Christmas and 2019 are just around the corner? It’s a time filled with postcards, shopping, for many stress in our consumer driven worlds. But it’s also a time where Pastors, church leaders, and social media will be buzzing with creative Christmas events designed to help make the process of inviting friends and family members to church this month easier. You’ll hear great statistics on how the odds of people accepting your invite to church during Christmas is exponentially higher than any other month of the year. All good stuff, right?
But why do we put ‘inviting people to church’ so high on our evangelism priorities list? Honestly, I think because it’s easy and many Christians feel it’s the right thing to do! I want to challenge you to NOT invite someone to church as your first touch point with someone you know or care about…
Wait, did I just read that correctly? A Pastor telling me to NOT invite someone to church as a first step? YES you did. Why not? Inviting people to church is easy. Someone else does the talking, others offer hospitality, teams of people singing, classes everyone can take to grow in their journey. These are all wonderful things but there is a step I believe is missing in our modern day approach at reaching others and inspiring them towards a deep and meaningful relationship with Jesus.
This year, before inviting others to church, invite them to see Christ in you FIRST!
Allowing a friend to see the ways in which Jesus has rescued and shaped your life is by far one of the most compelling ways to show them the love of Jesus. When others witness the ways Christ has transformed your personality, delivered you from habits and flawed thinking, seeing a true conversion in your life as Jesus becomes greater in you with every passing week, month and year that you serve Him will speak powerfully and convince others of the reality of the God we serve.
So, I’m not saying don’t invite people to church, I’m saying invite them into the places in your heart and in your life where God dwells and is most at work, first. Granting those we love access into our personal world where they may see the gentleness and beauty of God’s grace before even entering into a building to experience His presence is the best present you can offer someone who has yet to experience a true relationship with Jesus. Will it require more effort and time? Absolutely but it’s time that will be well spent in changing someone else’s lifetime for all eternity. Let’s make Christmas count this year by inviting others to experience Jesus IN us then invite them to Church to experience Jesus WITH us!