Today, I would take 5 minutes to talk about your invitation to your friend’s to come to church on September 30. In the next Sunday’s we will explore how we, as a church community, can prepare for BACK TO CHURCH SUNDAY.
This message is about the power of the story. In my experience preaching to people telling them what to think and what to do, and especially what not to do is not effective communication.
On the other hand, sharing a story which relates to one’s own experience and heart is very powerful. Jesus knew that !
I was an excellent parent. Of course, I had no children, but I had been parented RIGHT?!
I was an excellent parent right up until the time Dianne and her three kids moved in. Children are God’s gift to us of humility. Teenagers are especially precious in forcing our humility aren’t they?
Why do grandparents love their grandchildren so much? …. REVENGE
Clean your room !
I preached that message over and over again.
How effectively was the message received, do you think?
Here is another message !
The numbers in our congregation are declining. We cannot meet our building expenses. We need to increase attendance and giving. So, everyone here, bring at least one person to church on September 30. WE NEED NEW PEOPLE !!!
Oh, and by the way, I hope you made your bed and cleaned your room before coming to church this morning!
How effective is this? Are you now committed to invite someone to church ?
When I was 9 years old, we moved to a new town, and I was bullied. The name Neil Borby stills strikes anger in my heart. Was he really only a ten year kid ? I thought of him as an agent of Satan?
My family did not attend church, but my mother heard the local church was starting a boy’s choir. She felt that would be good for me, so we attended St.Phillips Anglican church in Montreal West, and I sang in the choir. My mother, who did not attend church up to that point, continued attending St. Phillips long after I left home. We held her funeral there.
Jesus, just as he uses teenagers to provide teachable moments, takes a wound and makes it beautiful.
In my twenties I stopped going to church (my voice broke).
Another series of crisis far worse than Neil Borby struck me. Many times during this dark, depressing time, I was approached by a number of people inviting me to church.
I met Dianne. Tom and Beth Williams, friends of Dianne’s invited us over for coffee. During coffee Tom said “Now we are going to study the book of John”. Terror struck my gut, my palms were sweaty but I was trapped. That was over twenty years ago.
Today, I can safely say, if it was not for that invitation, I would not be here today. I am quite sure I would not be alive in 2012.
So, BACK TO CHURCH again
We all have a story. We all have wounds. God uses our stories, and our wounds to effect change for good.
Your friends and neighbours, like everyone alive today are wounded through life’s experiences.
Your invitation to church is not about you, it is a gift to your friend.
It may not be the first invitation they have had, it may not be the last. Remember, it is not about you.
Shall we pray ?
Dear Lord, you know what is on our hearts, you know who needs your healing. Please give us the courage and conviction to step out in faith and invite that person to church. Let your Holy Spirit use us to be your conduit.
By the way, in August, we visited our daughter, Caitlin, at her apartment in Saskatoon. Caitlin said “Tim, you are not going to leave that there are you ?” “please put your shoes in the hall”