The Lost Art of Inviting – California Southern Baptist Convention

The Lost Art of Inviting

Published Jul 14, 2021

By Ralph Neighbour

The CSBC Church Revitalization Team is hosting Count the Cost “Huddles” around the state with almost 250 churches that have completed a Count the Cost Assessment. 

Listening sessions reveal the biggest challenge churches face is making weekly contacts with potential attendees. 

A ‘potential attendee’ is a person who occasionally attends your church, or a person who potentially would come if invited by someone from your church. This would be someone:

  • who does not currently attend church, 
  • who lives near the church and 
  • with whom someone in your church has a healthy relationship.

The Count the Cost process encourages these people be invited to church every week. This can be daunting for the average pastor or person extending the invitation.

The Church Revitalization Team believes, “culture eats strategy for lunch.” That means if the culture of your church is not an inviting culture (which is most of the declining churches in America) then all the strategies created to contact ‘potential attendees’ is useless. So, what’s the answer?

Pastor, as with all initiatives in your church, you are the answer. It all begins with you. You set the example.

We also have a saying, “Think big, start small and move with the movers.”

  1. Identify all your potential attendees. Find the person in your church that loves to make lists and if possible, understands spreadsheets. Start making a list of all potential attendees. Make that person the curator and watcher of that list.
  2. Identify all the people in your church who are “social butterflies”. They love talking with people and are not afraid to make calls. 
  3. Invite those people to a meeting where you share the vision and ask them to participate in making weekly prayer calls. Even if you start with only a few, that’s okay. At least you are starting something.
  4. The call is no more than three minutes long by asking “potential attendees:” How are you doing? How can I pray for you? Then, pray for them. Finally, share what is happening at church on Sunday and invite them!

This is one way to begin finding new potential attendees. Pastor, remember you must set the example.