Corinth was a city much like ours today. It was a metropolitan center with a diverse community. In 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, Paul gave a clear word about the most important thing for the Corinthian church to remember.
For I passed on to you as most important what I also received:
that Christ died for our sins
according to the Scriptures,
that He was buried,
that He was raised on the third day
according to the Scriptures
As believers, we want everyone to know about the core of Christianity; that Jesus died and rose again. As Jerry Bridges wrote in his book The Discipline of Grace, “The gospel is not only the most important message in all of history; it is the only essential message in all of history.” Easter is one of those days in our culture when the unchurched and de-churched will have their interests piqued about attending a worship service. So, we need to be active in reaching out to them. Here are a few suggestions.
1.Make it about more than just a single worship service. You may start with Easter but never let that be the last invitation offered. Follow-up with them after the weekend; whether they attended or not.
2. Assume they will give a yes. If you hesitantly give an invitation hesitant and hint at a way out for your friend, they may just take it. Invite them confidently.
3. Be more concerned about the person than their attendance. Don’t use people as outreach target practice or drive-by evangelism. The real human being standing in front of you has an eternal destiny. Be concerned about what is most important: the person
4. Ask about their religious background. People like to tell their story. Be the friend that is more interested in listening than blabbing. As you become a better friend, you will know how to best minister and witness to the person.
5. Be honest about the service. No one likes the bait and switch method in buying a car or visiting a church. If you know the person has little knowledge of what happens in a worship service, give them simple descriptions about your church’s worship service. Explain practices like baptism and The Lord’s Supper. Give them a heads-up about greeting times and the preaching style of the pastor.
6. Be persuasive. We are talking about Easter! Be excited about why attending worship on this day will encourage their understanding of God. Let them see your enthusiasm for the day and what it could mean for them. We are to be compelled by the love of Christ to see people in a different way. High attendance days are great to only a certain extent. What matters is our love for God showing through in such a way that others are affected by it.
7. Include a meal. When you invite them to spend time with you for worship, also include a meal. It does not have to be fancy. In fact, it’s probably better that it is not. A casual meal out or at your home will give you additional time to talk with your friends. It is a low-pressure way for them to talk about what they heard and experienced in the worship service.
8. Ask them again. If they turn you down the first time or they accept, follow up with another invitation. We are dealing with the stuff of eternal consequences so never leave it as a one-and-done. Be a true friend and involve them in your spiritual life with the church.
9. Personally share the gospel with them. Jesus commissioned us to make disciples, not church attendees. Inviting them to worship on Easter is just one step in the process. The ultimate goal is for them to respond to the gospel. When inviting them, if you sense they are interested and curious, tell them about the significance of Easter. After the service is done, find out their response to the gospel. All along the way, keep the priority on their response to Jesus.