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Church invitation 101

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This series is designed to provoke interest and encourage analysis on the methodologies we deploy when inviting (potential) church members to assist in their (new or continuous) growth as believers in Christ. While this series is introductory, it can serve as a refresher for long-time Christian believers. The material can also help non-members understand why Christians believe church is an essential component of a believer’s journey. And if nothing else…. It’ll help us understand why inviting people to church can feel so dang hard! .. And hopefully overcome this feeling.

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Church invitation 101

  1. 1. Church Invitation 101 Elder Jason Ransom
  2. 2. Description This series is designed to provoke interest and encourage analysis on the methodologies we deploy when inviting (potential) church members to assist in their (new or continuous) growth as believers in Christ. While this series is introductory, it can serve as a refresher for long-time Christian believers.The material can also help non- members understand why Christians believe church is an essential component of a believer’s journey. And if nothing else…. It’ll help us understand why inviting people to church can feel so dang hard! .. And hopefully overcome this feeling.
  3. 3. Subject Inspiration ▪ Never received official training ▪ Paradigm Shift, ▪ Kingdom Impact, ▪ Walking in Expectation, ▪ Prayer inTemple, ▪ The CriticalThird ▪ Straightway, Immediately!
  4. 4. Organization/Topics ▪ Introduction – Understanding the mandate ▪ The Wall – It’s much easier if you don’t build it in the first place. ▪ The Approach –Who, what, where, when, how, and why? ▪ Attention to Intention – Inviting to Church or Inviting to Jesus? ▪ The Plan –Time to commit…for real.
  5. 5. Introduction How did you end up here? (Open Discussion)
  6. 6. Statistics #1
  7. 7. Statistics #2 How new people come to church for the first time 2% by Advertisement 6% by the Pastoral Invitation 6% by organized evangelism campaign 86% by friends or relatives The Inviting Church, 1987 p. 44
  8. 8. How did you first find out about this congregation prior to coming here for the first time? (Mark only one.) Someone I already knew (relative, friend, or acquaintance) mentioned it or invited me 37.9% Noticed it as I passed by 18% Grew up in this congregation or had belonged previously 13.3% I was looking for the local congregation of my denomination 10.2% Through my participation in another congregation in the community 2.8% Child or family member attended day care, preschool, school, or other activity here 2.4% Someone I did not previously know invited me 1.6% Saw it in the phone book 1.1% Noticed an ad (TV, radio, newspaper) 0.8% Attended a wedding, baptism, or funeral here 0.5% Received a letter or pamphlet 0.3% Saw it on the Internet 0.3% US Congregational Life Surveyvia https://blog.umcdiscipleship.org/what-brings-
  9. 9. What percentage of people gave each response as to how they came to their new relationship with Christ and their church? Special need 1-2% Walk-in 2-3% Pastor 5-6% Visitation 1-2% Sunday school 4-5% Evangelistic crusade orTV show ½% Church program 2-3% Friend or relative 75-90% The Master’s Plan for Making Disciples, Win Arn and Charles Arn – original ed. 1982, 2nd ed. 1998
  10. 10. Statistics #3 – The Unchurched Next Door ▪ Eighty-two percent of the unchurched are at least somewhat likely to attend church if invited. ▪ Ninety-eight percent of church-goers never extend an invitation in a given year. ▪ 7 out of 10 unchurched people have never been invited to church their whole lives. -Dr.Thom Rainer,The Unchurched Next Door (2008)
  11. 11. Initial Takeaways ▪ Youare the top reason people generally approach the ministry. – Many people can’t see Jesus initially, but they can see you. ▪ Church members statistically are not extending invitations (at least not in a recognizable way). ▪ The trend has been going on for quite some time and is not limited to a denomination. – It is not a competition, but if it were, you’d have little competition.
  12. 12. Pulse Check Statistics –True or false?
  13. 13. Show of hands: How many have… ▪ Had formal training in inviting people to church? ▪ Been thinking about inviting someone to church? ▪ Invited someone to church this week? ▪ Got someone to commit to a date this week?
  14. 14. Organization/Topics ▪ Introduction – Understanding the mandate ▪ The Wall – It’s much easier if you don’t build it in the first place. ▪ The Approach –Who, what, where, when, how, and why? ▪ Attention to Intention – Inviting to Church or Inviting to Jesus? ▪ The Plan –Time to commit…for real.
  15. 15. Initial Takeaways ▪ Youare the top reason people generally approach the ministry. – Many people can’t see Jesus initially, but they can see you. ▪ Church members statistically are not extending invitations (at least not in a recognizable way). ▪ The trend has been going on for quite some time and is not limited to a denomination. – It is not a competition, but if it were, you’d have little competition.
  16. 16. Our Call ▪ The Great Commission ▪ Matt 28:19-20 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
  17. 17. Our Call (Cont.) ▪ Change “Fed” to “Feed” ▪ Hebrews 5:11-14 11 We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. 12 In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again.You need milk, not solid food! 13 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.
  18. 18. Our Call (The Critical 3rd) ▪ Heed to the vision ▪ Acts 16:9-10 9 During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” 10 After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them. ▪ 16 1Paul came to Derbe and then to Lystra, where a disciple named Timothy lived, whose mother was Jewish and a believer but whose father was a Greek. 2 The believers at Lystra and Iconium spoke well of him. 3 Paul wanted to take him along on the journey, so he circumcised him because of the Jews who lived in that area, for they all knew that his father was a Greek. 4 As they traveled from town to town, they delivered the decisions reached by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem for the people to obey. 5 So the churches were strengthened in the faith and grew daily in numbers.
