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. The first 7 reasons were shared on a previous post. Below is my second post.
1. “I just don’t think about it.” – Many church members have contact with the unchurched every week, if not every day. They go to school with them, work with them, live beside them – and sometimes live with them. What church folks don’t do, though, is see the unchurched as “sheep without a shepherd” (Matt. 9:36), as spiritual beings in need of redemption and a church family.
2. “The church isn’t really being used by God to change my life.” – Are we being changed through our involvement in our churches? Are we being led by men who are passionately and zealously pursuing God and submitting their lives fully to Him, that we might desire and strive to imitate them, as they imitate Christ? If not, it probably holds no treasured part in our life and is not deemed worthy of sharing.
3. “I don’t see anything going on that really excites me.” – Why would we expect people to invite anyone to what we ourselves consider just OK? The church experience from the greeting in parking lot to the childcare to the music and message ought to add value and be an excellent experience.
4. “What we do and say at church would make my friends uncomfortable.” – Many church people think that their friends would find our worship and lifestyle weird. So, they don’t and won’t invite them to attend.
5. “Most people I know already go to church somewhere.” – However, many of the people they know are “members” at a church but do not regularly attend. When we hear folks say that all their friends already go to church, we ought to tell them, “Then you need new friends!”
6. “I don’t know how to start the conversation.” – Simply inviting somebody to church would seem easy, but that’s not the case for many church members. In a culture where discussing religion or politics is almost forbidden, even long-term Christians struggle with initiating an invitation to church.
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?