Inviting All People...
The mission of Good Shepherd is to “Invite all people to grow into a Christ-centered life in God’s family.” This is the clear and concise statement that describes what we are all supposed to be doing together. Easter is a vital opportunity for us to live out that mission in our networks and neighborhoods.
A few years ago, LifeWay Research surveyed 15,000 American adults, seeking to determine the most effective way of engaging those who are not yet a part of a local church. Unsurprisingly, they concluded that a personal invitation is still the best method. Over two-thirds of those surveyed said that a personal invitation would be “very or somewhat effective” in getting them to visit a church.
Ed Stetzer concludes:
People ARE open to an invite from church, particularly if it is from someone they know. But one simple invitation isn't necessarily going to result in subsequent attendance. Neighbors may come because of an invitation, but they'll stay for the community…
In our post-Christian nation, people who are skeptical of the faith are often attracted to the Christian community before they are attracted to the Christian message. Therefore, introducing people into the relational network of a local church community becomes an important aspect of their journey to the faith. As beings created in the image of God, we need to be in relationship with others. We reflect God, who is Trinitarian, with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in perfect fellowship with one another. This necessitates our innate need for community…
In our world people are more connected than any previous generation, yet lonelier than ever before. Social media may allow us to keep up with other people, but invitations to join communities or relational circles are the only way for people to truly connect with others.
We often talk about how important it is for people to belong - even before they believe (in Jesus) or behave (following God’s desire for their lives).
- Who do you know that needs to connect with others?
- Who do you know that needs to hear the good news of the hope of Easter?
- Who do you know that needs the guidance of God’s Holy Spirit?
Spend some time in prayer, asking God to guide you to the answer to these questions… Then pray that he would give you the courage to invite them to join us this Easter Sunday - and maybe even to your home afterward, as well!
May we together live out our whole reason for existence: To invite all people to grow into a Christ-centered life in God’s family.