That Excuse is not Excused

The Latest Word from John Ed Mathison

People bring people to Christ and the church. That’s a basic Biblical principle that’s essential for a healthy church. With all major mainline churches declining, let’s go back to the basics. After 50 years of ministry, I think I’ve heard most of the excuses of why people and churches don’t practice this principle. People inviting and bringing people to Christ and the church should be an ongoing practice of every member of every church.

Here are some excuses I’ve heard for not inviting – and a rebuttal for each:

1. “I think that’s the minister’s job.” A huge misconception about church is that the minister is hired to do the ministry. The Bible clearly states that every member of the church is a minister. I wrote a book, Every Member in Ministry, that is available on our website. It has become a resource for hundreds of churches.

2. “I don’t think people would be interested in coming.” It’s not our prerogative to determine whether or not people are going to come. It’s our responsibility to invite them. We are not called to be successful – we are called to be faithful!

3. “Our church is big enough.” Whenever a church thinks it’s big enough, it departs from Scriptural expectations. The Great Commission to go and make disciples does not include a membership limit!

4. “I’m afraid people will be offended.” Would a person with a fatal illness be offended if you offered them an invitation to see a doctor who could definitely help heal them? Most people will never be offended by a winsome, sincere, humble invitation.

5. “I don’t know the person well enough to invite them.” Sometimes it’s easier to invite people that you don’t know well. We should be inviting everybody that we do know well– and don’t know well!

6. “I’m not sure our people would accept them.” A church must be open for all people regardless of their education level, or skin color, or financial strength, or dress, or some sin they committed. If the church starts defining who can and cannot be invited, we cease to be a church and become a social club!

7. “My religion is private – just between me and God.” Christian faith is private, but it is also public. I’m glad that Jesus, the disciples, and the early church didn’t keep their faith private, or else we wouldn’t have a church today. Private faith is an oxymoron!

8. “I don’t invite because we have a committee on evangelism at the church.” That’s a good recipe for decline and ultimate closure. The entire church is the evangelism committee!

9. “When talking with people we get involved in conversations about a lot of interesting things and I forget to do it.” We don’t forget things that are really important. If we forget to invite people to Christ and His church, it indicates that our faith and love for people are far down our list of priorities!

10. “It has never occurred to me that this is something I ought to do.” After reading this article, this will never again be a legitimate excuse.
No excuse – the only day you don’t need to invite people is on a day of the week that doesn’t end in Y!


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