Archive for July 6, 2006

Invite the Uninvited

July 6, 2006

I’m anxiously anticipating our second preview service at OakLeaf . Yesterday, I was thinking about who might be there. I thought about the people who were there back in June who said they were excited about coming back (and bringing friends/neighbors/co-workers/family). I thought about our faithful core team of volunteers…who, by the way, absolutely love this community and model Christ with their unselfish servanthood (they spur me on!).

As I was envisioning this 2nd service, I was reminded of who I hoped most to see there…the invited uninvited. Further explanation: We have said from day one that we are not here to just start another church. Believe me, Bartow County has tons of churches. We have further said that we do not want our growth to be dominated by transfer growth — we are not hear to “steal” members from other churches. We will exist to help those who are unchurched or perhaps given up on it entirely, connect with God through Christ. That’s why over the next week and 1/2, I am resolved to invite the uninvited. That’s who I want to see there! Those that have never been invited to church or perhaps haven’t considered going in awhile. On this note, wanna know my opinion of why most church attenders/believers have stopped inviting others to church? (This is just one of many reasons.) Sadly, I believe it’s because they don’t feel there’s MUCH to invite them to. I think our Sunday services should leave us all feeling like, “Ok, I HAVE to invite so-and-so…they should have heard this today.” This is not to take away from personal evangelism…not trying to say “just leave it up to the pulpit to share the gospel.” Of course not. We all have responsibility. But why have we gotten so FAR away from inviting lost people to church?

And as I thought about my approach to inviting people over this next week, I asked myself, “Why should they come?” Why would they want to come? I thought about some creative ways of asking them…like finding out if they go to church anywhere. If they do, I walk on. If they don’t, I continue in conversation. After all, who am I trying to get there? And back to the Why question…they GOTTA come! They gotta hear the story of hope that will be presented to them. I know they will relate with the prodigal son! I hope they sense the genuiness of our staff. They gotta be there! They’re gonna miss out…they’re gonna miss something that could change the way they think about God and His church and their own life if they don’t come! I gotta ask them! I gotta beg them if I have to.

Think I’m overreacting? Too much zeal? Well, it’s gotta take something to change a county that has TONS of churches in it, yet is 70+% UNCHURCHED. How does that happen (in the “Bible Belt”)? So how do we change this stat? Well, the full answer probably involves 10 other blogs. For now…for starters, though…I’m going to invite the uninvited.

Favorite Verse

July 6, 2006

Not talking about a “Life Verse.” Not sure I even have one of those. But, what is your favorite Bible passage or verse….RIGHT NOW? I think certain Scriptures mean more during different seasons of life. Mine right now:

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12

What a good summary of what we are called to do/be. Life is tough right now. Finances are tight (ok, that’s an understatement)…4 kids is chaotic (a good kind)…and the Braves are stinking it up (ok, maybe not all that important). But what a great reminder that in Christ we always have hope (and true joy)….that we can trust in Him during affliction…and find peace in life’s storm through prayer. This is my favorite verse right now…and it’s short, making it easier to memorize (for us simple minded folk). What’s your favorite right now?