I am grateful to church members who do invite others to come to church. Sometimes that is all the encouragement that a person needs to step across that threshold. So, if you’re inviting people to come to your church, don’t stop! What I would encourage the church to do is to consider three other invitations to come that can be impactful in the numerical and spiritual growth of the local church.
“Come and See”
In the first chapter of John’s Gospel, we read that Philip was called by Jesus to follow Him. He seems to have quickly found his brother Nathaniel to tell him the great news that the Messiah had come. Philip’s invitation was simple – “Come and see.”
“Come and see” is a powerful invitation. It is not argumentative, critical, or condemning in any way. The invitation does not seek to explain everything or to answer every conceivable objection. It follows the simple pattern laid out by Philip – we who have experienced something wonderful invite someone else to come and check it out for themselves.
“Come with Me”
One of the challenges that many churches have is in finding people to serve in the various ministries of the church. It is not that churches do not have willing servants; it’s that those servants seem to be overloaded with obligations. There is a lot of truth to the 80/20 rule!
I am privileged to see people serving with gladness every week. They serve without complaint. They show up early and do what is needed all with a smile on their faces. It’s every pastor’s delight! Still, there are many areas of ministry where we struggle to find caring and capable men and women to serve.
There are a variety of reasons that people do not raise their hands enthusiastically when the pastor makes a public announcement of ministry opportunities. A person may not feel capable. They may not want to serve alone. They may be worried about messing up or offending someone. But they are far more likely to step into an area of ministry if they are invited by someone already serving there.
This could multiply our ministries greatly. Imagine the possibilities of a faithful servant inviting someone to serve alongside them on a Sunday morning. Perhaps we should consider adopting a “come with me” strategy. “Come with me to the door and help me greet guests.” “Come with me to the worship center as we pray before the service.” “Come with me to the hospital to visit one of our members.” This isn’t manipulation. It’s a simple invitation and an opportunity to help someone engage.
“Come and Be”
I’ll admit that you may not want to use those exact words. It’s the idea we want to get across. We want people to come and experience what it means to be part of a local church body. We want people to come and serve with us in our area of ministry. But we want even more – we want people to come, grow, and become more like Jesus every day in attitude and action.
The Christian faith is about more than location. It’s about more than doing good things for others. It’s about becoming the person God created you to be. It’s about discovering your gifts and passions and allowing the Holy Spirit to grow you as you worship, study, fellowship, and serve. It goes beyond showing up and leads to our growing up. “Come and be the person God has shaped you to be.”
Come and see. Come with me. Come and be. How could these three invitations change your church?