Why aren’t your church members inviting others to church? It’s likely you’ve been asking them to invite their friends and neighbors without giving them the tools they need to do it. Here are thirteen practical ways to equip people to invite friends to church.
When people invite others to your church, good things happen. You’ve probably preached or pleaded with your people to invite others to church. So, why aren’t your church members inviting more?
Well, one reason may be culture. Actions rarely overcome culture and good intentions rarely overcome bad habits. You may need to invest in the habit of inviting. One of the ways you can do this is through equipping your people.
Asking and equipping people to invite are two different things. You have to give people the tools to do the task you’re asking them to do. So don’t just ask them to invite their friends, neighbors, and co-workers, give them the tools to do the job. Here are some practical ideas you can use to equip your people to invite:
1. Provide invite cards.
You can make it easier for people to invite by giving them simple tools like printed cards.
2. Encourage social media during the service.
During a welcome, encourage everyone to take out their phones and share a status update or tweet. People don’t have to wait until later in the week to invite someone, they can do it from their phones at church.
3. Provide lawn signs.
Print up a few lawn signs and make them available for people to put in their front lawns. If people will do it for politicians, some will do it for their church.
4. Make an invite page on your website.
Create a page on your website with graphics, sample Facebook posts, and ideas for people to invite their friends.
5. Write Facebook posts for people.
Instead of just telling people to invite their friends on Facebook, create a post they can cut and paste. Remember, the easier you make something, the more people will do it.
6. Send a text reminder on Saturday.
Use this sparingly, but text your members, volunteers, or regular attenders on Saturday night and ask them to invite a friend to church tomorrow.
7. Give away T-shirts for guests and those who bring them.
Our friends at Venue Church in Chattanooga have been doing this for years. Every guest gets a T-shirt when they visit, and those who bring guests get one too. It’s a way to thank guests for coming, thank members for bringing, and create a culture of inviting.
8. Thank people personally.
When someone brings a friend, thank them personally. Send a thank you note that says, “Jimmy came to church Sunday, and he said you were the one that invited him. Thank you so much for extending that invite.”
9. Tell stories of inviting.
There is no better form of communication than stories — it’s how we learn best. So, make sure you’re telling stories about inviting in your sermon and throughout your service.
10. Always welcome guests.
Even if there are 15 people in the church service and they are all related to you, intentionally welcome guests and let them know what to expect. It’s a powerful way to reinforce to your regulars that new people are supposed to be here.
11. Talk to guests in your sermon.
Make sure every message has a moment where you’re addressing new people. If you reference a series, make sure you provide context for guests. If you say the name of a ministry, make sure you explain what that means to guests.
12. Display names.
Ask your church to write down the first names of people they would like to see come to church and find a creative way to display these. You could display those names in the lobby.
13. Organize a time of prayer.
Organize a time of prayer, either in person or online, to pray for those who need to be invited.
Each of these ideas (and you can come up with more that fit the culture and ministry of your church) is an equipping idea, not just an asking idea. If you continually focus on equipping, a culture of inviting will develop over time. This is where your people just naturally invite people they know.
This material is reprinted from The Senior Pastor’s Guide to Reaching More People (Church Fuel, 2018). Used by permission. Download this free resource now.
- Be The Welcoming Church Video Tool Kit, a resource from the Lewis Center
- 4 Clues for Inviting Others to Church Effectively by Doug Powe
- 50 Ways to Increase Worship Attendance, a free tip sheet from the Lewis Center
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