I know of a Church in Alaska that has a simple marketing campaign. They sent out cards to the community and then gave the people in their Church business card size notes with one thing written on the cover of both. They stated, “You’re Invited.” That’s it. “You’re Invited.”
That Church knows about the same statistic I know. That over and over again surveys have shown that around 50% of people would go to Church if they were invited by someone they knew. Simply stated – if you are interested in reaching people for Jesus then the easiest thing you can do is to invite people to a Church program. It is simple and very effective.
Let me give you several ideas to help you when you invite people to Church.
1. Use the Church’s natural seams and seasons – I preach in 3-6 week sermon series so that people can invite their friends to each new sermon series. One of them might catch the interested of a friend. Christmas and Easter are also great times to invite people. Use these special holidays or Church movements to invite people to Church.
2. Offer to pick someone up for Church or at least to follow you – It is easier to be a no-show when you are meeting at the Church building. It is much more difficult when you are setting in their drive. This also helps people to know where to park and what to do as they enter the building.
3. Introduce your guest to other people – Share their name with people without giving details. Oh, and do not say, “This is their first time in Church.”
4. Sit with your guests – Make your guest is as comfortable as you are able. Tell them what to expect. Tell them where the bathrooms are located. Be close if they have any questions.
5. Offer to take your guest to lunch – If you have not talked about plans after Church then be sure and offer an added bonus. Then let them pick the location.
6. Do not be disappointed if they do not return the next week – Most Church guests do not plan on coming back every week. Many of them have the next several Sunday mornings already booked. Simply ask them if they enjoyed the visit and if they would like to come with you again.
7. If they are not interested in returning, find out what why (if possible) – Learn from every experience. Let it help your future invitations. Share information with your leaders.
* If your friend does not come to Church with you. Then every other guest the way you would want your guest to be treated.
For many people the journey of faith began with an invitation from someone to a Church event. You never know who will respond to a simple invitation.