The Power of Invitation

By Pastor Mark McAdow
Didn’t we have a wonderful time last Sunday morning? It was so nice to share in a combined worship service with both our traditional and contemporary worship service folks. We had the special joy of presenting several of our third-graders with their own copy of the Adventure Bible as a gift from their Willow View family. (We have a couple more to present this Sunday as well.) Many thanks to our Congregational Care Committee and all those who provided side dishes for our picnic and to the men who cooked the burgers and hot dogs, too What a great, loving, giving church family we have.

I showed a scene from The Chosen highlighting Jesus’ call of Simon, Andrew, James and John to become his disciples. His invitation was simple yet powerful. He said three simple words, '"come, follow me.” And they did – immediately and enthusiastically!

Have you answered Jesus’ call? He’s still inviting us to join Him today. They left their jobs, homes and even families to follow this amazing preacher who they would discover is the Messiah they had long prayed and waited for. Now that is the power of invitation! Max Moser shared a moving testimony from his life and how through great personal pain, some friends at our church invited him to come to Willow View. He had been away from the church for an extended period of time and finally came “home” to Willow View.

Max challenged each of us to invite others to church as well. You never know what people may be going through and how a genuine invitation may be all they need. He also shared not to give up after one try. Keep gently trying. The apostle Peter wrote: “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience …” – I Peter 3:15+

I just read an article this week that said, “About 40 million adults in America used to go to church but no longer do, which accounts for around 16 percent of our adult population.  For the first time in the eight decades that Gallup has tracked American religious membership, more adults in the United States do not attend church than attend church. This is not a gradual shift. It is a jolting one.”  They are called the “dechurched.”  You and I know several people in that condition. That’s the bad news.

The good news according to the article is “for some categories of the dechurched, the best solution is simply to invite them back.  Many are likely to accept the invitation, even enthusiastically. For example, 51 percent of the dechurched evangelicals we surveyed said they think they will one day return to church. Another 18 percent are ‘very willing,’ and 33 percent are 'somewhat willing.'"  

So, let’s do our part and invite someone to Willow View this Sunday. Who will it be? Ask the Lord to show you and look for opportunities all around you.

See you this Sunday.

Yours in Christ,
Pastor Mark

PS: My theme verse for the last five weeks has been Genesis 2:18, “The Lord God said, ‘It is not good for man to be alone.’”  Robin came home yesterday. Praise the Lord!

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