Every weekend, we challenge our church members to invite someone to the next sermon series.
Each week, we call upon our church members to invite someone to their small group.
You probably do this in your church too.
Have you seen that happen?
Does an invitation to church equal evangelism?
A recent conversation I was in started with this question:
Yes or No: Does an invitation to church equal evangelism?
If one holds to a technical definition of evangelism as the proclamation of the gospel, then a church invitation is not evangelism.
The definition of evangelism usually involves the announcement of our sinful condition before God and God’s remedy in Christ.
An invitation to church has nothing to do with the proclamation of the gospel.
Sure, it’s a triggering event to hear the gospel.
Is a church invitation an evangelistic activity?
I consider evangelism as the entire process
- of a person awakening to their spiritual restlessness
- seeking answers to that restlessness
- hearing how Jesus is the way God satisfies that thirst.
- hearing about our sinful condition before God.
- hearing the proclamation of Jesus as Lord and our need to repent
- the call to place faith in Christ and live as a follower of Jesus.
If one considers evangelism as a process or journey that has many elements along the way, an invitation to church can be seen as one element.
A church invitation is an evangelistic element.
Every conversation about faith, every rumination in the late-night hours, every invitation to church, every sermon heard, every bible verse read, every small group conversation all become “seeds” that the Lord uses in the drawing process.
An invitation to church can be part of the drawing process.
It’s an evangelistic activity.
When two of John’s disciples overheard John say, “Look, here is the Lamb of God!” they followed Jesus.
Jesus turned and asked, “What are you looking for?”
They responded, “”Rabbi where are you staying?”
Jesus said, “Come and see.” “They came and saw where he was staying, and they remained with him that day.” John 1:35-39 (NRSV)
Even the disciples were invited to spend time in the presence of Jesus.
Then Andrew turned to his brother and invited him: “Come and see.”
Who will you invite to church this weekend?
Have you ever considered that inviting someone to church could be all it takes for Jesus to take hold of them and change their life?
All you have to do is ask them to come! It seems too simple, doesn’t it?