Wednesday, December 10, 2008


This is the time of year where there are a lot of things going on and there are a lot of invitations: office parties, open houses, cookie exchanges, dinners, etc. We get some and we extend some, trying to fit in as many as possible.

I'd like to suggest that maybe we should all add a few more to that list:

1) Invite someone to come to your church, your Bible study, your youth group or whatever - then invite them to come back. This and Easter are the two times of year when attendance at church swells with people who do not attend on a regular basis. And, at this time of year, people are more likely to accept your invitation. Even though people may come on their own, being personally invited - and being personally invited to come back - will help them to make a connection. If you are not currently involved, accept an invitation, or find a friend and ask to go along. Make the effort, reach out. I think that if you go to church with someone you know, it is much more likely that you will be comfortable, more open to listening and more likely to want to come back.

2) Invite someone to discuss their faith. I've written here before (October 24) about not arguing with people and trying to force faith. What I am talking about is inviting someone into an open, honest discussion. I believe that we have an obligation to share our faith. As Jesus told the disciples after His Resurrection:

"All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." Matthew 28:18-20 (NIV)

The point of the discussion that I am suggesting is not to "change" anyone, but to share with them where you are, how you got there, what it means to you, how it is important in your life, etc. Having that conversation may help someone else, and I think it almost certainly will help you.

3) As we prepare to celebrate the arrival of God into this world through the birth of Christ, take the opportunity to invite Him into your life. Maybe you pray and go to church and do everything else, but haven't really thought about inviting God into your heart and into your soul. Or maybe you've already done that before. That's ok, it is worth doing again. He will not force His way in, He is waiting to be invited: "Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me." Revelations 3:20 (NIV)

With everything that goes on, it is easy to caught up, to be too busy. I do it all the time - I get focused on what has to be accomplished, where I have to be, what else needs to be done. I have to make a point of stopping and finding time to talk and share - and listen - to God. I have to write reminders to myself (like this), or I just let it go.

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