+1. Do you love to see that on an invitation or does it make you nervous, or both? When you see it, you know that you have some potentially awkward asking to do as you invite someone to join you at your cousin’s wedding, or a fund-raiser, or a doctor’s visit, or whatever.
In our FOMO culture an invitation can be a powerful statement of friendship. It says, “I want you there.” There are stories about invitation in the Bible like Matthew 22. You could say that God has extended us an invitation to party with Him, eat with Him, do life with Him, be His family. He is a gracious host, even though we are often not the most gracious of guests.
We have the opportunity to extend God’s invitation of friendship and family to others. Winter Conference (WC) is a great time to give it a go. Your world includes, among others, your family, classmates, and friends from high school. God has always used people to reach other people. How might God use a simple invitation for a friend to spend a weekend with you at Winter Conference?
Here are a few thoughts about God using us to reach the people near us.
It is impossible to fully know the impact that our invitations might have. Very few people know of Edward Kimball, but God used him to bring D.L. Moody to faith in Christ. Very few people know of Mordecai Ham but he was the one who led Billy Graham to faith in Christ. We all know the name of the apostle Peter. It was his brother Andrew who brought him to Jesus. We don’t know much about Andrew but we know a lot about the impact that Peter had for Christ.
Inviting others means that we have to put ourselves out there a little bit. When we invite someone, we are welcoming them into an area of our lives that is important or fun or meaningful in some way. Let’s be honest, we all care about our images on social media. It takes courage to share a post about something, like Winter Conference, but that is how our friends can find out about it. And, it might be a great blessing in their life!
Hosting a party is not cheap. It does cost us something. Inviting a friend to join us for WC can mean that we make a bit of a sacrifice. You might have to help with a ride, or room with someone other than your best friends, or you might have to help someone come up with the money to attend. All of these sacrifices, and more, are part of inviting others.
Invitation or Interruption?
As we look at the life of Jesus, I have often said that He had a ministry of interruption and invitation. It seems like someone was always interrupting His plans but Jesus made time and space for them. It also seems like Jesus was always inviting people to take their best next steps. He interrupted their career paths and invited the Matthew, Mark and others to literally follow Him around the country! Road trip! He invited Zacchaeus out of the tree. Ok, so Jesus kind of invited Himself over to Zach’s house for dinner. He invited a woman at a well to a life of worship and purpose. Jesus’ ministry was a ministry of invitation. His invitations interrupted their lives.
Side note, Jesus didn’t just invite the popular people that would build his reputation and add to his coolness factor. If all the people you invite are saying no, then maybe try inviting someone who doesn’t get invitations all the time?
Let’s be people who are inviting others. Bringing them to the party. It might be the most blessed interruption they’ve ever had!
Will you be my +1?