Evangelism: Invitation

“Invitation”

A series on evangelism

Alec Wallis

18 September 2016


Invitation is a form of evangelism

Question: Why are invitations important?

1) Inviting people is essential

When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they invited him to their home and explained to him the way of God more adequately

Acts 18:26

Priscilla and Aquila’s heart to help

They invited Apollos to their home to teach him the way of Christ

They wanted to make Apollos comfortable

They were able to open their home

Apollos shows his heart to be willing to be corrected by others

No doubt being invited would have made it easier

Jesus also was into inviting people

Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.”

Matthew 4:19

Jesus invites us to follow him in saving others

Jesus invites us to be his disciples and therefore we are invited to heaven

Jesus also teaches us how to invite others

Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbours; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid.

But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14 and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.

Luke 14:12-14

Jesus is stressing the need to invite those who have no means of paying us back

When we invite, if for physical or spiritual needs, it must be completely unselfish

Invitation flier for the men’s breakfast

This is an example of an invitation Jan and Grace made for people to come to the men’s breakfast we had at our church

Myself and others posted these fliers in many letterboxes, gave them to different people, and they were available at English class and toddler time.

We were hoping that by meeting a physical need of food that people’s spiritual need to hear the gospel would be met

Brings us on to our next point

2) Stepping stones

There are some people who are truly seeking truth

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

Jeremiah 29:13

Seekers: Non-Christians who have some interest in Christianity are sometimes called “seekers” (because although they haven’t found Christ yet, they are “seeking” him)

In the skit, my character was a seeker because they asked Ivor’s character to know more about church

Evangelism would be so much easier if everyone was a seeker

Engels scale

The engels scale was designed to help people understand that everyone is at different stages in their walk with Jesus

Some do not know anything about their creator while others have a great love for following Jesus

Priscilla and Aquila were at an advantage because Apollos already had an understanding of scripture

He even knew who Jesus was but only knew the baptism of John

There were gaps that Priscilla and Aquila were about to teach so that Apollos was able

Seekers are people who if you invite them to church they are more likely to say yes than others are

Many people today do not care or are even anti-Christianity

Some people in the Western world would be a one on the scale but that is increasing

This scale tends to look at the knowledge factor rather than the attitude factor

Therefore we need different ‘stepping stones’ to get people closer along the engels scale and closer to becoming a Christian and attending a church

The spring fair we had yesterday may not result directly in people coming to church today but it at least allowed people to meet with us and therefore have some understanding of who attends our church.

3) Practical invitation

One question we could ask ourselves is do we want others to be saved?

Most Christians I have met would say yes

This is what Spurgeon says about the others:

Have you no wish for others to be saved? Then you’re not saved yourself, be sure of that!

Charles Spurgeon

Many churches wait for people to come through the doors

They may see our sign or our website and attend which is great

We cannot have the mindset that evangelism is limited to signs and ads

Our church has different outreaches that we can invite people to

  • Toddler time on Wednesday mornings
  • English class on Saturday mornings

We must invite people to join us – even if they say no

John asking his neighbour to the men’s breakfast

That is why men’s breakfast and other similar activities are something we as a church need to support

They create easier opportunities for people to attend something in addition to the Sunday service

We must be ok with people saying no

Our responsibility is not to be successful when we invite – it is to invite

Too many Christians think it is better not to invite because in case they send the person in the wrong direction

On average it takes seven people to have conversations about Jesus before a person becomes a Christian

On average it takes seven years for a person to go from hearing about Jesus to becoming a Christian

One of the great things about Priscilla and Aquila is that their investment in Apollos did bear fruit

I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow

1 Corinthians 3:6

Apollos went on to do such great ministry that Paul uses him as an example

There are times when our efforts are not in vain

As this verse also acknowledges sometimes we may not see the fruit

Paul planted the seed that Apollos watered so Paul may not have seen the result of his evangelism whereas Apollos did.

We may not be the seventh person to have the conversation that leads to conversion but we may be for many people one of those who helps move them closer to Jesus

Let us continue to be bold and strive to invite people even if we get refused

Challenge: To invite people to church events and to church