• Jill Jarrell Newsome

Invite A Friend To Church

My pastor said our church is a movement not a monument so why aren't we still inviting people to "church"? After all, we are the church, right? There are so many people looking for hope right now and we know where hope comes from. Why not invite your friends and family to watch our church services online "with you"? I have some friends and family, who live far away, who worship with us every Sunday now. Even though we are scattered we are gathered during that hour! I am amazed at our numbers of screens that are turned on every Sunday for worship. And that is the number of screens - not individuals gathered around that screen. For instance, there are five of us watching that one screen. This past Sunday there were over 600 screens watching and it continues to go up every week! God is using this pandemic in a mighty way!

I received a letter from a long time friend of mine I want to share with you. She had attended church with me March 8. “...It was such a great service, everyone was so friendly and I felt the spirit of God in that place! I really enjoyed the message from Pastor Tim. I recall thinking God has really given him a gift. He delivers his message with passion and humor.

I had no idea that when I returned home that we would start to have some of the most uncertain times in our lifetime. This thing called the Corona Virus showed up and shut almost everything down! The church that I had been going to is such a small church with not even 30 members. They did not have enough support to have a full time minister and they announced they would not have service during this time. Now you mentioned how your church was going to be holding online services and I thought, you know- I really enjoyed that church and I should log on and listen. There was that Pastor Tim talking about Mighty Mouse. The message was great. It really touched me and during this time of so much uncertainty, I thought I am thankful for my friend Jill who told me about the online service. My first time listening was online after the service. This past weekend I tuned in again but this time I attended while the service was live instead of watching it after the service. It was nice to be connected with such a great church! I wanted to run home to Wilmington when all of this stuff started with Corona but knew I must stay put for now.

There has been a lot going on with health issues for my family. Listening to the messages in Wilmington online has helped me feel connected to my hometown and feel just a little bit closer to Wilmington and most importantly, it has made me feel closer to God...I thank you again and I am so thankful for all that PVUMC is doing for so many!”

We are having to think of doing things differently right now. People I would have never thought of to invite them to watch church online, I am now inviting them to watch online. Matthew 18: 20, "For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them." Remember, we can still be gathered, even if we are scattered. Because you know God is already there, this could help this person move along the path to a relationship with Christ or a deeper relationship to Christ. If you pray about who to invite, God will guide you.

The Bible gives several scriptures on inviting people to church. Colossians 3: 16, "Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts." Romans 10: 17, "Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ." Matthew 28: 19, "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,..." Most people think of this scripture for missions trips but you can be a disciple to your next door neighbor!

Why not invite someone to go to church with you? All they have to do is turn on their computer or television. You never know if you are a piece of the puzzle in God's plan for them. Our God will do over and above all we can think or do. He just needs us to be a witness for Him. In the closing words of the Bible, God extends His invitation to all. He says, “Come!” Revelation 22: 17, “The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!” And let the one who hears say, ‘Come!’ Let the one who is thirsty come, and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.” Looking forward to gathering with you and yours, together this Sunday, to worship from wherever you are!


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