A Season of Invitation
April 3, 2014When my children were very young and I had just moved to a new area, several people – at different times - invited me to join a Christian group. In the beginning I smiled and said “Thank you” but had no intention of going along. I didn’t think it was my sort of thing for lots of reasons: it was a group; it was for women; it went by the name of “Good News Cuppa”...
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest”. Matthew 11.28.On the other hand, the people who were inviting me seemed genuinely kind – and there was a crèche. So I agreed to go. As things turned out the group it became a significant part of my life for several years; a place where my discipleship deepened. It was also significant for its ministry to the wider community, but that is another story. A lot happened in my life because I was invited to join that Christian group. Invitation is so important – and it is something we often forget about. We think that people know where our Church is, we assume that they will come if they want to. But, we all know, they probably won’t.
Jesus invites us all; it is up to us to pass on the invitation to the people who haven’t heard it yet.There is a new range of resources that will help us to invite people to our churches: ‘A Season of Invitation’ identifies five special Sundays between September and Christmas – Harvest and Remembrance, for example. There are cards you can buy to help members of the congregation to invite their friends; there are hints and tips on how to make your regular services ‘sparkle’; there will be an interactive map with details of your church’s activities. Take a look at www.seasonofinvitation.co.uk/about/ - booking goes live on April 22nd . You can follow A Season of Invitation on Twitter by clicking here. The resource has grown out of the ‘Back to Church Sunday’ movement, taking it further and making it more flexible. (Janet Russell is the ‘champion’ for the Diocese and you can contact her on 01874 623 716). Invitation is one of the key elements that enable churches to grow - and it is at the heart of the kingdom of God. Jesus himself invited us all to receive from him, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest”. Matthew 11.28. Jesus invitation is for everyone; it is up to us to pass on the invitation to the people who haven’t heard it yet.