Have you ever invited someone to church and they said “no”? Sometimes, the people we invite have plans already. Perhaps they prefer to sleep in on Sundays. Or maybe they already have a church home. But every so often, as believers we will encounter people who simply aren't interested in “doing church.” It's easy to get disheartened and neglect to invite others going forward. We want to encourage you to do just the opposite.
Pastor Rich Sr. shared with us the story of his two closest adolescent friends. For six years, he invited them to church but they always refused his invitations. Then one day, one of them decided to take a young Pastor Rich up on his offer. That day, his friend gave his life to Jesus. He turned down a full athletic scholarship to a top university to attend Bible college. Today, a ministry he started in Uganda has brought tens of thousands to Jesus. It all began with an invitation.
Unfortunately, one day Pastor Rich received a call and learned that the other friend had lost his life tragically. He can't recall ever hearing him proclaim the name of Jesus. He was reminded that we can't give up on people, especially our friends.
We are designed to be bringers. Luke 16:23 says, “And the master said to the servant, ‘Go out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled.” In the same way, Jesus wants His house to be filled. As His hands and feet, it's up to us to bring people to fill it. Below are three actions we can take as bringers.
Bringers Move Immediately
John 1:41 says “The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, 'We have found the Messiah.'” We have to be more like Andrew. What are we waiting for? Jesus is the best thing that has ever happened to us! He is our hope and our strength. We could never tell of His goodness, even if we had ten thousand tongues. But that doesn't stop us from using the one we have to tell how knowing Jesus changes everything about how we live.
Bringers Act and Speak Intentionally
Upon reaching his brother, Andrew proclaims: “We have found the Messiah.” In those days, Jewish men were actively waiting on the appearance of the Messiah. Andrew knew not to waste any time, he had to get his brother's attention right away. Like Andrew, we must use whatever bait we can to bring people to Jesus. Have a strategy and be intentional. Don't leave out the young, attractive singles, the free pizza and the amazing worship. In Pastor Rich’s words, “We have a Holy Ghost virus and we have to move so others catch it.” Are you spreading it?
Bringers Extend Invitations
Studies show that many non-churchgoers would go to church if someone would simply invite them. Whether you're in line at the grocery store, or an avid social media user, there are people just waiting for an invitation from you. That decision alone could lead to their names being written in the Book of Life. If that sounds like too much pressure, just remember that we aren't called to save people--the Holy Spirit does that. But we are called to bring them. Who are you bringing? Decide today and make it a habit.
Ellie (pictured right) visited us once before. This Sunday, she came back and decided to bring her boyfriend, Brawley. They have been looking for a church home and are excited about making Trinity Harlem their church home.
Speaking of bringing, for the month of August, we've added a third service on Sundays. Summer Nights will be a unique worship experience that we are believing will equip us to serve an untapped part of our vast community. We hope you'll join us at 6pm. Bring someone!