For years, Christians have been encouraged to invite friends to worship with them. In that encouragement, the question “Why?” is often left unconsidered and ultimately unanswered. In response, many members conclude that the invitation of a friend to worship is the entire goal. That conclusion may even be reinforced by the announcement of attendance numbers the Sunday following a “Friends and Family Day”.
While inviting friends and family to worship is a good practice, the end goal must consist of more than people in pews. Christians have been called to make disciples (Mt. 28:19-20), and accomplishing that goal requires more than sitting in a pew together. When a friend visits the Lord’s church, consider what they see and take the opportunity to make a disciple.
What will they see? If we are the church Jesus purchased with His blood, they will see a great deal.
- They will see true, pure love between members (Jn. 13:35).
- They will see imperfect people who help each other with their struggles (Gal. 6:1-2).
- They will see worship in spirit and truth (Jn. 4:23-24)
- They will see people listening to and seriously contemplating the Scriptures together (1 Tim. 4:13).
Now take the opportunity to make a disciple. These sights may well be enough to spark a visitor’s curiosity concerning the Lord’s church. In that curiosity rests an opportunity to make a disciple of Christ. A curious mind is fertile ground for the truth of the gospel. When that curiosity presents itself, listen and show them passages like these:
- “[God] desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Tim. 2:4)
- “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (Jn. 3:16)
- “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.” (Mk. 16:15-16)
Invite a friend to worship, yes, but realize that sitting in a pew together does not a disciple make. When they see the love, patience, and dedication to the Scriptures that is found in the Lord’s church, their curiosity may be sparked. And if they are unfamiliar with the gospel, you, Christian, must show them. Talk about what they saw, listen to their thoughts, and offer them the Scriptures so that they might be saved.
Remember our mission, brothers and sisters! Let’s teach the world, starting with the people we already know.