INVITATIONAL EVANGELISM MADE EASY
"Go therefore into the main streets, and invite everyone you find to the wedding banquet. Those slaves went out into the streets and gathered all whom they found, both good and bad, so the wedding hall was filled with guests." (Matthew 22:9-10, NRSV).
Invitational Evangelism is really quite simple. It can be done in any size congregation by any individual or group. And to make matters even easier, it can be done in a great variety of ways!
I. The Command: "Go and Invite"
The Biblical mandate to followers of Jesus is clear: "Go and invite." God has prepared a sumptuous banquet for all people and followers of Jesus are called to invite others to that banquet. We are not cooks, who stay in the kitchen. We are not called to stay in the banquet hall and serve tables. We are "extenders of the invitation." Our job is to leave the banquet hall and go to where the people are and invite them to attend the banquet God has prepared for them.
Our job is not to sit in judgment. Our job is not to validate reasons or excuses. Our job is not to sit around and wait for others to come to use. God commands us: "Go and invite!"
How do you and the members of your congregation invite others to attend God's banquet? What methods do you use to extend the invitation to others? Which of the following could be used in your congregation?
II. The Context: "The Main Streets"
God's command gives us specific directions for fulfilling our mission with our local context: "go into the main streets." We are not asked to go "off the beaten path." We have an invitation which we are to extend to as many people as possible. The best way to do that is to go to the busy places where people are.
III. The Guests: "Invited everyone you find/both good and bad"
To whom is God's invitation to be extended? Once again, the Biblical text is clear: "Invite everyone you find. . .both good and bad." God's banquet is a banquet for ALL people. God is the host; we are God's servants. We are the ones sent to invite those on God's invitation list: namely, everyone we find.
We are not called to be selective in issuing the invitations. We are not called to invite only "good" people or people we think will make "good" church members. God's banquet has been prepared for ALL people and our mission as followers of Jesus is to invite those whom God wants invited.
IV. The Event: "The Wedding Banquet"
The wedding banquet is a sumptuous feast which God has prepared and wants us and others to enjoy. Invitational evangelism is the process by which we invite others to attend the banquet which God has prepared.
V. The Response of God's Servants: "Those slaves went out into the streets and gathered all"
The command to "go and invite" demands a response from those to whom the call is issued. The call issued to followers of Jesus is one that calls for faithful obedience. The followers of Jesus must respond to the call to invite others to attend God's banquet.
VI. The Response of the Guests: "The wedding hall was filled"
The invitation to attend God's banquet also demands a response from those to whom the invitation is extended. It may well be that some will respond negatively to the invitation extended by you on God's behalf to attend the banquet. That does not mean that there will not be a banquet. God's banquet will take place! Those who respond favorably to the invitation to attend God's banquet will enjoy the blessing that God has prepared for them.
Copyright 1995 by Dr. Bob Dealey, P.O. Box 911, Maryville, IL 62062, (618) 667-2414. Madmont@apci.net
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