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.

Be the Welcoming Church cover image of a smiling person warming embracing anotherLewis Center video tool kit resource
Be the Welcoming Church

Learn how your church can make visitors feel truly welcome and comfortable!

The Be the Welcoming Church Video Tool Kit will help you develop a congregation-wide ethos of hospitality and institute best practices for greeting newcomers, making them feel at home, and encouraging them to return. The resource includes engaging videos, a Study and Discussion Guide, and more. Be the Welcoming Church may be used for hospitality training or in adult classes or groups. more. Learn more and watch introductory videos now.