I love the State Evangelism Conference. The music is always glorious and the preaching powerful. As a pastor, I never missed it. It is the time we are called once again to make the main thing the main thing. Like a smart bomb, the Holy Spirit targets our confused and busy-filled lives with the singular message that we are to be on mission to seek and save that which is lost.
The vast majority of church-going, tithing, Bible-believing Christians do little to impact lostness around them. They have been duped by the enemy into believing they cannot be a witness. His expertly devised excuses stick in the mind and fall from the lips of these wonderful, godly, caring people. Such things as, “I don’t know enough Bible” (this after years in Sunday School and church). Or, “I don’t know how to witness” (even though most churches have had witness training for years). On and on, ad nauseam is the plethora of excuses.
At the conference, Johnny Hunt reminded us of a simple truth. None of us can escape the responsibility to invite people to come to church to hear about Jesus. There is an interesting statistic that has been proven again and again. Eighty-five percent of unchurched people indicate that they would attend church if given an invitation.
Hunt reminded us of the familiar passage in John 1 where John the Baptist pointed Andrew and John to Jesus. Andrew then found Peter and introduced him to Jesus. Jesus then calls Phillip, and Phillip finds Nathanael and introduces him to Jesus. Jesus took care of the salvation part of the equation.
I would like to challenge all of us to take a step toward impacting lostness. From now until Easter, make it a point to invite at least one person to attend church with you each week. It is a very natural and easy approach. Just invite the person at the check-out counter or at basketball practice or at the restaurant to come to your church the next Sunday. Even the most introverted person among us could say, “We have a great church, and I would like for you to come visit us next Sunday. I would be glad to meet you at the door and sit with you.”
While an invitation to church is not a confrontational presentation of the Gospel, it is a beginning place for you and them. I am convinced that if a person attends church, sits under the preaching of the Gospel and experiences spiritual worship, they will be presented with ample opportunity to accept the Savior.
Oklahoma Baptist churches are being challenged to participate March 31 in an attempt to contact 100,000 homes with an invitation to be in church on Easter Sunday. It is doable. In fact, I believe we can contact far more than that. Our goal is to sow down Oklahoma with an invitation to come on the one Sunday every preacher will focus on the simple, but powerful, Gospel of the crucified and risen Lord. Make sure you and your church invite your community. Information is available in the Evangelism Office. Join us.