Last Sunday we gave away “invite” cards for you to use as you reach out to your family and friends with an invitation to one of our three Easter services. Together, we can give people in our community a personal invitation to our church. Here are six ways to make the most out of this simple tool. These tips work, even if you do not have invite cards handy.
1. Be Intentional
Use the invite card and say something like, “I would love for you to join me and my family at Fort Caroline Baptist Church for the 10:45 a.m. service on Easter Sunday. I could meet you in front of the worship center. We can sit together and go to lunch after the service, if you want. How does that sound?”
2. Be Personable
Relax and be yourself when you invite someone to church. You don’t have to be a salesman with a slick approach. It is especially easy when you are inviting people you already know or have a friendship with.
3. Be Knowledgeable
You don’t have to know everything about our church, but you should know enough to assist someone new. Familiarize yourself with the times of the services, the location of the Welcome Center and preschool/children’s check-in, restrooms, and where the youth group meets. You can also speak to a Guest Services team member that day if you need some assistance. Most of them will be in grey t-shirts with our church logo and name imprinted on the front. All Guest Service members will wear lanyards and name tags. But remember, we are all responsible for ensuring our guests have a great first experience.
4. Be Hospitable
On Easter, park as far from the buildings as possible to leave the best spaces for our guests. Don’t park in “Guest Parking”! Introduce your guest to a few people. Point out something about the church that might interest them as you walk them to the service. Be aware of other people around you who may be new. Greet them and introduce yourself to them. If someone looks like they are not sure where to go, say, “Good morning. We are so glad you are here. Is there anything I can help you with?”
5. Be Prayerful
Pray for the people you invite to come. Pray for them to have a positive experience at church. Pray that they will be drawn closer to God and come to faith in Jesus as a result of hearing the Gospel.
6. Be Faithful
Don’t give up on inviting your friends if they don’t come on Easter. Be persistent in your love for them. Find opportunities to speak about the exciting things happening at the church and invite them to attend a service.
I’m excited about what the Lord is going to do as we reach out to others in love. Thank you for your partnership!
Only two percent of church members invite an unchurched person to church. Ninety-eighty percent of church-goers never extend an invitation in a given year. –Dr. Thom Rainer, The Unchurched Next Door
This is in spite of the fact that studies show 82% of unchurched people are open to an invitation to church by someone they know.
I am failing in my job of helping people come to faith in Jesus. I am often guilty of not inviting people I know to a church service so they can learn more about Jesus.
Fear. Fear of rejection. Fear of offending the person.
Busyness. I rush into my day with so much to do that I am not thinking of opportunities to invite people.
Oversight. Sometimes it is because I don't have a strategy to be intentional.
I am not a betting man, but if I were, I would bet you can relate to my failure in this area. I know you want to be better at inviting others to church.
You don't need more GUILT about this. You need a TOOL!
What if I could give you a proven tool that makes it simple to invite someone you know to church?
Here is it! The tool is called an "Invite Card." It is the size of a business card with an Easter logo on one side, and our church information on the other.
Using this card is a simple and effective way to invite someone to church. We will have the cards in bundles of five for you to take with you after the service this Sunday, March 22. (Or call the church office (904.642.2288) if you will not be here and we will reserve five cards for you.)
The benefits of using the invite cards:
Small. They are easy to carry with you during the day.
Familiar. People are used to getting and giving business cards.
Concise. It has all the information a guest needs to know to attend our Easter services or to learn more.
Relevant. People are especially open to attend church on Easter.
Get your five cards this Sunday and then...
Look Across The Table. Invite a family member or friend.
Walk Across The Street. Invite a neighbor or acquaintance.
Reach Across The Desk. Invite a Co-worker.
We are going to make It easy for you to invite someone to church by giving out invitation cards for you to give away. Get yours this Sunday!
So what do you think? Is this a good tool? Will you use it? Leave a comment below. I'd love to hear from you.
Did you miss last Sunday's kick-off message for the series, "The Gospel?" Do you want to hear it again? Then here it is! Click the link below for the audio message. I have also posted the Scripture passage I preached from below.
In the message, we discussed what unbelievers need to know, and what they need to do to be saved. This Sunday's message is about Christ's substitutionary death.
1 Corinthians 15:1–8 (NKJV) — 1 Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. 3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. 6 After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. 7 After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. 8 Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.
I have been meditating on the quote below from John R. W. Stott about human suffering. It has comforted me to be reminded that when we suffer, we do not face it alone. Christ knows, Christ sympathizes, and Christ is present.
I could never myself believe in God, if it were not for the cross. The only God I believe in is the One Nietzsche ridiculed as ‘God on the cross.’ In the real world of pain, how could one worship a God who was immune to it? I have entered many Buddhist temples in different Asian countries and stood respectfully before the statue of a smile playing round his mouth, a remote look on his face, detached from the agonies of the world. But each time after a while I have had to turn away. And in imagination I have turned instead to that lonely, twisted, tortured figure on the cross, nails through hands and feet, back lacerated, limbs wrenched, brow bleeding from thorn-pricks, mouth dry and intolerably thirsty, plunged in God-forsaken darkness. That is the God for me! He laid aside his immunity to pain. He entered our world of flesh and blood, tears and death. He suffered for us. Our suffering becomes more manageable in the light of his. There is still a question mark against human suffering, but over it we boldly stamp another mark, the cross which symbolizes divine suffering.
