Here is a special report I wrote for some Preachers I work. I do hope you enjoy reading and maybe gain something from it. So here goes.
1.) Talk About Jesus
I know this one sounds a bit too easy, but inviting friends to church is supposed to be easy. If you talk about Jesus on a regular basis people will pick up on it and begin to ask. That's a great time to invite them to your church. Just by talking about Jesus regularly you are "planting seeds" and you may not even realize it. So please, praise the name of Jesus in your daily activities.
2.) Talk About The Sermon With Your Friends On Monday
On Monday morning when everyone else is talking about how they wish they were somewhere else, talk a little bit about the sermon you heard on Sunday morning. Mention how the preacher made a really good point about a specific topic. For example, our preacher preached a sermon recently on complaining. Basically talking about the Israelites during the Exodus and how they complained and got nowhere for forty years. And how our society complains continually over all things. The economy, our job, our weight, our finances and so on. He tied it together somehow about being thankful for what we have and looking to Jesus for our strength, not the economy. At any rate, it was a very good lesson and even the non believers who were present at church enjoyed the lesson. It tied in with the news topics of that time and was an easy conversation starter. For example "What do you think about today's economy Jack?" From here you can just simply mention what your preacher spoke about on Sunday. Here sowing another seed.
3.) Invite Your Friends To Special Events At Your Church
This one should be easy for all of us. If your church has a special event then ask your friends to come along. One thing we implemented at our church is something called "Trunk or Treat". This happens after the Wednesday evening services prior to Halloween. You conduct your normal Bible study on Wednesday evening. But after that, all the kids in the church put their Halloween costumes on and go out to the parking lot where the members of the church are waiting at the "trunk" of their cars and pass out candy to the "Trunk or Treaters". This is a fun activity for the adults and the kids. It's a safe environment to have a trick or treat and everyone seems to love it. The great thing is you don't have to be a Christian or a member of the church to go. It's open to everyone. Tell your friends about it. It's a nice way to invite your friends to church and show them the "Church People" really do have fun.
4.) Write Your Friend A "Hand Written" Invitation
In today's technological age not many people still write notes or letters. Sure, we send Christmas cards and such. We'll also send emails, faxes, voicemails, text messages and write a letter on Microsoft Word. However, when was the last time you actually sat down pen and paper and wrote an invitation or letter to one of your friends? When was the last time you received a hand written letter from a family member or a friend? Handwritten letters are nice and we all enjoy receiving them. For example, after I baptized my daughter one of the members of our church sent a handwritten letter to Aspen (my daughter) to tell her how "proud" she was of Aspen. She went on in the letter to tell my daughter that her teenage friends will not always understand her but to hold on to her faith and how she has a wonderful church family that is there to help.
The letter was touching. In fact my wife got choked up when she read it. The letter prompted a "thank you" phone call from my wife to our friend along with a nice conversation. THAT'S the power of a handwritten note. So sit down, write out on a piece of paper and pen and handwritten note to your friend inviting them to church. Your friend will probably be surprised that you cared enough to actually write it out on paper that he or she may call you to thank you for the note and surely a nice conversation will follow.
5.) Invite Your Friend(s) To Your Home For Dinner
We all enjoy having our friends over for dinner talking and laughing together. If you are like most Christian families then you say a prayer of thanksgiving before you eat your meal. This simple thanksgiving prayer can sow a seed in your friend who may or may not know the Lord.
I'm sure your friend knows you go to church; after all you aren't keeping it a secret. But how often do you actually invite your friend to church? During this dinner at your home is a nice time to ask them again. Remember, you're not being pushy here and trying to instill in them all the values that you hold onto. This is just a simple invitation. My wife and I have neighbors who don't go to church on a regular basis. However, their kids are at out home frequently playing with our kids. Our home has really become the neighborhood hang out for most of the kids on our street. Kids come to our home and enjoy the snacks, games and over all fun activities we participate in. All the kids in our neighborhood have been to our home for dinner more than a few times and most if not all of them learned how to pray for your food and why we give thanks for our food. Their parents like I said earlier are not regular church goers buy they do admit they should be. Whenever our church has a fun event planned for the kids we invite the neighborhood kids to come along. More often then not they do, and their parents are very happy with that.
Even though their parents have not come to our church to place membership, we are not discouraged by it one bit. Because we know the seeds we planted God will water and help grow. Church growth isn't always about OUR church. The end goal is to have as many people a member of GOD'S church before Jesus comes to bring us home. So if you invite others to your church and they decline time and time again. Please don't lose heart and give up. Continue to fight the good fight and ask for God's divine intervention regularly.
I do hope you find these tips helpful. If you let me know what your greated Outreach and Evangelism challenges are I'll be sure to address them in future posts for you.