Did your church take part in the Weekend of Invitation last month? If so, we would love to hear from you and would be grateful if you could take a few moments to complete a short survey by clicking here.
As we have been working with churches across Scotland, one thing has become clear – lives have been transformed. What has been incredible to witness has been the change within those doing the inviting as they learn to hear God’s voice in directing them to who He wants them to invite. Here is a great video where Rev. Calum Stark shares with us what has been the most exciting part of the process
With the Weekend of Invitation coming up soon, many churches around the country have been preparing by holding their Cross Sunday service. During this service, those in attendance are encouraged to spend a few moments in prayer, asking God for the name of one person they could invite along to an event held by the church. They are then asked to write the name on a Post-It note and bring that to the front to stick on to the cross. You can watch a video from Rev. Calum Stark sharing his experience with this by clicking here.
The story of the call of Moses – and lessons from it – are at the heart of material launched to help churches become more invitational. Watch the video Moses God’s Unlikely Hero here
Waiting for you are -
•A sermon outline – based on God’s call to Moses to invite Pharaoh to ‘let my people go
•A PowerPoint of the headings.
•Three highly-effective videos from the Saltmine Theatre Company illustrating the teaching points.
Together, they give a church leader all that’s needed for an Invitation Cross Sunday to see their members think differently about invitation and be released to invite.
The resources can be downloaded free of charge from Free Resources.
An invitation Cross Sunday can be held at any time. However, many churches are holding one on June 2nd in the context of the Thy Kingdom Come initiative and leading up to the National Weekend of Invitation later that month.
For full details of what’s involved go to Invitation Cross Sunday.
These statistics are based on findings from Michael Harvey as he travels the world speaking with churches about how they can become both welcoming and invitational. If these are true, then we have a church paralysed by fear when it comes to inviting someone to church or a church event. For us to break through these fears, we must first realise that success in invitation is not about whether we get a “Yes” or a “No”, but the fact that we took a step out in faith. God does not view success by the number of yeses.
Who is the one person you could invite along to church? Spend time with God asking for a name and then an opportunity!
Here is a helpful timetable to consider using when your church is preparing for taking part in the National Weekend of Invitation. For more information and ideas on what you could do, head to http://weekendofinvitation.com
Timetable – What & When
This simple timetable will help your church make the most of The National Weekend of Invitation.
January to April
- Make sure your key leaders fully grasp the opportunity to move the church from being ‘welcoming’ to having a culture of invitation by using our training options and encouraging the reading Creating a Culture of Invitation in Your Church
- Decide on the invitation event/s and/or guest service and youth activities you will hold during the National Weekend of Invitation
- Arrange your publicity, including invitation cards for making personal invitations
Easter Sunday April 21st
- Launch the National Weekend of Invitation to your church – the risen Jesus calls us to invite others to follow him.
May 30th – June 9th
- Take part in the Archbishop’s Thy Kingdom Come – 10 days to especially pray for those being invited. The Church of Scotland are also partnering with this, read the article here
Sunday June 2nd – Invitation Cross Sunday
- Teach the three ways to think differently about invitation.
- Prayerfully bringing to a cross the names of those who will receive invitations.
June 9th – Inviter Sunday on Pentecost Sunday
- Share the stories of those who have invited – how they felt and what God did.
- Celebrate their obedience – no matter the outcome.
Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd June – The Weekend
- Hold one or more invitation events large and small – pub quiz, curry evening, guest artist, debate, hot topic, guest service, youth activity and more.
The rest of the year
- Apply what you have learned and keep inviting – Alpha, Christianity Explored, The Pilgrim Course, guest services, evangelistic breakfasts and Messy Church.
This Spring, Weekend of Invitation are partnering with the Saltmine Theatre Company, as they tour the country, taking a seriously funny look at why we don’t invite people to church. They are currently taking bookings from churches and organisations around the country. If you would be interested in hosting them in your area, please contact us today, email Robbie Morrison – Robbie.Morrison@churchofscotland.org.uk for more information.
Over the past year, Michael Harvey has been working closely with a number of churches around the country, mentoring them and helping them to develop a culture of invitation within their congregation. One such church is Bellshill West, which has seen over 20 people coming to church as a result of an invitation. Here is Rev. Calum Stark sharing a little more about the response experienced there.
Following on from our successful road show with Michael Harvey last month, where over 200 people representing over 80 churches attended, we will be releasing a new blog post at least every two weeks from now until the Weekend of Invitation main event, set for June 2019. Of course, you don’t have to wait until then to invite someone along to a church event, and so this blog will look at some of the reasons why we don’t invite others, and what we can do to overcome those reasons, as well as some practical tips for events.
Welcome to our Weekend of Invitation blog, where, over the coming months, we will be posting regular blog posts regarding all things invitation, and looking at how we can develop more of a culture of invitation within our congregations. As well as practical ideas for what events you could put on, we will also be looking at those who are currently working towards invitation becoming a reality within their church, and gaining some insight and wisdom along the way.