“Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” — John 7:38
The Invitation, by Randall D. Kittle

When I first began to go to “church” again as a teenager, it was because someone invited me to go with them. When I went to the Leighton Ford Crusade where I gave my heart to Jesus, it was because someone had invited me and went with me. When spiritual renewal began to wash over my heart nearly twenty years ago, it was because someone invited me (in an extremely challenging way) to come visit their church. Hmmm … I think I discern a pattern.

No hype … no advertising … just friends who cared enough to invite me to come and share in the goodness of what they had found. If each of us truly treasured what God has done in our lives over the past few years, we too would be inviting others to “come and see that the Lord is good.” But somehow we get uncomfortable. We feel like we’re being pushy or religious. Let me tell you plainly, that is Satan’s subtle way of trying to keep all the wonderful things God is doing in the church bottled up and contained.

But right now, this day, the fields are white unto harvest. And if people are being born-again, delivered, healed, discipled, etc. at your church, it should be easy to invite your friends, family, co-workers, classmates, or neighbors to visit your service on Sunday mornings (or whenever they meet). Throughout the area in which you live there are thousands of unchurched believers who need a spiritual home and we should be inviting them to come and experience God’s love with us — to come and join us on our journey with God.

Well, maybe you’re thinking that they’re not yet ready (or willing) to come to your Sunday morning service. Great, invite them to visit a small group with you, join you to see a church softball game, or perhaps you could have a few friends from church over for a cookout and invite them to be a part. Many of the lost and the unchurched have had such a sour experience with Christians and the church you can hardly blame them for having a sceptical and somewhat cynical outlook toward the church. But just as Andrew the apostle invited his brother Simon (later renamed Peter) to come with him and meet the Master, you and I have the privilege of inviting others who are unchurched to join us on our journey with Jesus.

Almost every church has fun activities and special events planned on a regular basis, and especially in the summer. These make it easy for you to start practicing the "art of inviting." So begin to look at your church’s calendar with an eye to find some events you want to not only be involved in, but invite others to experience. Surely you can find a number of people to invite … perhaps not only invite, but go the extra mile and bring them with you.

Certainly many believers and "not yet" believers can benefit and be blessed if you will encourage them to come to your corporate service, small group meeting, or other church activities and outreaches. While your church may do many things to promote some of these activities, it is your personal invitation that is the most powerful and effective means of making sure that the good things God is doing in your church touches and transforms many in your region as well.

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