I don’t know if you have noticed, most of the videos we show at the beginning of the service each Sunday have to do with inviting someone to church.  The statistics suggest that a large number of people would come if someone they knew invited them.

I remember how I started going to church.  I was a single dad, so to help with expenses, I started to car pool with a guy from work.  It worked out because Doug only had one car for him and his family and I didn’t mind driving; plus, he threw a few bucks at me each month for gas.  Turns out, Doug was a Christian so we talked some about God.  Remember, I was a good Catholic boy; not because I went to church, but because I was Catholic, which meant I was a Christian too.  As I told Doug this, some jerk cut me off on the highway.  So I did what any good “not-going-to-church-Catholic/Christian guy” would do.  I leaned on the horn and screamed a series of cuss words that would impress a sailor (I was a sailor and I was impressed).  Doug, rather unimpressed, changed the subject.

He did not stop inviting me to church, however.  He talked about how great his church was, how much he learned from the pastor, how they took great care of his kids, and how much they learned.  He tried for months., .  He would talk about church related things he thought mattered to me.  He talked about how God could help with my problems.  I want to be clear this was not every time we got in the car, and sometimes we would go a week or more without talking about God.  Doug was interested in getting me to church – for my own sake.  I always said, “sure, I’ll go,” and then would not.  Finally Doug came up with a fool-proof reason for me to go to church; “Did I tell you we have lots of pretty single women that go to our church?”  I was in church that week.  Seriously, that is how it happened.

Now the down side of this was that, well, Doug lied.  There were not “a lot” of pretty single women at that church.  There was only one, her name was Beverly Brown.   I am not suggesting that you lie to get someone to come to church.  Nothing could be worse than inviting someone to church and having them discover you lied about it.  Even though I went to church for the wrong reason (that also was a lie), I found in spite of that, and the fact that this church was vastly different from what I (the good non-practicing Jack Catholic) was used to, I felt completely comfortable.  Part of that was because Doug took his “responsibility” seriously.  He showed me around the church, where the kids went for Sunday School, where the nursery was for Hayes (who was two).  He introduced me to some of his friends, and to the pastor.  Everyone was nice, and talked to me for a while.  I kept going – and the rest is history.

Think about how you started to go to church.  What was it that drew your attention to that church?  How did you feel when you walked in?  Were people friendly?  Or did they stop what they were doing, look at you for a second and turn back to their conversation?  Now think about your friends who do not go to church.  Pray about who God would have you invite.