An Opportunity for an Invitation


While my husband and I were out recently, a young college student took our order at a fast food restaurant. Noticing her name tag, I commented that that was my mother’s name and I loved it. She smiled and thanked me. Then when she asked for the order name, I told her my name and she said, “That is my mother’s name!” We started talking while waiting for lunch to come, and then I handed her my business card and said, “It has been so great to meet you! I don’t know if you have a church home or not, but would love to have you come visit us.” She took the card and said, “Thank you! Where is your church? I am actually looking for one and was just thinking about that. How amazing that you invited me!”

When it feels right, I do it. God is always giving me such nice surprises!

Later that afternoon I heard from her, and we exchanged emails. I was so happy and surprised!

This is your server. I looked up your church website as soon as I got off work. I didn’t realize you were the pastor! Wow. Anyway, I definitely want to visit your church on Sunday. I really think this is a sign, because I’ve been looking for a church for a little while but nowhere so far has really felt ”right.” I just have a really good feeling about this. I’ve prayed a lot about it and feel like I need to be somewhere where I can draw closer to God.

What an amazing day this has been. I’m so happy right now! I was feeling a little confused and frustrated this week, wondering why God hadn’t shown me where I was supposed to be — usually it doesn’t take very long — but now I know. I’m so glad you gave me your card. That was just perfect.

I arranged to meet her when she arrived the following Sunday.

I never know when I give out my card what people think or will do. When it feels right, I do it. God is always giving me such nice surprises!


About Author

Sondra Jones previously pastored several churches, most recently at St. Paul UMC in Gainesville, GA. She has also served in the North Georgia Conference's Center for Clergy Excellence. She earned a church leadership Doctor of Ministry student at Wesley Theological Seminary.

Howard Thurman D.Min.The Doctor of Ministry
Howard Thurman: Prophetic Witness

In a world that is all about drawing attention to one’s self, a prophetic witness moves us toward a new reality grounded in God’s grace.

What does it mean for a leader to stand in the gap between the way things are and what they could be? Howard Thurman’s prophetic witness exemplified this form of leadership. Thurman did not demonize those responsible for systemic ills. Instead, he emphasized a positive vision of the way things could be. This track of doctoral study from Wesley Theological Seminary focuses on the power of a prophetic witness like Thurman’s to draw people toward a positive new future. Learn more and apply today for May 2024.