1. Be intentional. Plan to invite people to events and always be prepared for unexpected opportunities. Make sure you have invitations with you. Always be thinking about who you can ask along to the event – don’t leave everything to the last minute!
2. Don’t talk yourself out of it. Invite people confidently – God is at work! Don’t keep talking nervously and start making excuses for them; offer the invitation confidently and then wait for a reply.
3. Use attractive language to describe the event (as long as it’s true). If you’re not excited about the event, they won’t be! Make sure they know it’s Christian – they won’t appreciate being ambushed!
4. Be realistic. Expect several knock-backs for every acceptance. For every event, plan to invite three or four people.
Don’t interpret a single knock-back as a sign that you should never invite that person again. It takes multiple invitations for some people to say ‘yes’. For others it may be that that particular event wasn’t convenient.
5. Link your invitation with a meal. If you’re inviting people to morning church, then ask them to come over for lunch afterwards. If you’re inviting them to an evening talk, perhaps you could go out for coffee later. This not only gives you a chance to talk afterwards but also displays your commitment to the friendship.
6. Become known as an inviter – not just to Christian events – invite people to share your life on other occasions too (eg, sport, meals kids, movies). People want to know there’s more to the relationship than whether they come along to church with you!
7. Organise to pick them up or meet them outside the venue. (Then be on time!) No-one wants to walk into an unfamiliar environment alone.
Try asking two or more people to attend together. People feel safer in numbers and there is more chance of an acceptance.
8. Make sure you clearly convey the details of the event – date, time, location, what the event is about, cost (if any). If people are uncertain about anything then they either won’t say yes, or won’t turn up.
9. Give them a call, email or SMS to confirm the details they day before the event. This is particularly worthwhile if your friend is disorganised and might have forgotten.
10. Invite people far enough in advance that they have plenty of notice, (enough to book babysitters for eg.) , but not so far ahead that they are unlikely to commit themselves.
11. Still attend even if you have no-one to go with. A half empty room says that what is happening isn’t really that important. Also, there will be other guests you can talk with and help by making them feel welcome. (And you can tell your friends what they missed out on!)
12. Pray constantly for the people you plan to invite. Do it because you love them and want them to know the love of God displayed in Jesus Christ!
Thank you to Hazel Nisbet (Woonona Presbyterian Community Church) for providing this resource.