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Get a life - any life!

At last week's deacons meeting we were discussing our now 18 month old church-plant-emerging-church-cum-fresh-expression-cum-thing-in-a-pub and the fact that there are only two people whoever invite anyone along.  One person said, well the question is 'is what is organised suitable to invite people to?'  General grunts of agreement.  So I turned it round and said 'well, do you think what we offer is suitable to invite people to?'  The same person then said, "well you have to ask whether a person would want to walk into that group all sitting around the room?" - a fair question but not exactly an answer to the first question, and when I turned it round again, (so would they?) the questioner seemed to run out of questions!

The discussion concluded that the format is good and the venue, if limited, is not the big issue.  The reality is no one invites anyone.  One person said it was about the titles we use - none of their friends is interested in the relationship of faith and ... I did suggest they could simply say 'oh, we've got someone coming to talk to us about acupuncture' or policing or whatever it might be.  In the end they decided to put an advert in the local press (as well as the usual posters and small scale leaflet drop) for the next event to see if that attracted anyone.  I guess that's fairly safe - it's arm's length, we don't actually have to talk to anyone.

Outside of the meeting, one of them said to me that she actually doesn't know anyone locally (she works in the next town) who doesn't go to a church and so has no one to invite.  This is a fact for many churches I suspect, and why we end up in decline - our lives are so church-centric that there is no one to invite to anything and our invitation services become a farce.  On Sunday I casually asked my congregation who had invited someone to next Sunday's outreach songs of praise service - and received 30 very sheepish looks; the only person who has (and she's invited three) is someone right on the periphery of church life who still has a life outside of it.

I am beginning to think that next time one of my people says we need another prayer meeting I will reply, no, you need to get a life!  Go and meet people, enjoy their company, have some fun... and then you'l, learn the right to invite people along to things at church; only then the potential for drawing in others will begin.

I would not claim to be any better at this than my congregation, but for Sunday have professionally invited 70 people along and personally invited the school caretaker... it's a start.


  • The problem I encounter all the time when we look at undertaking mission is a lack of people to invite. We have no friends outside the church. I encourage folk to invite friends and as one person recently said - they already come.
    So what ever the title, no matter how good the venue and event if we have no life then what can we do!

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