I recently read a blog post that I found insightful and, frankly, disturbing. It appeared on Thom Rainer’s blog and was written by Chuck Lawless. As I read the blog and the comments, I began to wonder, “What keeps CVC-ers from inviting friends to CVC? What are the issues in NE Ohio that we are facing?”
I was challenged by this list. From the original list and from reading through all the comments, I created a list that I think is why some of us at CVC are not inviting like we could and should. Below is my first post:
Why Church Members Don’t Invite Others to Church – Part 1
“I have to admit that I must not truly care enough about the eternal destiny of others.” – We are consumed by our jobs, our families, our recreation/entertainment, and our own problems that we overlook and undervalue the souls of others. The world has dulled our spiritual senses.
“Nobody regularly challenges me to invite anyone.”– Some church members never think about inviting others because no one challenges them to do so. We aren’t making apostolic mission a normative part of discipleship. What if at every meeting at church, we checked up on one another regarding our missional living, witnessing, and evangelistic outreach?
“My friends think this way: ‘I don’t need/want church because I’m not religious, I’m spiritual.’” – More and more people (and perhaps even some who don’t invite others to church) don’t believe that they need church. They are satisfied with their current level of spirituality. Walking in the park, listening to music, having conversations with friends are enough to quench any spiritual thirst that they have.
“I’m not convinced that a loving God would really send a good person to hell.” – Some of our own people aren’t convinced of the necessity of Jesus for salvation. For them, Jesus is “a” way not “the” Way. They simply don’t believe in the glories of heaven, the miseries of hell, and the idea that friends, relatives, and neighbors desperately need Jesus to avoid the one and gain the other.
“I don’t believe it’s culturally appropriate for me to have spiritual conversations with friends.” – Many churched people have come to believe that we have no right to “push” our beliefs on others. They fear that they will be reported to HR at work.
“My friends want to rest, to relax, and to simply be with their family and friends on weekends.” – Our culture is such a fast-paced culture with jobs, recreation, school, and kids’ activities that people DO need their rest. Many church people realize this and are hesitant to invite friends because they know they will likely get politely ignored.
“Honestly, the sin in my life is keeping me from having spiritual conversations.” – When sin is active in a believer’s life, it cripples. Sin shatters boldness and dissipates power. We find it difficult to look at ourselves in the mirror let alone into the eyes of someone else trying to proclaim Christ while conviction screams “hypocrite”!
We must have internal conversations with ourselves to counter these spiritually deadly excuses. We must pray. We must push through our complacency and apathy. Let’s ask God to light a fire for outreach and evangelism within us. Let’s encourage and challenge each other to care enough to share.
What do you sometimes say to yourself that keeps you from inviting people to church and how do you overcome your excuses?