Do remember the days of getting an invitation to a birthday party? The excitement about the party itself, the joy of being included, the anticipation of what was to come.
There is something powerful about an invitation.
The Gospels are full of invitations. Jesus invites some fishermen to follow him. He invites some curious men to come and see. He invites his disciples to come and grow. He invites listeners to come and rest. And he invites everyone to come to the table and eat. Jesus’ ministry is one of invitation!
Thousands of years later, those invitations are for us too. We are invited to come and follow, to come and see, to come and grow, to come and rest, and to come and eat!
And unlike the often exclusive invitations of a kid’s birthday party, Jesus’ invitations are for all. They are meant to be shared, not just with some “in crowd” but with all people!
On Sunday, we’ll begin a new sermon series called “RSVP: Stories of Invitation.” We’ll explore Jesus’ invitations to his followers and to us, and we’ll consider how we too are called to share those invitations with others.
Because there is still something powerful about an invitation.
You might recall back in May we wrote our prayers for our church family. Many of those prayers were for our church family to grow…to have more people in the pews, to include more children and families, to become an intergenerational community.
They are bold prayers. And we can and should pray such prayers.
But the world is changing, and so is the role of the church in the world. At one time, it was fairly normal for a visitor to just show up at church on a Sunday morning for worship. But today, most people will not just show up on a Sunday morning out of the blue.
But they might show up if they are invited.
And so, I believe, if we want to see our prayers answered, we have a role to play. Like Jesus, we too must have a ministry of invitation.
If we truly want to grow as a church, then it is up to every member of our church family, to be intentional about inviting others to join. It can be an invitation to worship on Sunday morning. It can be an invitation to a Bible study. It can be an invitation to a special fellowship event.
My challenge for you is this, over the next month, invite one person (or one family) to something happening at the church. We’ll have postcards to hand out, but there is power in a personal invitation...a phone call, a text message, or even a visit.
Jesus invited us. May we have the courage to invite others into the journey too.