Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.Romans 15:7
I can remember the joy of recess as a kid. It was my favorite thing about school! The games we would play, the bars we would climb, it was a world of adventure within the chainlink fence of my elementary school. One particular game I loved was Red Rover. Two teams of kids would stand in a line facing each other, each team holding hands in a death grip. The first to go would call to a kid from the other side, saying, “Red Rover, Red Rover, send Ricky on over!” And Ricky would let go of the hands of his teammates and run full speed towards the other team. Excitement would fill the runners heart as he hoped to not only reach the other team but to be so rocket fast that he could break their grip and fly clean through the line. Now that I look back it seems like an odd thing to do. Invite someone to come on over just so they can try and destroy the unity you have as a group. And if they don’t succeed, they’re forcibly captured into your group against their will. Crazy! In the end, the goal was to get everyone on one team and eliminate the other team.
Why this memory? Simply because I think it’s a good reminder to not only invite others into your circle of faith, but also not to do it just so numbers can grow and you can win the game. We invite others because that’s what Christ did to you. He called Red Rover, Red Rover send *your name* right over, and you ran, and he greeted you with open arms. Inviting others isn’t as scary as it seems. It’s actually considered a kindness to be thought enough of to be asked to participate in something that someone cares deeply about. And you care deeply about your church family, right? So the next time you invite someone, remember that you are inviting them with the same love and affection which Jesus invited you, not to force them into anything, or to prove anything to them, but to give them the chance to meet the one who you know will change their lives forever.
Questions to ponder
What school yard game or activity did you love the most? Do you remember getting picked for a team or invited to play?
What fears do you have in inviting someone to church? How does keeping your mind on Jesus instead of yourself maybe change that fear?
Who are you going to invite to church this week? Do it!