Welcome to Emmanuel United Church of Christ

Definition of INVITE
transitive verb
1 a : to offer an incentive or inducement to : ENTICE; b : to increase the likelihood of <invite trouble>
2 a : to request the presence or participation of <invited us to dinner>; b : to request formally; c : to urge
politely : WELCOME <invite comments> — in·vit·er noun
Examples of INVITE
I visited their house once, but they’ve never invited me back.
I’m planning to invite them for the weekend.
Aren’t you going to invite me in for a coffee?
The event is limited to invited guests.
Employees are invited to apply for the new position.
The college invited her to speak at the graduation ceremony.
The company invites suggestions from customers.
And I would add: I think I would go to church if anyone ever invited me.

I know that you all know the meaning of the word invite but how many of you have used this knowledge to invite someone to
church lately – or at all?
I include this excerpt from an article I read this week by James Emery White in Outreach Magazine. He is referring to reaching
people to come to church and how they are attracted to a particular church. His article was about the “unchurched” but I
believe it would pertain to anyone who doesn’t go to church.
“Think of it this way: In today’s paper, there were probably dozens of ads for new cars. If you read the paper, did you
notice them? It’s doubtful – unless you are in the market for a car. (These days, it’s doubtful you even read a newspaper – but
let’s play this out.)
“If you’re not in the market for a car, it doesn’t matter to you if a dealer is having a sale, promises a rebate, has a radio onsite
broadcast, hangs out balloons, says they’re better than everyone else, promises that they will be different and not harass
you or make you bargain over the price, or sends you a brochure or push e-mail.
“Why? You’re not in the market for a car.
“It’s no different with a church. People today are divorced from seeing it as a need in their lives, even when they are open
to and interested in spiritual things. They no longer tie that to the need to find a particular faith, much less a particular church.
“This is important because there is so much talk about cracking a particular cultural code in order to reach the unchurched
and grow a church that the real investment involved is either forgotten or brushed aside.
“So how do you grow a church from the unchurched?
“I’ll assume you know the “pray like mad” part.
“Here’s step 2. Crawl underneath the hood of any growing church that is actually growing from the unchurched, and you
will find that the number one reason newcomers attend is that they were invited by a friend.
“Churches grow from the unchurched because their members and attendees talk about it to their unchurched friends. It
comes up in their conversations like the mention of a good movie, a favorite restaurant, or a treasured vacation spot.
“There is a culture of invitation.
“As Michael Green noted about the explosive growth of the early church, which was entirely conversion growth, Christians
were talking about the church, Jesus, and the gospel like it was gossip over the backyard fence.
“Then he goes on to write: We also track how they came to the church. Was it through direct mail? Did they see a sign?
Did they drive by and see the campus?
“The number one answer has never changed: “I was invited by a friend.”
“That’s how you do it.”
And so I ask you to try it. If you can invite them to the turkey supper – you can invite them to church on Sunday morning.
You’ll never know unless you try.
God bless you all!


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