in fact, I thought it was funny. The reason I did not come back is that I didn’t have anyone who would come with me.”
I was reminded on the spot that so many people in this world feel all alone. They would come to church if we really did make the effort to not just invite them, but bring them (just like the guys did in Mark 2:1-12!).
It is my prayer that we will not just invite people, but offer to bring them. I can promise you it will make a huge difference. Instead of saying, “Why don’t you visit my church this Sunday?” why not try saying, “I would love for you to join me for church, and afterwards we could go out and grab a bite.”
Maybe you’re hesitant because “that person” has told you no dozens of times, but they are worth one more ask. And don’t just invite them, bring them.