Have you ever thought about inviting your friends to church? I’m sure you have!
After all, one of the greatest commandments after loving God and others was to “go and make disciples of all nations…” So it’s something that has probably crossed your mind at some point. What stops us from actually inviting our friends to join us? I can almost hear the excuses tumbling around in my mind:
But it’s too scary…
My friend might think I’m weird or that I’m shoving religion down their throat…
Our church is very academic, it would all just go over their head anyway…
They wouldn’t understand…
All these thoughts have run through my head at some point or another. I get afraid of how my friends might experience church or how they might react to the Gospel message. Honestly… in my limited experience, people who know me well and know that I love them KNOW that I’m not trying to force anything on them! Most of the time they’re actually quite open to giving church a shot (and if they’re not, they politely decline— that’s it. Friendship still intact. I have not been burned at a stake yet!)
Most of the time, I think it comes down to this: I don’t love Jesus enough.
Whaaaat??? What did she just say?? This lady is in charge of our Children’s Ministries!!! Did she just say she doesn’t love Jesus??
Oh, of course I love Jesus! I truly, deeply do! But sometimes other things end up becoming more important to me than Him. Like my pride. Or my friendships. Or my reputation. Or my comfort zone. It’s hard to admit, but when anything becomes more important than my relationship with Jesus, I am not loving Him enough. He is supposed to be my #1. Always. Every day. Without exception.
I’m sure I’m not alone in this, either.
But remember: you are a priest. A minister. A pastor. Jesus has called each and every one of us as his followers to put Him first and serve as pastors to our friends and families and coworkers. Ministering to the world with our fellow priests. Do not think that your job ends at the invitation. Keep the conversations going! Be willing to look foolish as you simply share the Good News of Christ Jesus with them. Don’t worry about the tricky concepts that you think might be lost on them. There is plenty of time to learn and grow.
Afterall, Jesus called us to make disciples of all nations, not merely converts. This is a commitment to mentorship. This is a long- term act of service. You have not failed if a friend says no or rejects the message or takes a long time to “buy in”. The only way we can fail is by not trying at all.
May we all have courage to shine bright and live out Christ’s love without shame or fear!
As the Christmas season gears up, I pray each one of us makes a real effort to see past the distractions of life and this season to focus on the glorious message at its center: For God so loved the world that he gave His one and only Son— so that whoever believes in Him will be SAVED–welcomed into His Family. Adopted as Princes and Princesses, Sons and Daughters. Forever Forgiven. This is Good News! This is where the conversations and invitations start!
Want an easy way to start these conversations and invitations? Invite your friends and family to the November 28th “Laugh Again Christmas” special that we are hosting. It’s going to be a fun and easy way to introduce people to this message of GOOD NEWS.
Let’s ALL brush aside the excuses, buy some tickets and invite some friends!
Looking forward to seeing you and your friends soon,