We’ve all been there. You’ve spent weeks inviting friends to a big event at your church. They finally tell you they’ll be there! You’re excited, thrilled, and you may even text a few people to let them know, “my friend ________ is coming with me to church on Sunday!”
And then Sunday morning arrives, the praise team starts playing, and your friend is a no show. You try to come up with a good reason why they didn’t make. You’re not mad at them. You’re just upset they didn’t join you. After all, you know they’re missing an opportunity to hear the Gospel.
Some of you are experiencing this very disappointment this morning. I know yesterday at Grace Life, four different people mentioned to me how they had a friend who said they would come, but they didn’t.
So what do you do now?
1. Don’t condemn them.
The last thing they need to hear from you is “I can’t believe you missed church!” or something along those lines. More than likely, they’ve never been taught why church is important and if they’re not a Christian, then obviously church won’t be as important to them as it is to you.
Maybe they had a great reason. Maybe a child was sick or they were running late and decided that it would be awkward (and it is) to walk into a new church late. Whatever the case may be, continue to love them and show grace to them.
2. Invite them again (even if it’s a “normal Sunday”).
The main reason our church has the occasional “big Sunday” is to provide a less intimidating atmosphere for a non-churched family. Knowing you can wear a jersey and shorts to church and you’re going to get free food often breaks down barriers for a first time guest.
However, every Sunday should be a big deal. Every week we should make it our mission to bring someone to church with us. Every Sunday is important. Why? Because the Gospel is important and at your church (hopefully) the Gospel is being preached. So whether it’s a slumping Christian or a non believer, every time you invite them to church, you’re inviting them to come and hear the power of the Gospel and their need for Jesus.
So call your friend and invite them back to church on Sunday. Eventually, they will come with you.
3. Keep inviting them to Jesus.
Unfortunately, we can use church invitations as an excuse not to share the Gospel when in reality, we are not called to invite people to church, but we are called to invite people to Jesus. Yes, they will hear their need for Jesus on Sunday, but you have more opportunities to talk with them and more credibility with them then your pastor does.
The goal of bringing someone to church is not to make them a religious person. The goal is to see them place their faith in a Person – Jesus Christ. I’ve heard David Platt say, “Because God placed you on your street and in your job and in your community, there are no unreached people groups where you live”. In other words, where you are right now is an opportunity to make a Gospel impact in the lives of those around. Reach out to someone today and tell them about Jesus.Take the opportunity this week to not only invite someone to church, but more importantly, take the opportunity to invite someone to Jesus.
Additional thoughts? Comment below or comment on Facebook. If you’re a part of Grace Life Church, we’ll be holding a special week of LifeGroups beginning 9/25. Each group will walk through how to have Gospel Conversations. Signup for a LifeGroup here.