5 Ways to Invite Someone to Advent Services & Christmas Eve
If you were at church this past Sunday, you went home with a cotton ball in your pocket to remind you to pray for someone you know who has been wandering away from Jesus and his people, and to invite them to one of our Advent services or Christmas Eve services over the next month.
Maybe you know who your cotton ball represents – the person you are praying for and wanting to extend an invite to, but you’re wondering how you’re actually going to make the invite to them. Here are five simple ideas:
Make A Personal Invitation
Believe it or not, there was a day when every invitation was a personal invitation. No social media. No cell phone. No texting. Just you and I talking face to face with people we know and love, in the midst of the everyday, ordinary things of life.
People love personal invitations. Survey’s show us that six out of ten people would accept an invitation to church if someone just made the invite. Think about the normal, everyday routines you will have this week, the places you will go, the people you will see. Think about ten, short, simple, personal invites you can make. See if the stats stack up.
Make An Impersonal Invitation
Although most people appreciate a personal invitation, not every invitation has to be a personal invitation. We do live in an age of social media, and by God’s grace, He is using it, like He does all things, to draw people to Himself.
Paul used all the tools available to him in his day – shoes, boats, donkey’s, papyrus, his voice, etc. – to reach as many people as he could. We can do the same with the technology we have in our day. So post it. Share it. Like it. Use it.
Make An Extended Invitation
The people you would invite to Advent services or Christmas Eve likely want to spend time with you, more than they want to spend time at church. That’s great, and that says something great about you and the relationship they have or want with you. That says something about what they see in you – and Who they see in you.
Instead of just inviting them to Advent services or Christmas Eve, invite them to celebrate Christmas with you, in one way or another. Make a little more room around your table one night this December, or even on Christmas Eve. Invite them to the Christmas Block Party on December 9th, where they can meet other people from your community here at The Village. Use the “misc.” money in your budget to cover lunch at that restaurant you go to after church one morning in December. Don’t just invite them to church. Invite them into your life, and into the things you do every Advent season.
Make An Invitation To Christmas Eve, Not Church
I’m going to start inviting people to Christmas Eve, not necessarily to church. I did the same around Easter, and about half the conversations I started with people started something like, “Hey John, do you guys celebrate Easter? Is there anyone in town that you typically celebrate with?” I plan to use this same conversation starter surrounding Christmas this Advent season.
I’ve found this particularly helpful living in a city that is both transient and diverse. There are lots of people here with no family. No strong connections or traditions. There are also lots of families we know that know something about Christmas, but not much. They’d like to know more about what they see as American traditions and holidays, but don’t know where to start. Either way, an invitation to a Christmas celebration, which includes a morning at church, is a great place to start.
Make An Invitation to Another Church
As much as you and I would like everyone we invite to Advent services and Christmas Eve to join us at The Village, we want people to meet Jesus more than we want them to meet The Village. There will be some people that need to visit a larger church, to feel more anonymous, or visit a church with a different feel, where they feel more comfortable. That’s great, and we should do our best to serve them by recommending another church to them. Dina and I have done this a number of times recently, and although if we’re honest, we would have loved for them to come to The Village, we’re glad Jesus is at work in their lives, through whatever church that might be.
I hope one of these ideas is a timely reminder for you and someone you’re wanting to invite to Advent services or Christmas Eve this year.