Tuesday, June 18, 2013

You Never Invited Me

This weekend at St. James' we did something familiar and we did something new.

We had our semi-annual rummage sale and barbeque lunch and it was wildly successful.  The cooks outdid themselves, the rummage provided another solid infusion for our youth and children's programs, and many people found things they wanted or needed. 

And we invited people into the church for tours.  Later in the morning, Josh Shipman and Kevin McClure from Seminary of the Southwest played our historic organ.

After I had walked through the church with a woman who had never been inside before, she told me that she had attended the rummage sale for many years and never been invited to our church.  This woman said she could tell from the people who were working at the rummage sale that we were a friendly and welcoming group of people.  But what meant the most to her was that we had given her the invitation and we had said to her, "Please join us in church."

I preached about this on Sunday because the memory awakened me in the middle of the night.  You see, we are friendly people.  When someone finds their way into the church, we welcome them, we engage them, and most of them stay.  I'll say again what I said in my sermon, because I think it's important...

We are not an evangelical people. 

We think people know they're invited to our church.
We don't want to intrude and suggest that they don't have their own church but maybe they don't.

We don't want to be rude and intimate that they might like our church better but maybe they would.
We think people know they're invited to our church.

But they don't know until we say the words.
If there is someone you've been thinking of inviting to church, I hope you will be moved to speak the invitation aloud. 

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