Stott, John R. W. The Cross of Christ. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1986. 335-36. Print.
Batts, Michael E. Board Member Orientation: The Concise and Complete Guide to Nonprofit Board Service. Atlanta, Ga: Accountability Press in Cooperation with Batts Morrison Wales & Lee, 2011.
Our congregation has a board of trustees which oversees the legal affairs of our church. These are all godly and wise members who are elected by the congregation to focus on the overall mission, vision, strategy, and policy of our church to ensure we are operating within those guidelines and legal parameters. They know they are responsible to the congregation, to the community, and to the church staff for wise counsel and oversight. They are ultimately responsible to the Lord. While the board does not manage the day-to-day operations of the church, it does ensure we are doing things decently and in order. I meet with the board regularly to share the financial reports of the church, the initiatives the church is adopting, the risks the church may face or need to avoid, and the implementation or development of appropriate policies and procedures. I have an excellent relationship with the board because they love the church, believe in the mission and strategy of the church, and because they take their role as board members seriously.
We have conducted board member orientation in the past using various methods whereby we discuss our philosophy of ministry, the by-laws, doctrinal statement, articles of incorporation, and the job description of the board. However, I have found a wonderful book that I will begin using this year for orientation. It will give more direction and consistency to our established orientation procedures. The book was given to me when I became a member of the State Board of Missions of the Florida Baptist Convention. The book is titled, "Board Member Orientation: The Concise and Complete Guide to Nonprofit Board Service," by Michael E. Batts. The author "is a CPA and the managing shareholder of Batts Morrison Wales & Lee, P.A., an Orlando-based CPA firm dedicated exclusively to serving nonprofit organizations and their affiliates" (p. 85). He has also served on various boards for 25 years. He writes from experience and with expertise.
The book covers the major responsibilities and guidlines for board service. It is written in a clear and concise way (only 85 pages) that is accessible to everyone. The book is designed to be read by the individual board members in preparation for discussion and review as a group. Each chapter concludes with an executive recap. The last chapter offers a three-step process for conducting board member orientation:
Each member reads the first nine chapters.
You provide each member with the documents of your organization as listed in chapter 10.
You meet and discuss the unique role of your organization. Chapter 10 includes helpful discussion questions to guide the meeting.
I have purchased a copy for each of my board members and will follow this process. The book is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle edition at very affordable prices.
I highly recommend this book to seasoned and new board members, alike. It will make board member orientation easy, clear and helpful. Members will serve with greater confidence and skill after reading this book.
“We envision a church where unchurched people love to attend. Our mission is to help people love God, love others, and serve the world. We do this by creating environmentswhere people are encouraged and equipped to pursue, intimacy with God, community with believers, and ministry to others.”
Jesus said the greatest commandment is to love the Lord your God with all of your heart, mind, and soul (Matthew 22:37-38). We seek to help people express their love for God through our congregational times of worship. We present biblical and practical teaching, uplifting singing, and a friendly, relaxed atmosphere for people to connect with God. We offer contemporary worship experiences (9:30 & 10:45 a.m.), as well as a traditional worship experience (8:00 a.m.). We also seek to create an environment for worship so you can be comfortable inviting your family and friends to our services. It is our desire that unchurched people you invite will want to come back and take a next step in their spiritual journey. Three essential ingredients for us accomplishing our goal are appealing settings (physical environment, first impressions, parking, preschool through student space, etc.), engaging presentations (from the pulpit all the way down to the preschool department), and helpful content (teaching that is both biblical and helpful for life). Our goal is for people to experience intimacy with God.
Jesus said the second greatest commandment is to love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:39). Life was never meant to be lived alone. God formed us for relationships. He designed us for connection. We seek to help people experience Christian community through small groups we call, "LifeGroups." We believe life-change happens better in circles than in rows. It is in a LifeGroup that our large church becomes small; neighbors get to know one another; friendships are formed; pastoral ministry is multiplied. LifeGroups enable you to find the people and the perspective to savor the highs, survive the lows, and share the points in-between. LifeGroups are the heartbeat of our congregation! Our strategy is to continually connect people to groups. Now that space is becoming more limited on our campus, and because many people want to serve on Sunday without having to give up their group, I have instructed Pastor John Shultz to begin more off-campus groups. Right now approximately 100 people enjoy a group in homes during the week. I envision hundreds more people in off-campus LifeGroups in the next five years. Our goal is for people to experience authentic community.
Jesus sent His followers into the world with the mission of sharing God's love through the Good News that Jesus is the Savior (Matthew 28:19-20), and through acts of service to people in need (Matthew 22:39). Our members are challenged with opportunities to serve, pray, and give through practical ministries that make our community and world a better place. Whether it is helping out in a local school, feeding the homeless in a local soup kitchen, or working in our orphanage in Haiti, our members are selflessly serving the world. Through the financial contributions of our members we are able to support missionaries and ministries that truly change the lives of people in Jacksonville and beyond. We want to make it easier for you to serve, pray, and give. Our goal is for people to experience ministry to others.
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