2013-12

A Simple Invitation

Dear Friends,

May I begin by wishing you all a very Happy Christmas and also by thanking you for your help and support through another year of ministry. It has been a year of great changes and of many demands, but God has been faithful and we look to Him to lead us into a new year.

By the time you read this the Real Lives Mission will have been completed, but I am writing just before it starts. It has been demanding, but I was thrilled to hear one of our church leaders say in a recent meeting that we ought to be doing something like this every year. The spread of the Gospel must be our priority as a church, but every age has its special opposition to the Gospel. Ours is no exception, so we need to keep focussed.

A number of times in the lead up to Real Lives I said that for the mission to be a success we each have to invite people along. Even as I said that I realised that it is easily said, but not always easily done, so I really appreciated this section in “Homeward Bound” a book that Pete Hilder has recommended for our Men’s Meetings.

In a chapter that begins by stating how easy it is for the church to become “an introspective gathering of people intent on meeting their own needs, pursuing their own objectives and satisfying their own desires.” (p.101) He then writes, “I’ve begun challenging our church toward seven action points that are designed to help us overcome our natural tendencies –

  • First, commit to praying that God will use you to introduce one non-Christian to Christ this year. …
  • Second, ask God to identify several non-Christians for you to spend time with. …
  • Third, invite those whom God identifies into your life. Invite them to your home for a meal or dessert. Invite them to accompany you to those places you most enjoy visiting with your children – the zoo, the pool, the circus, the mall … Invite them to be with you.
  • Fourth, seek to earn credibility by inquiring about their interests, longings, dreams, and mostly their needs.…
  • Fifth, bring them to worship with you. …
  • Sixth, follow up with them after they’ve accompanied you to worship. …
  • Seventh, repeat and continue the process: pray, identify, invite, earn credibility, bring, follow up. (p.102)

As we conclude a year and a mission I want to thank all who prayed for, prepared for, participated in and continue to pray for all that happened, not only in Real Lives, but in every ministry of our church. As we begin a new year may God help us to begin with the first priority on the above list and trust the rest will follow.

Yours because of His Grace and Invitation,

Bernard Lewis – December 2013

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