By Des Smith
This Sunday is ‘Bring-a-friend-to-church Sunday’. You may think, ‘Why didn’t I hear about this before? This wasn’t advertised!’ That’s because every Sunday is bring-a-friend-to-church Sunday. Next week’s will be too and the week after that. The fact is, one of the best and easiest ways we can share the gospel with friends and family is simply to invite them to church.
This is not often how we think.
We think—rightly—that church on Sunday is primarily for believers. But God still assumes that our Sundays will be accessible to people who aren’t yet Christians, and that people will become Christians as a result of them.
‘If an unbeliever or an inquirer comes in while everyone is prophesying, they are convicted of sin and are brought under judgment by all, as the secrets of their hearts are laid bare. So they will fall down and worship God, exclaiming, “God is really among you.”’ – 1 Corinthians 14:24-25
Note two things this passage assumes:
1. it’s normal for non-believers to be in church;
2. when they hear the gospel explained clearly (what ‘prophesying’ means here) they can come to faith.
So, we should invite our friends to church!
And it’s surprisingly easy. In 2018, the (Australian) National Church Life Survey asked members of the public, ‘Would you go to church if you were invited?’ The results were surprising. Of those who used to go to church, 24.4% of people said ‘yes’ and another 31.7% said ‘unsure’. Of those who’d never been to church, 10.3% still said ‘yes’ and another 23.1% said ‘unsure’. This means over half of people who used to go to church and a third of people who’ve never been will either say ‘yes’ or ‘maybe’ if you invite them! That’s encouraging!
So invite them along. It’s ‘bring-a-friend-to-church’ Sunday.