Inviting a friend to worship with us is a great way to share the light and love of Jesus, but sometimes, we make it harder than it needs to be. Here are a few do’s and don’ts to keep in mind when extending a church invite to a friend.
Do Invite Them to Worship with You
An open invite can seem like an easy, noncommittal way to ask your friend to join you for church, but it might actually be working against you.
For those who haven’t attended church regularly or at all, it can seem intimidating to show up to a place they’re unfamiliar with. Instead, be specific when extending a church invite. If it’s around Christmas or Easter, ask your friend if they have a place to worship and if they’d like to join you for Christmas Eve or Easter Sunday service. It can also help to offer to meet them:
- Outside the main entrance of the church
- In the parking lot so you can walk in together
- At your home so you can carpool together
- Before or after a breakfast or brunch meal
Oftentimes, your friend won’t go to church because of the building or the pastor is amazing. They say “yes” to a church invite because of the relationship you have with them. When you have shown you care for them and want to spend time with them, they might consider attending church with you.
People are usually not interested in our doctrine (at least at first). So instead of lecturing to try getting them to attend service with you, try a different approach.
Jesus often used stories to teach people about God, and storytelling is still a great way to get information across. So, tell your friend a story. Though you may be tempted to get right to the point and tell a story about Jesus, you may want to choose a different story to tell first. Think about your faith or your church, how it excites you, or how it has changed your perspective. These types of stories are great because they are personal and help you open up, which can encourage a conversation with your friend (and open up an invitation to church!).
Sometimes, our friends have a number of reasons they don’t come to church. They may feel they don’t have a need for God, they may have a poor impression of church, or they may feel they are beyond forgiveness. You could sit and tell them all the reasons they are wrong, how God loves them and wants to have a relationship with them, but that could push them away more.
If they have a reason for not coming to church, it’s important to listen to them about their experiences. Oftentimes, our willingness to listen is enough of a gesture of goodwill to keep the door open for them whenever they want to learn more.
Do Help Them Know What to Expect
If your friend accepts your church invite, great! So they feel more comfortable, let them know what they can expect when they attend church with you. You may want to go over the dress code (for example, if no one ever shows up in jeans, let them know), the purpose and length of service, and what will happen during service. You want to take away as much of the unknown as possible, making it less intimidating to attend.
Don’t Take “No” Personally
If your friend declines, don’t think a “no” to attending church means a “no” to you. There are a lot of reasons they might have declined your church invite that have nothing to do with how they feel about you. Don’t feel discouraged either – just extend a church invite again another time.
Don’t Force; Follow Up
Sometimes, a friend may be interested in attending but are afraid they’ll be pressured into something. At the end of the day, show your friend how great God and attending church is, but don’t feel like you have to force a spiritual experience. Trust God and let Him do His Work.
And if they attended church with you, follow up and ask them what they thought. Did they have any questions, are they interested in attending again? Being able to discuss with you can help them feel comfortable and may encourage them to attend again.
Come Visit Christ Lutheran Church
Inviting others to worship with us doesn’t have to be stressful for you or them! Keep these do’s and don’ts in mind, and don’t be discouraged or afraid to extend an invite.
Speaking of extending an invite, we want to extend an invitation to have you visit us here at Christ Lutheran Church in Montrose, Colorado! We teach the Bible as God’s unchanging Word. Jesus’ salvation is the focus. His love and care for us guide our prayer lives. We would love to have you plan a visit or connect with us. God bless you as you pray to Him and praise Him!