The Great Invite
My first experience with my church was a personal invitation from a friend of mine to go to Bible study with her. I will tell you I probably would not have gone without her. I am out of my comfort zone walking into a group situation, not knowing anyone. Personal invitations are the most effective means to encourage people to do anything! Attending a new church can give people anxiety. Walking in with a friend makes it much more comfortable. That one invitation turned into so many blessings including the growth in my relationship with Jesus, wonderful worship and even using my gift of writing to come to work for the church!
One invitation can do a lot and have the ripple effect! Think about the disciples. It did not take resumes, church committees, interviews, etc to become disciples. It took one invitation from Jesus and the rest were invited to join by other disciples. I had never thought about that. Matthew 4: 18-20, “And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. Then He said to them, ‘Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.’ They immediately left their nets and followed Him.” I have always heard that they got out of their boat and followed Him, becoming disciples that day!
Look what happened the next day when John the Baptist stood with John and Andrew. John 1: 35-51, “Again, the next day, John stood with two of his disciples. And looking at Jesus as He walked, he said, “Behold the Lamb of God!” The two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. Then Jesus turned, and seeing them following, said to them, “What do you seek?” They said to Him, “Rabbi” (which is to say, when translated, Teacher), “where are You staying?” He said to them, “Come and see.” They came and saw where He was staying, and remained with Him that day (now it was about the tenth hour). One of the two who heard John speak, and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first found his own brother Simon, and said to him, “We have found the [a]Messiah” (which is translated, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus… The following day Jesus wanted to go to Galilee, and He found Philip and said to him, “Follow Me.” Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” And Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him, and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit!” Nathanael said to Him, “How do You know me?” Jesus answered and said to him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” Nathanael answered and said to Him, “Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” Jesus answered and said to him, “Because I said to you, ‘I saw you under the fig tree,’ do you believe? You will see greater things than these.” And He said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, thereafter you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”
John the Baptist invited Andrew and John. Andrew invited Peter. Jesus invited Phillip. Phillip invited Nathanael. John invited his brother James. Those days were no different from now. We all cross paths with different people. We are all needed to further the Kingdom. We never know how God will use that one invitation. When Andrew invited his brother Peter to meet Jesus, Peter became one of Jesus’ closest disciples. He preaches the sermon on the day of Pentecost and 3000 were converted. After Jesus’ resurrection, Peter and Andrew preached the Gospel, they started churches.
Matthew 28: 18-20 is known as the great commission. “And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” “Amen.” We are commanded to do the same. What better time than Easter to GO and invite others to Jesus and watch Him work!