I received in the mail the other day an invitation inviting me to a fine dining experience. I did not know who was behind the invitation other than there was a catch - I would be eating with strangers and listening to a pitch on retirement planning. Now I love a good meal at an expensive restaurant as much as anyone else – but the response to the invitation was “no thanks”. You see the group that wants me to dine with them could really care less about me as a person; they want to invest my money. This investment company does not want to have an enjoyable time with “me” they are willing to pay for my dinner so I can give them something.
Is this how we unwittingly invite people into our faith community? Do we genuinely care for the people we invite to worship or activities? Do we want to get to know our neighbors or do we want something from them? Is our invitation an invitation into a life of faith and hope?
We have such a wonderful community of faith. God is among us and moving in amazing ways in people’s life’s. I believe we are a place that has many things to offer to people who may or may not have anything to give back but need something from us – the love of God, the grace of Jesus Christ and communion with the Holy Spirit.
In the next couple of months, we have several opportunities to genuinely invite people into a life of faith. We always have worship on Sunday mornings (9a.m.) and Wednesday evenings (6:30 p.m.). Bible school is August 6-9 with a theme of Super Heroes for Christ and our parking lot bash is Wednesday August 15 4pm-8pm. Worship and the parking lot event are totally free. Bible school is $10 a child or $15 for a family.
Now remember a meaningful invitation does not mean handing someone a flyer, posting an invite on Facebook, texting or even casually mentioning the events time and place. An invitation means personal investment on your part. “Come with me and experience the event with me.” “Let me bring you to Bible school and introduce you to some of the adults and children who will be there.” A true invitation asks with the intention of spending time with that person and making them feel welcomed, wanted and comfortable.
Spend 5-10 minutes of quiet time for 3-5 days in a row in a quiet location.
Sit in place where you will not be disturbed.
Clear your mind by holding your palms up and imaging whatever goes through your mind in the palm of your hand.
Turn your hands over and release all the thoughts that keep you from focusing on God. Don’t judge you own thoughts let them come and be emptied.
With your palms up and emptied ask God to put into your hands someone to invite into a life of faith.
Imagine the person and pray for that person. Ask God to show you how you should invite them into a life of faith.
Do this for 3-5 days in a row. Move at some point from prayer to actual invitation!