Invitation is Everyone's Job

September 6th, 2012

In a recent article on increasing your worship attendance, I distilled five major tips from a list of fifty great tips by Bob Crossman. Those five things, however, involve strategy, organization, and generally at least a little money. For leaders and budgets already spread too thin, assembling a new team of letter-writers or parking-lot greeters may be just one more thing on a long list of "should-dos."

The fact of the matter is, everyone in the church plays a role in hospitality and evangelism. The following list contains things that anyone can do—without running it by a committee, without asking for church funds, without taking a class on evangelism. Print the PDF attached below and post it for your people to see. Let them know that bringing new people into the church is everyone's job.

10 Things Everyone Can Do

1. Commit to faithful worship attendance yourself.

Your presence is important to both your spiritual growth and the vitality of your church. Visitors who see a vibrant community with a "critical mass" of people will be more likely to return.

2. Follow up with people who are absent.

People like to know they are missed. Check in on friends, choir mates, or others who miss worship to make sure all is well. Phone calls and handwritten notes are nice, but even a quick Facebook post lets people know that their church friends care and their presence matters.

3. Never judge people who drift away from the church.

You can't determine the condition of someone's faith by their worship attendance. They may be attending elsewhere, they may find it difficult to return after the death of a loved one, or they may have to work on Sundays. Whatever the reason, guilt trips are not helpful. Continue to love them and offer pressure-free invitations to worship and other activities.

4. Personally invite others.

There's still nothing like a personal invitation to convince a friend, neighbor, or coworker to give your church a try. Special events like choir concerts, kids events, or service projects may be easier entryways to church than Sunday morning worship.

5. Keep your worship bulletin on hand.

Circle worship times or a specific calendar event, and pass it along to someone with a personal invitation to come. Offer to meet them for coffee beforehand so they won't have to arrive alone.

6. Keep your eyes peeled.

Even if your church has greeters and excellent signs pointing the way to the bathroom, be aware of people who look uneasy or lost and offer assistance. Watch for people in the parking lot who could use a hand—a parent wrangling three kids and a diaper bag, or someone without an umbrella on a rainy day.

7. Put others before yourself. 

Welcoming new people into the church can often mean getting outside our comfort zones. Be open to new people and new ways of doing things. Choose to value a new person's introduction to Christ more than your own preferences.

8. Adopt a newcomer.

Beyond just greeting new people, invite them to sit with you. Help them understand anything confusing in the worship service. Invite them to lunch after church and introduce them to others as you would a friend. Follow up with them later in the week with your hopes that they will come again.

9. Catch visitors before they leave.

It is estimated that guests leave the church building within three minutes of the service ending. Greet visitors after worship before speaking to family and friends.

10. Pray for people without a church home. 

Ask God to open your eyes to people in need of a loving Christian community and to open doors for you to invite them. God can use you to change someone's life.

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