“Why do we not invite?”
That was the question the group of Coffee Break leaders were discussing. We began to list the responses on a white board. At first, the answers were easy….
- I’m afraid people will say ‘no’.
- I fear rejection.
- What if they come and don’t like it?
- What if my guest doesn’t feel welcomed?
- They might think I am judging them or trying to fix them.
Then we dug a little deeper: what else keeps us from inviting our friends to a Bible study conversation? The answers became more personal. There were times of silence between responses….
- Inviting is risky. If I invite them and they say ‘no’, it might change our relationship.
- If they come, I will have to sit with them and commit to being with them.
- My relationships in the group will change.
- It changes my experience of the study.
- I don’t really like them that much. I would rather hang out with my friends.
- What if my guest embarrasses me?
- I don’t know anyone to invite.
The group was somber. Convicted. They prayed, confessed and asked God for courage.
The Coffee Break which pushed itself by asking and answering those “inviting” questions together had been meeting with two groups for several years. After that conversation, several new people were invited to join their group. In fact, they had to start another group.
Inviting is a natural response to the good news of the gospel. God reigns as the world’s King through his Son Jesus Christ and everything is being made beautiful under his timing and control. When I belong to Jesus my sins are forgiven and I am an heir to all of his good plans. That’s great news to share with friends, neighbors and family! In a Coffee Break conversation, friends discover the gospel story for themselves through the pages of the Bible.
What are the reasons for inviting a friend to come and read and discover God’s word with you?
- It will deepen your conversations.
- You will gain new insights about the Bible from your friend.
- Your friend will experience the power of God’s Word.
- Your group will be encouraged.
- Your friend will feel respected because you invited them to something that is important to you.
What else might you add to that list?
Some people are naturally gifted at inviting. Others find inviting terrifying. Talk to God about your fear or your hesitation. As a matter of fact, while writing this piece I was convicted by my recent poor inviting and hospitality record. I confessed that I have felt afraid and vulnerable. So, while walking my dog, I asked God to make me more inviting–in both senses of the word. Later that the evening, a neighbor who has never called me before, texted and asked if she could come over for sewing advice! Maybe the most important thing you can do is admit you can’t do this alone but follow where God is already at work inviting people to himself.
Please help us shape the lists! What reasons have kept you from inviting? What are benefits of inviting people to join you in Bible discovery? Please post your ideas in the comment boxes below!