• Jill Jarrell Newsome

Inviting Others To Church

I do not ever remember being "invited" to church because as long as I can remember church was part of my life. However, I know one of the biggest gifts in my life was an invitation to go on the Walk to Emmaus (a 3 day spiritual retreat). Although I knew nothing about it I know it was God nudging (ok, pushing) me to go. It was very much out of my comfort zone - very much! I trusted God and He was faithful beyond belief. At age 32 I gave myself to God 100%, not 90%, not 99% but 100%. That is when my life changed! That person who sponsored me had no idea what God was going to do with that invitation but they were obedient in inviting me!

Some people may already attend church and some may not be comfortable with church but there are many other things at church to invite them to. It could be inviting them to a program at church or a small group. Matthew 18: 20, "For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them." 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 and where God will guide you. If my sponsor had not been bold enough to invite me I cannot imagine the blessings I would have missed out on. And not just me but my husband and my parents who I sponsored and so many friends! When I was invited to attend an Emmaus weekend it caused a ripple effect, changing many lives and continues the ripple effect.

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!

Andrew in John's gospel, brought his brother, Peter, to Christ. Then he brought a boy to Jesus who had five loaves of bread and two fish! Albert McMakin who was 24 years old invited AND picked up Billy Graham and took him to an evangelistic meeting. That night, in that meeting, Billy accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. I cannot imagine if Mr. McMakin had not extended that invitation. Imagine that ripple effect that continues for generations! I wonder if he will receive the same rewards in Heaven for his faithfulness to invite Billy Graham as Billy Graham will?

Why not invite someone to go to church with you this Easter? 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.”

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