“The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was: “If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?” But the good Samaritan reversed the question: “If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?” – Martin Luther King Jr.
All over the world, millions of Christians and many thousands of churches are getting ready for Easter weekend. It’s an incredible opportunity for the church to spring into action to invite and welcome people who are far from the heart of God to hear the Gospel. And so as we prepare for one of the busiest weeks for the church, we desperately need the power of God—the same power that raised Jesus from the dead—to be at work in and through us. The resurrection of Jesus was the greatest demonstration of the power of God in all of history and we want people to hear the story, maybe for the first time, on Easter.
This is why we do everything we do at Northstar. It’s so we can reach one more for Jesus. The typical person that you really want to reach is sitting at home right now totally oblivious to what Jesus has done for them and how much God loves them. To put it more simply, call on people to believe in Jesus, to grow deeper in Him, to find their place in God’s family, to discover their role in ministry, and to live on mission with God telling others the Good News.
Easter is one of two opportunities (Christmas the other) where people will come to church that normally do not attend. This is a witness to the truth that the Easter story has real meaning and continues to capture people’s imagination. It is an opportunity to reach people who are far from the heart of God to hear the gospel preached and let God work in their lives. But, only if we invite them. If studies are correct, then over 80 percent of your friends who are not Christians or do not attend church are at least open to and likely to respond favorably to your invitation to church for Easter. Let me encourage you to push out of your comfort zones and fight through the doubts to invite your neighbors and friends to our Easter services.
Inviting a family member or really close friend is a little different, You and these people know each other well. You know each other’s strengths and weaknesses. You know their tendencies, talents, dreams, and motivations. You have shared the good and bad times with each other. These people can tell if you are being yourself or not so when you invite them to do so from your heart. Show them you genuinely care for them and you simply desire for them to experience something that is important to you and will be beneficial for them. An in-person invite is best for someone closer but if that isn’t an option a phone call or personal touch lets them know you’re serious about the invitation.
Remember that this is God’s story, not our story. We get to play a small part by simply inviting someone to come to church. Most of the time, we have no idea what God’s doing in people’s hearts. All we need to do is love that person enough to get through a potentially uncomfortable conversation. A personal invitation to church is one of the most effective ways of reaching the lost. We are all called to be the church, and the church is called to be on mission with God. It is the church’s responsibility to reach the lost and the hurting. Easter is an amazing opportunity to do just that. Remember that 100 percent of the people you don’t invite will not attend. God can use your invitation to radically transform a life.
- Ready to take the plunge and invite someone? But what if they say no, what if they punch you in the face, what if they ridicule you to others, what if inviting them hurts your friendship, what if… How do we overcome the what if’s?