If you're reading this, the idea of you inviting someone to Church might cause you to go into a minor panic attack. Inviting people to Church can be nerve wracking and what's worse, it can often come with the negative connotations that are attached to the Christian faith.
Some of our worst fears when we are inviting people to church are "What if I make them feel uncomfortable" or "What if I come off as a religious nut job?" There is also a fear that is more basic than that and it's the idea that "I don't know how to invite someone to church." These are valid concerns but these tips can help curb some of your concerns.
But before we go into some tips that you can use to invite people to church, here are some "What if" scenarios that could happen if you do invite someone to Church:
What if God has been working on their heart and they end up undergoing a radical life transformation at Church?
What if this person is hurting and they end up finding healing at Church?
What if they have been taught false information about Christianity but they end up finding the reason for our hope?
What if they give their life to Christ and this decision directly impacts them and their family in the generations to come?
Here's the thing. I am all of these 4 "What if" scenarios. I was an agnostic, Christian hating college Junior who was still running around with the idea that Christians are ignorant, brainwashed republicans who use religion to prey on the weak. Yeah, I was THAT guy. But it took one invite to a Good Friday service for my life to be radically changed. Although there were seeds planted along the way, I strongly believe that I wouldn't be a Christian if I wasn't connected with a group of people who cares for me and a God who died for me, even when I was being a stupid frat boy.
Now, what are some tips that you can use to invite people to Church?
- Build a Relationship
Honestly, the most off putting thing that anyone could encounter when meeting an old friend or chatting with an aunt during Thanksgiving is when they start trying to sucker you into a pyramid scheme. One of my pet peeves is when I've only been talking with someone for 2 minutes but they're already trying to get me to buy their essential oils. Here is the thing, Christianity is not a transactional religion.
The goal isn't to get them to say yes to Church and consider them saved. The goal is to build a relationship with them that honors the relationship that we have with God. Inviting someone to Church is important but they are more likely to have less objections if we approach with a posture of humility and love. Asking someone to come to church with you can be nerve-wracking but it gets extremely easier if you have a personal relationship with this person.
- Ask Them
I know, it's easier said than done but a simple ask, even if it comes off as awkward, can change a person's life. So how do you bring this up in a normal conversation? You would start with asking them questions. In context of Good Friday and Easter, we would ask them:
Are you currently going to church anywhere on Easter?
If yes, then great! If not, then follow up with an invite.
Well, if you're able to, I'd love it if you could go to church with me on Easter!
Now, I get it. It's easier said than done. I've oversimplified the conversation and taken out variables like whether they've had a terrible experience with church, been taught false information about church, or has always wanted to go but never acted on it. Regardless of the case, the factor that will define how openly they are with going to church with you is based the relationship that you have with them.
Often times, people don't go to church because of the building or because the pastor is super good looking (totally not begging for a raise). They say yes to a church invite because of the relationship that you have with them. They might have had a terrible experience at church. They might absolutely hate everything about the institution of religion but they might consider going to church just this one time if they know that you care for them and want to spend time with them.
Last but not least, we must remember the importance of prayer. We can read all about the 5 steps to inviting someone to church or watch podcast after podcast about evangelism but it is pointless if we have not invited God into the conversation. Remember, it is the Lord who works on people's heart, not us. When you are planning on inviting your friend, neighbor, or family member to church, please remember to pray for them. Not just for them to say yes to church but that God will work through you to testify his Good News to them. In the end, the goal is to have God make a powerful mark in a persons life. Even if you sound ineloquent or straight up said something ridiculous, God will still use that for his glory.