Is It That Easy? Can We Simply Invite People To Church?

As parishioners of churches far and wide we can read the following as Good News, not Law. Thom Rainer, a popular Christian Researcher, did a survey in 2002 on un-churched people and found that:
"Ninety-six percent of the unchurched are at least somewhat likely to attend church if they are invited. Perhaps we need to pause on this response. Perhaps we need to restate it. More than nine out of 10 of the unchurched said they would come to church if they were invited. If you glean anything from this article, please remember this point.
What constitutes an invitation? For many of the unchurched, it was a simple invitation to come to one's church. For others, it was an invitation that included an offer to meet someone at church to show them around or walk them in the building. In either case, the process was pretty basic. If we invite them, they will come."
While some may argue that Rainer's data may be too old and irrelevant, I happen to believe that inviting people to church is still not something we need to fear or worry about.  It has been my experience that the majority of the people who are invited to church actually feel honored! 

It is really pretty simple, we simply invite our neighbors and friends to hear the Gospel. No pressure to give slick church sales techniques, no proselytizing; just, "Hey join me at church and hear from the Bible!" Seeing outreach through this lens makes things pretty simple, doesn't it? As a church we invite -- pastors preach and proclaim Jesus -- God works through the Word!

What a gift to invite people to a Sunday Morning Worship Service to hear the Good News of God's forgiveness of sins in Jesus Christ.  


terriergal said…
My question is-- why don't we share the gospel instead of or as well as inviting to church?

I heard a podcast several years ago... or was it an article...? I can't remember now... where the author/speaker suggested the worst place for an unbeliever is in church, because there they gradually get inoculated against the truth. The guy made a fairly good case. I wish I could find where I read/heard that.
I guess I have a pretty big assumption and that is... that the Gospel is actually being preached at the church an individual is inviting them to.

Of course, this would be disastrous if people were being invited to churches that were proclaiming a "moral therapeutic deistic" message.
Anonymous said…
I think it is a great idea to bring an unsaved person to church. That is, if one's church preaches the gospel, and it is presented in a clear biblical way. In my experience, coming from the seeker sensitive movement, the world is drawn or enticed into the church through entertainment, a “great band”, programs etc. This can muddle everything though. Before you know it, you have an unregenerate person teaching Sunday school or serving on the elder board. The seeker sensitive churches have so many programs and activities that they are always desperate for workers and volunteers. I've seen and experienced much of this. I may not know if one is truly born again but I guess by the fruit (or lack of) in their lives.

I believe the church is for believers, to study the bible together, worship, to be taught, have fellowship, pray, have communion and encourage one another. As the flock does this they are equipped and strengthened to go out to the world with the gospel. The unregenerate are always welcome though.