One thing I love about our congregation is the friendly reception visitors receive when they come to our Sunday service. I also appreciate how some people in the church are especially active in inviting and bringing friends and family members to join us for worship.
So it’s not as though we’re an unwelcoming church, or that inviting friends to church never happens. But since we all could use the reminder of how effective a simple invitation to church can be, I thought it would be good to devote one month this summer to encouraging the congregation to invite someone to church.
So June is “officially” Invite-a-Friend-to-Church Month at Grace OPC. I’m asking the congregation (myself included) to prayerfully consider whom they may invite to worship with us some Sunday in June. Of course this takes some wisdom: some people simply aren’t ready for an invitation to church, and others are already committed to their own church bodies (this isn’t “Steal-a-Sheep-from-Another-Congregation Month”!). But maybe there’s someone in a person’s family, or a co-worker or classmate, who isn’t a regular church-goer but who would be open to visiting. They will probably very much appreciate the invitation, even if they don’t take us up on it!
(One of our most committed families today came as a result of an invitation to church by one of our members the last time we did this, several years ago. They didn’t come that particular month, but they came later and have been a blessing to the congregation ever since).
To make the month a little different from others, I decided to preach a series of sermons called “The Gospel in Today’s World.” My aim is to use these sermons to show how the gospel of Jesus Christ sheds light on, and provides answers to, some of the vexing issues that occupy the hearts and minds of people today. Here is a schedule of the sermons:
June 2nd – The Gospel and True Freedom
June 9th – The Gospel and the Quest for Happiness
June 16th – The Gospel and Personal Identity
June 23rd – The Gospel and Religion
June 30th – The Gospel and Science
After the worship service is over, I will stay in the sanctuary for half an hour or so and field any questions or comments anybody may have about the sermon. I look forward to discussing these topics with those who meet with me after the service!
Also, we’re calling for volunteers to bring some kind of simple refreshments for us to enjoy after the service.
Of course how many visitors we’ll receive is up to the Lord. But however few or many come, I believe doing this will be a benefit to the congregation. We’ll think about how God’s Word applies to the concerns of our world today, and Lord willing, we’ll have a greater desire to invite others to hear about the hope we have in Christ – true hope both for this life but also for the life to come!
Soli Deo Gloria!