“preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.”
2 Timothy 4:2
When we were first married my wife Hayley bought us tickets to Nashville Predators hockey for my birthday. Though she had never been to a game before she wanted to participate in something I love, so we went. Before the game started I explained a few key rules to her so she wouldn’t be clueless when the puck dropped. During the game, she would often sit there while the rest of the crowd was on their feet screaming. After I sat down she would look at me like, “What just happened?” And I would explain it to her in short hand. A few moments later, she started cheering when the rest of the arena was groaning; a Preds player had a two on one breakaway but the other player was offsides. By the end of the game she actually enjoyed the game, knowing just a little bit about gameplay.
I think inviting unchurched people to church is like inviting them to an athletic event that they have no understanding of. You might think, “Why would I do that?” Why invite someone to something they have no understanding of. To that I say, “Live events are sometimes the best place for people to learn about and to fall in love with the purpose of the event. When you invite someone to church, you don’t have to tell them all the details beforehand, but you can prepare them for the basic flow of service and what is expected of them, so they aren’t insecure. But the real beauty comes as they listen and observe the service and begin to ask questions. Answering these questions gives you a tremendous opportunity to tell them about the love of Jesus and the message of the gospel. So don’t be too scared to invite unchurched people to church, just be patient and willing to walk with them in learning the purpose of church and the God you worship.
Questions to ponder
What was an event that when you first attended, you didn’t know what was going on but now you could teach someone else?
Why do you find talking about your church with other people difficult or at the bottom of your list? If not, why is it easy for you?
Who is someone you can invite to church this week? Or, if you find yourself not going to a church, where’s a church that you can invite yourself? Sometimes God gives us all the information we need to make the decision, we just have to be faithful!