Last month we were hosting a big BBQ on the campus of the university of Strasbourg, where we are working with InterVarsity. Of all the days, THAT was the day that the biggest dining commons on campus was closed because of a one-day strike. Most of the students, however, hadn't yet got the news. The waves of students started arriving at the lunch hour only to find the doors to the dining commons locked. Some milled about not knowing what to do. One of our local staff and two Christian students walked around telling their hungry classmates the good news -- just around the corner there was a BBQ selling cheap sausages! As you can imagine, many of the students took them up on this offer!
This story is a beautiful illustration of pointing someone to the good news in Christ.
As for me, I came to a saving faith in Christ because someone invited me to investigate. In retrospect I feel like I was the person who was there in front of the dining commons, (only I didn't realize how spiritually hungry I was!). Though that person probably felt a bit unsure and sheepish about doing so, they took the time to point me in the right direction -- toward Jesus. In the end, I am so glad that I was given the chance. It was indeed good news!
But too often we are too afraid to invite our friends to learn more about faith in Christ. Perhaps we assume our friends will say no, so we never take the step to invite them. Why do we answer the question for them rather than letting them decide?
Recently my wife, Karyn, asked a woman if she has read the Bible. She said, "I'm interested, but I have a hard time reading on my own." Karyn said, "Would you like to get together some time to read some of the Bible together? It's interesting for me to get to read along with someone else." They are now reading through the book of John together and both enjoying the time they get to be together! It starts with a question and an invitation...
Here are some invitation ideas (can you think of more?):
- Invite a family you know to come to Pumpkin Patch (Halloween night) and introduce them to other people there. Invite them to come to church on Sunday. Tell them why you're a part of FCC. What keeps you coming back?
- Give a Bible to someone you know and direct them to a couple of verses that have impacted your life. Offer to meet to read together and discuss. When you don't know the answer, offer to find out (perhaps call Pastor Marco!)
- Offer to pray for your friend or neighbor. (Bonus: Offer to pray for them in the moment)
- Offer to bring your children's friends to children's church.
- Invite a neighbor over to the FCC Thanksgiving church service.
- Bring them along on an FCC volunteer event.