One of the most important part of every church worship service is the invitation.
It provides unsaved souls the opportunity to respond to Christ after a message is presented. When preparing for an upcoming service, there are several things to consider that will make the time of invitation more impactful. Ask yourself: Have we spent time sincerely praying about the invitation? Have we spent adequate time in preparation for the invitation? Have we thought through the transition from the sermon/message to the invitation?
Those are a few of several things that need to be considered when presenting an invitation in churches. While an invitation is primarily held for lost souls to pray and receive Christ, let us not forget that an invitation is also an opportunity for saved believers to respond to Christ.
An Invitation to Ministry
Most invitations miss the opportunity to balance the call of response to Christian young people and adults to follow Christ in a ministry opportunity. Think about it – when was the last time you heard an invitation that encouraged teenagers, college students and adults to take up their cross and follow him in vocational ministry? There are so many opportunities to follow Christ in missions, youth ministry, music ministry, children’s ministry, family ministry, recreation ministry, and preaching ministry, in both a full or part time capacity.
Celebrate the Call
As a pastor, I certainly failed at times to provide the opportunity for believers to respond to an invitation that encouraged them to follow Christ in ministry opportunities. In fact, the church itself has not always been faithful in celebrating the fact that God may be calling a young person or adult into ministry. Sometimes even the family does not rejoice when their loved one is willing to follow Christ in vocational ministry. Even my father as a young teenage preacher was not encouraged to follow Christ in surrendering to be a gospel preacher. His family would have rather him be a medical doctor.
Going vs. Giving
There is no doubt that God is still calling believers to give their lives a living sacrifice and to follow Christ in ministry, even young believers. I believe that today, our younger generations are more doers than givers. In other words, many are more interested in getting their hands and feet involved in ministry vs. giving monetarily. One of my daughters experienced God’s calling on her life during her teenage years to serve the Lord through missions, and we rejoiced with her. Thankfully, she was provided with an invitation to respond and solidify that commitment.
Pastors, don’t miss the opportunity.
Let’s be faithful in giving an invitation for lost souls to receive Christ, but also giving the invitation to invite God’s people to surrender themselves totally to the will and service of Christ. Let’s trust God in his calling of our members to serve him faithfully daily. Let’s also trust him to call his servants to full-time Christian service. God wants to use his servants, so let’s encourage the call upon their lives and provide them that opportunity to be used.