A few years ago, a research organization did a survey asking people why they visited a church. Eighty percent (that’s 80%) of the respondents said the reason they visited was because someone had invited them. With all the efforts put forth to get the invitation out to others to come worship with a congregation, nothing works better than a personal invitation from one of the members. With all the means available to communicate with a community about the church concerning who we are, what we do and to let them know they are welcome and wanted to come join us, apparently nothing works better than the personal touch of simply asking someone to come.
How often do we issue such an invitation? It is easy to get the idea that there isn’t much we can do to help others come to Christ. We may think: I am not a teacher, I’m not comfortable asking others, I’m afraid he/she will say no. The excuses go on forever. But don’t we need to grow beyond our limitations that hold us back from doing what the Lord has commanded us to do?
The Bible doesn’t set any quota on Christians regarding how many of the lost they reach with the gospel. It does, however, direct us to go into the world and help the lost come to know Jesus and the truth. Our opportunities are endless if we choose to see them (John 4:35). Our “comfort zone” is something we arbitrarily set and it can be expanded if we choose to do it.
We are children of the King, but we must not see ourselves as privileged royalty to be served by others. We must always remember our place in the kingdom is one of a soldier and worker. We are laborers, co-workers in Christ (1 Cor. 3:9), just like Paul and Apollos.
In order to be effective and successful in convincing others, we must be fully committed. When Jesus called Peter, Andrew, James and John to be His apostles, He told them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men” (John 4:18-21). Because we follow the teaching and pattern of the apostles, we, too, must follow the Lord and be fishers of men. It is very difficult, even impossible, to convince someone of their need for acceptance, devotion and obedience to God when our own faith is not solid in Christ. Jesus said, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62).
Jesus’ invitation is personal: “Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matt. 11:28-29).
When we know we have the cure for the great and deadly disease afflicting everyone, we must share the remedy with others. Ask them to come with you to worship God. Be a light that shines and reflects the glory of God in this dark world of sin (Matt. 5:14-16). Nothing will be more appealing than the personal touch only you can provide.
If you want God to close and open doors, let go of the door knob.