It can be awkward inviting someone to church. We have fears about the relationship changing. What if they think we’re weird, or worse think we’re just friends with them so we can invite them to church?
Yet the reason you attend a church is, somewhere along the way, someone decided to take a risk, to take a chance and invite you. They knew that everything would change if you heard about Jesus, if you saw life-changing community unfold before you and thought, “I have to invite this person to my church.”
But how do you know if it is time to take that risk? How do you do it?
First, how do you know if you should invite someone?
There are clues to listen to when you talk to someone. Andy Stanley calls these “the not cues.” When you hear a person say something like, “Things are not going well.” Or, “I’m not prepared for…” Or, “I am not from here, we just moved to the area.”
When you hear any of these, you know it is worth the risk. Often the person who says these things is searching for something. They may not think it is Jesus, but it is.
Another way is to know what your church is preaching on and finding someone who would benefit from that. Maybe your church is doing a series on marriage, and you have a friend who is struggling in their marriage. Invite them. It might be a series on apologetics, and you have a friend who loves to argue about religion or has questions about who Jesus is and why Christianity is true. Invite them.
Once you decide to take the risk, and hopefully you do, the next question is how. That is an awkward moment. I remember this past Christmas inviting a friend to church, and when they didn’t come I thought, “Great, now it’s going to be weird.” Usually it isn’t. I saw them a week later, and it was fine. Life moved on, so don’t fear. I’ll ask them again.
You can call, text, email, share a Facebook event page or talk to them. Hand them an invite card. Take them out to lunch afterward to answer questions they have or simply to hang out with them. Be sure when you bring them to introduce them to people. Especially your pastor; he’ll love to meet your friend.
Let me end with this.
You never know when a simple invite can change a life. Hopefully your life has changed because of attending your church. This is a chance to change someone’s life and eternity, to help them see the life found only in Jesus.