NLIC Weekender (10/30/2014) – Serving Christ through the Art of Invitation

New Life in Christ Weekender
A short reminder of events happening this weekend

[Scroll down for a list of events.]

Dear New Life in Christ Family,

Conduct yourselves wisely toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.” (Colossians 4:5-6).

What do candy, cars, and costumes have in common? They are all give us a chance for us to connect with our neighbors, family, and friends. This Friday night, New Life in Christ Church hosts our annual Trunk n’ Treat Harvest Party event, an easy opportunity to invite our neighbors to come to something fun.

Why don’t we invite people to more events, even when we believe they will benefit from going? There are many excuses for not inviting others to come to church events, but events like Trunk n Treat make it easy to invite people:

  • Some people say, “I didn’t think about it.” Since you are reading this email, you have a good reminder. Who can you invite?
  • Others say, “I’m afraid I’ll be rejected.” There are many studies showing how people are more likely to accept an invitation than we think they are. And, even if they say no, they aren’t rejecting you, they are rejecting candy, costumes, and fun.
  • Many say, “I don’t know how to start the conversation.” Make it easy, ask them what they are doing on Halloween. Ask them if they dress up. And then ask them to go, believing that they will enjoy going.

Here are some thoughts when it comes to inviting others to church:

  • What do you enjoy doing with the church church? Invite some of your friends to join in. Have your kids invite their friends. Cantata, musicals, Christmas Eve Service, children’s ministries. If you are going somewhere, invite and include others to come along with you. We’ve seen a bunch of new kids coming to Boys Brigade this year, simply because people invited them to join in.
  • Do you participate in something at the church? Maybe you do choir, drama, a small group, or teach a Sunday school class. Some of your friends will go just because you are involved. They want to see the things you are involved in.
  • Consistent invitation is meaningful. Many people don’t respond the first time, but when someone they trust regularly invites them to events they are more likely to come.
  • Do you know your neighbors well enough to invite them to come? Studies have shown that most Christians don’t know their neighbors well at all. Take the time to speak with your neighbors. Introduce yourself. Start a “get to know you” campaign and tell your neighbors that you’ve lived there long enough and not known their names. Even if you don’t come to trunk n Treat, Halloween night is a good time to get to know more people in your neighborhood.

I love our Trunk n Treat ministry. It gives me a great chance to connect with the kids of the church and people from the community. If you come, look for the pirate with the buried treasure. Jonathan Allison takes on the lion’s share of the work to make it happen, but it takes a lot of cars to make it fun. For us, it is just part of loving Christ and making him known.

Are you planning to participate? We would love your help! There are lots of simple things to do: put together a game (you can find one easy on the web), put together some food, some face painting, or just come and hand out some candy.

And, while we are talking about it, why not invite your family and friends to church this Sunday? Check out these statistics from church researchers:

  • “Eighty-two percent of the unchurched are at least somewhat likely to attend church if invited.” – Thom Rainer, The Unchurched Next Door
  • “Only two percent of church members invite an unchurched person to church. Ninety-eighty percent of church-goers never extend an invitation in a given year.” –Dr Thom Rainer, The Unchurched Next Door
  • “A study including more than 15,000 adults revealed that about two-thirds are willing to receive information about a local church from a family member and 56 percent from a friend or neighbor. The message is clear that the unchurched are open to conversations about church.” – Philip Nation, LifeWay Research
  • “Four percent of formerly churched adults are actively looking for a church to attend regularly (other than their previous church). Six percent would prefer to resume attending regularly in the same church they had attended. The largest group, 62 percent, is not actively looking but is open to the idea of attending church regularly again.”–Scott McConnell, LifeWay Research
  • “Clearly we can encourage Christians to pray that the unchurched would sense God calling them back, but God works through His people.” “The survey showed that many would respond to an invitation from a friend or acquaintance (41 percent), their children (25 percent) or an adult family member (25 percent).” –Scott McConnell, LifeWay Research
  • “The issue of affinity also surfaced in the responses. Thirty–five percent indicated that they would be inspired to attend church ‘if I knew there were people like me there.’” –Scott McConnell, LifeWay Research
  • “Much to the surprise of the ‘Chicken Little’ crowd, people are still going to church. And more people would attend if given one simple thing—an invitation.” – Philip Nation, LifeWay Research

Faithfully Yours,
Pastor Sean

Upcoming Events

Friday

  • 6:15 PM Trunk ‘n Treat – Invite your children and their friends to a fun night of games, candy, and costumes. We finish the night with a short gospel presentation. We need help with games and activities, so please join us for this fun evening.

Saturday

  • 8:30 AM – Elders and Deacons “Blue Sky Day” – We meet to pray for the church, pray about our future, and determine what it means to be a “gospel church”.
  • 9:00 AM – AM Praise Team Rehearsal

Sunday – Celebration of the Lord’s Supper

(Don’t forget – Daylight Savings Ends Today … “Fall Back” by setting your clock back one hour)

  • Children’s and Adult Sunday School Classes – 9 AM
  • Worship Service – 10 AM –Pastor Doug continues to lead us through our study of Matthew.
  • Evening Service at 6 PM – Joshua Xie speaking – A young man that I met in China is coming to speak at our evening service tonight. Come and hear what God is doing in China and how the church is growing there.
  • Senior High Youth OASIS / Junior High Youth at the Dowell’s home – 7:00 pm – It’s a great night of fun to invite your friends as well as hearing a testimony of how Joshua Xie came to faith in Jesus Christ while in China.
  • Elder-led Prayer Time – 7 PM – Join our evening prayer group for elder-led time of prayer this Sunday and every Sunday through the year. Dan Deaconson and Chris Garcia are leading this week.

 

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