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 is senior pastor at Buford First United Methodist Church in Buford, Georgia, and a church leadership Doctor of Ministry student at Wesley Theological Seminary.

Be the Welcoming Church cover image of a smiling person warming embracing anotherHow can 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.