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The spot for the good news, the good word, the quick reports of the many, many wonderful news items I hear all the time and want to share with the rest of you. Expect to find the good news when you come to check out "what’s the good word?"

Monday, March 12, 2012

Invited!


The following quote is from Lovett H. Weems Jr., a United Methodist Church Minister and director of the Lewis Center for Church Leadership. If his name sounds familiar, it may be because Weems has occasionally been a guest speaker at the Temple and is a good friend of Community of Christ. In a recent article entitled Time to Invite, Weems made the following observation.
In the last year, several friends who live in different parts of the country have returned to church after a number of years of inactivity. This is encouraging and counter to the national trend since 2002 of fewer people attending church. There are two striking characteristics among these church returners.
  • None returned to a church of their former denomination.
  • All returned because they were invited by a friend.
Lovett's story reminds us of the importance of always inviting people to Christ. It also reminded me of the following.
A number of years ago, I was sharing with Brydges Street Community of Christ in London, ON. This congregation was, and still is, being intentional about reaching out to their surrounding community. As Easter approached, a group of leaders met to plan the annual Good Friday breakfast and program, as well as the Easter worship. A great deal of creative effort went into the planning, and it was clear that the ministry offered would be outstanding. The question was asked, How can we convince people to invite their family and friends to this important service?
Consequently, we designed a little pocket or purse-sized folder that was imprinted with the words, “Inside this folder are the means to bring your family and friends to church.” Inside the folder we placed six colourful tickets, resembling the tickets you might get at the movie theatre or the hockey arena. On one side of each ticket was information about the Good Friday breakfast, and on the other side was an invitation to the Easter Sunday service.
About a month before Easter, one folder was given to each person at church. Some were skeptical when they received their folder, but I remember how excited I was when one sister said with indignation, “Is that all I get; six tickets?” You can be sure we quickly gave her some more!
The good news was that people used the tickets and invited their friends. The Good Friday breakfast was full for two sittings, and people stayed for the Good Friday program following. Several people came for the Easter service on Sunday morning, which was their first time attending that church. For some, it was their first time attending any church in many years. Congregation members followed up with them, extending the invitation to come again, and many did. Several came back regularly and at least five eventually asked for baptism. Why did they do that? Because they were invited!
Easter, 2012 is just four weeks away. Is there someone you could invite to come to church and experience resurrection and renewal? What a Happy Easter that would be for them and for you.
Posted by Carman

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