  19. 19. The Wall
  20. 20. Typical Bricks (for our wall) ▪What are some items that deter you from inviting people to church? ▪Is there ever a good reason that deters you. If so, how do you discern that?
  21. 21. Fear Typical Bricks (for our wall) Lack of Faith Personal Agenda Laziness
  22. 22. The Wall (Cont.) ▪ We build the wall – God has not given us the spirit of fear (2Timothy 1:7) – God provides according to ability and despises lazy servants! (Matt 25:14-30 – Parable of the bags of gold) – Our agenda really is to love our brother (John 13:34) – Faith to believe Jesus will make us fishers of men (Matt. 4:19)
  23. 23. Breaking down the wall ▪ Romans 8 ▪ 5 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. ▪ 15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship.[f] And by him we cry, “Abba,[g] Father.” ▪ 28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[i] have been called according to his purpose.
  24. 24. Breaking down the wall (cont.) ▪ 31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? ▪ 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[k] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
  25. 25. The Approach Who, what, where, when, how,WHY?
  26. 26. Who? ▪ Family ▪ Friends ▪ Neighbors ▪ Co-workers ▪ Friends of friends ▪ Complete Strangers • Family • Friends PeopleYou KnowWell • Neighbors • Co-workers Acquaintances (you sort of know) • Friends of friends Friends by association • Complete Strangers No prior relationship
  27. 27. How: Methods of communication ▪ One-on-One conversation ▪ Events ▪ Flyers and cards ▪ Group approach ▪ Church wide campaign ▪ Physical orVirtual?
  28. 28. Where: What atmosphere should we create? ▪ What gets people talking? – A sense of comfort – A topic of interest – A sense of obligation “There is only one way under high heaven to get anybody to do anything…..by making the other person want to do it.” Dale Carnegie How to win friends and influence People pg. 19
  29. 29. Where: Comfort, Interest, Obligation ▪ Comfort – Head’s up (Generally avoid surprise visits) – Casual confrontation/get-together ▪ Interest – Learn their interests and relate – Offer ways their interests could align with a ministry ▪ Obligation – If all else fails, politely question their resistance https://growchurch.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/pastors-need-someone-to-talk-to-too.jpg
  30. 30. What: It’s OK to have an agenda… …as long as it doesn’t feel like an agenda. ▪ Personalized entry point (pre-planned) – Profession, Hobbies, Past Experiences, Future Plans [Dreams], Family/Friends ▪ Consider how any of these could be effective at your church – Kids? Our church is definitely kid friendly! – You’re polite!That’s the kind of warm spirit our church members have and enjoy! – What!?You like baking?Who do you bake for? Our congregation would love some cookies!
  31. 31. What: Invite them to the ministry ▪ Based on earlier info… – We‘d love to have you and your family to the ministry!The atmosphere is warm and welcoming! – I’d love to see some of your paintings.Would you be willing to bring them along to a service? Maybe we could grab a bite to eat after and talk about them. – So you work pretty heavy on Sundays huh?You considered getting a church home that supports week nights?We have some awesomeWednesday and Friday youth nights! – You’re a musician?Our music ministry does great stuff, but we are definitely looking to grow with people like you. How about you come check it out with me this Sunday?
  32. 32. What: Solidfy whether accepted or declined ▪ If accepted: – Get a firm date. Plan to send a reminder before hand. – Plan a date for yourself to follow up after their planned attendance date. – Offer to meet them at a time/place when they arrive ▪ If Declined: – Respect their decision – Extend an “open invitation” – Ask for permission to follow-up at a later date – Don’t let it deter you from inviting others
  33. 33. Practice! ▪ Entry point (Conversation topic) ▪ Connect back to church ▪ Invite to Church ▪ Solidify invite
  34. 34. Attention To Intention ▪ 1 Cor 10:23 (NIV) “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive. 24 No one should seek their own good, but the good of others. – Always evaluate your actions ▪ Matt 6:33 31 Therefore take no thought, saying,What shall we eat? or,What shall we drink? or,Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. – Contrary to our tendency, our actions should be for others
  35. 35. Why do we/they need a church home? Open Discussion
  36. 36. A few reasons to have a church home… ▪ Church is family (Mark 3:33-35) ▪ Church is a classroom (Ephesians 4:11-13) ▪ Church is God’s guaranteed meeting place (Matthew 18:19-20) ▪ Church is our recharge station (Thess. 5:11) Your church is your TEAM
  37. 37. Our Commitment ▪ Review list of invitees as often as needed to keep front and center – Update and modify invitees – Create and adhere to an adequate follow-up schedule for each person – Pray over each person on your list ▪ Internalize, accept, and fulfill your responsibility to grow the church ▪ Encourage your team (church) members to invite people to church – Share your successes – Provide them the tools you’ve learned – Remind them of their responsibility to grow – Support them in their efforts http://www.transformation-catalysts.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/images.jpg
  38. 38. Quick Tips Page ▪ Understand the mandate. ▪ Always break down “TheWall” (that discourages us from extending invitations). ▪ Know who you want to approach and use the tools we’ve discussed. ▪ Remember, our final goal is to bring them to Christ and build HIS kingdom. ▪ Commit and stay committed. http://www.bethelcollegeville.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/commitment.jpg
  39. 39. Assignment #1: Create a list of invitees ▪ Commit right now to the date you will make this list (tonight, tomorrow,Tuesday, orWed before bible study) ▪ Should include: Name Relationship Conversation entry point I invited them on… They’ll be attending on.. John Smith Uncle Football season over, what activities you do on Sunday? Matthew Newson Co-worker What do you do outside of work? Are you an active church member? 3.7.2017 3.25.2017

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