Bring a Friend to Worship; Bring a Friend to Christ
Pastor’s Monthly Newsletter Article for May, 2013
May 5th is “Bring a Friend Sunday” at Saint Peter. I am really looking forward to this day. I love meeting new people. I love seeing newcomers at Saint Peter. I love noticing which Saint Peter members get excited about sharing their church with their friends. I hope you, dear reader (whether you are a participant here at Saint Peter, or reading this from a distance), will bring someone with you to worship on May 5th this year.
Newcomers are vital to any Christian church — especially those churches which are located in metropolitan areas. We live in a transient society. Job transfers and other changes bring people into our community, and take people away as well. I can’t deny that one of the reasons I ask members to bring friends to church is the hope some of them might be inspired to join us, and add their faith, gifts and energies to our life together.
May 5th excites me for another reason, though — a far more important reason. At the heart of what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ is our Lord’s call to invite others into a living and growing faith in him. His last words to the disciples in St. Matthew’s Gospel are familiar to many of us:
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age. St. Matthew 28:19-20
With this “Great Commission” Jesus instructs all believers to do two things: (1) to go, and (2) to make disciples. This faith we share is not given to us simply to enrich our lives. It is a trust from God. A trust we are expected to share with the world. You and I are commissioned by Jesus to take the initiative; to go into the world; to reach into the lives of our friends and neighbors and colleagues and acquaintances, and help them to become disciples of the One who loves us enough to die for us.
One way we can help someone get on the path to discipleship is by sharing our church with them. In a time when fewer of our neighbors are actively involved in a faith community, the invitation we extend to them just might be the beginning of a whole new chapter in their lives.
So which of your friends or neighbors don’t currently have a place they regularly go to worship God? Which of your colleagues or acquaintances don’t haven’t experienced the grace we know in Christ? Who is it that you care about enough to extend an invitation? Give some time to these questions, and commit yourself to invite a friend to worship on May 5. It just might be the most important gift you ever give them!
God’s peace to you all,