Photo on thexroads.org
We are about 4 weeks away from Easter. Usually for churches, Christmas and Easter are big moments in a church’s calendar. In particular, for us here at HMCC, Easter is our biggest Sunday Celebration gathering every year. Due to the fact that we are on a college campus, we don’t have as many people come out to our Christmas Sunday Celebration compared to our Easter Sunday Celebration. Therefore, we spend a lot of time praying, planning and preparing for our Easter Sunday Celebration. It is just one of the many avenues that we provide for our church members to get involved in God’s heart for the lost.
It is encouraging to see people in our church spend time with pre-Christians to build relationships throughout the year. With the relational investment, we try to exhort our members to invite their friends to join us for our Easter Celebration. Even though our members are inviting and sharing the Gospel throughout the year, there is something special about Easter. It is a time when many pre-Christians are open to checking out church.
Here are some statistics from Thom Rainer’s book, The Unchurched Next Door:
• Only 2% of church-going people invite someone to church in a given year. That means 98% of church-goers never extend an invitation in a given year.
• 7 out of 10 unchurched people have never been invited to church in their whole lives.
• 82% of the unchurched are at least somewhat likely to attend church if invited.
If we just rely on these statistics, we have to conclude that there is definitely a problem in the Church. Why are there only 2% of church members who are inviting people to church? Is it because they are embarrassed of their church? Are they afraid of rejection? Or is it because they do not know any pre-Christians in their sphere of influence?
It is sad to find out that 82% of the unchurched would be open to attending church if they were invited. Therefore, we know that the problem is not with the pre-Christian and the problem is not with God because He is always moving in the hearts of people. Ultimately, the problem is that we, as Christ-followers fail to take up our responsibility to invest and invite.
As we will have the privilege of having our Easter Celebration this year at the Michigan Theater, let’s do our part in inviting people that we have been praying for since the One Desire Fast. The seating capacity at Michigan Theater is 1,700, therefore we have more than enough room to welcome people to encounter God. I pray that we will do our part because we know that God will always do His part in bringing lost people to Himself.
Here is a video that reminds us of the importance of the invitation.