Invest & Invite
May 11th, 2017 / By: Juan Sanchez / comments
Our heavenly Father glorifies himself by taking rebellious sinners and transforming them into spirit and truth worshipers (John 4:23-24), those who worship him based on the truth of who Jesus is. It is our joy and privilege, as Christians, to join the Father in the gathering of these genuine worshipers into the body of Christ. We must, therefore, take the gospel of Christ to unbelieving and unchurched family members, neighbors, co-workers, friends.
But let me remind you of a simple, biblical pre-evangelism strategy that every church member should be participating in: “Invest & Invite.” Let’s do what no one else can do: invest YOUR time in YOUR unbelieving and unchurched family, friends, co-workers and neighbors; then invite them to come to church with YOU. Notice that I said pre-evangelism. Simply investing time with unbelievers is not evangelism. Simply inviting them to church is not evangelism. Evangelism is declaring God’s message about his Son—God created everything good; we rebelled against God; we deserve God’s justice/wrath, but instead, he sent his beloved Son, Jesus, to live the righteous life he expects of everyone and to receive the penalty of death on behalf of sinners; and all who respond in repentance and faith receive forgiveness of their sins, inherit the promises of eternal life, and become spirit and truth worshipers of God. This is good news, indeed!
I get it. Many of us struggle to share this good news with unbelievers. But if you’re a Christian, you should want to understand this gospel and work on knowing it in order to share it with those who do not know Christ. Pray that God may bring you opportunities to share this gospel. Sure, this is a big step for many Christians. So, let’s start with baby steps. First, get to know your unbelieving family, neighbors, friends and co-workers. Invest time in their lives. Second, invite them to go to church with you on a Sunday. A study of the formerly unchurched by Thom Rainer, president of LifeWay Christian Resources, shows that those who were closest to the unchurched were the most likely to reach them with the gospel. Of all relationships, family relationships proved the most pivotal. Rainer found that “of the different family members, wives were the most often mentioned as important in influencing the formerly unchurched to Christ and the church” (Surprising Insights from the Unchurched, 49).
The same is true in other relationships. Christians who invest in the lives of unbelievers are in the best position to introduce their friends, neighbors and co-workers to Christ and the church. Many of the visitor cards we read each week at High Pointe in Austin are filled out by those who were invited to attend by a friend or family member. Invest in the lives of unbelieving and unchurched family members, neighbors, friends and co-workers. When you do, you will have opportunities to share Christ with them that others will likely never have.
But don’t be afraid to invite your unbelieving, unchurched family, friends, neighbors and co-workers to come to church with you. You don’t need any special evangelistic training to invite people to church. In the same way that Andrew followed Christ, then invited his brother Simon Peter to come, and in the same way that Philip followed Christ, then invited Nathanael to follow Christ (John 1:35-51), I want to encourage you to find those with whom you have relationships and invite them to come to church with you. Pastors, let’s be sure to pray, plan and prepare for worship gatherings that will honor God, exalt Christ and present the gospel. And let’s be sure to provide free gospel resources that our members can give to their unbelieving, unchurched guests. Together we can invest in the lives of unbelievers and invite them to come and see what God is doing at your church!