At the end of our services and in most of our church newsletters, we often say, ” invite a friend to church with you next week!”
But what does that really mean? It seems we still count more on devising programs, planning events and developing administrative systems for getting people to church.
Here are some statistics:
When asked what brought you to this church?
6% Invitation by the pastor
6% An organized evangelistic outreach program
86% An invitation by a friend or family member
(Roy Oswald, Making Your Church More Inviting)
“82% of the unchurched are at least somewhat likely to attend church if invited, but only 2 percent of church members invite an unchurched person to church. 98% of church-goers never extend an invitation in a given year.” – Dr. Thom Rainer (President and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources)
“The average United Methodist only invites someone to church once every 38 years.” – George Barna, Research Group
No matter what generation you are in, a personal invitation is always best.
But personally reaching out to the millennial generation is a must given their nature. Many are focused on community and local relationships. Generally speaking, a local ministry doing hands on work in the community is more attractive than the wow factor of another church outside their community. In either case, they need to be personally invited by a friend or family member.
Who can you invite to church? How can a church culture be changed so that people will invite? Why are there so many barriers to extending personal invitations to friends and family?
There are a million ways to invite people to church. Depending on your style, your personality, your age, your connections, your community, the possibilities are endless. So, to get the ball rolling, I’m not too concerned how you invite, I just want you to begin inviting.
For our church, we need to change the statistic. Be part of the change in culture. Don’t wait several years to invite your friends, family, neighbors and co-workers.
Invite someone to church this week.