Mountain View Bible Church Tripoli, PA

   
     
Week 7: Pastor Jeff's Thought of the Week, "Be Our Guest!"

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Pastor Jeff's Thought of the Week, "
Be Our Guest!"

March 29, 2017: The new Disney movie Beauty and The Beast came out recently.  I haven’t seen it, but I hope the joyful scene where all the dining room utensils come alive and welcome Bell with the rousing song, “Be our Guest” is in the new movie.  That is a powerful invitation to Bell and the same holds true for those you and I invite to church.  Research shows two powerful and interrelated facts regarding church invitations: 

  • Most people come to church and faith in Christ because of the life and words of a friend.  Consider these statistics
  • 2% by Advertisement
  • 6% by the Pastoral Invitation
  • 6% by organized evangelism campaign
  • 86% by friends or relatives
                     (The Inviting Church, Page 44)
  • Most Christians don’t invite.  Dr Thom Ranier of Lifeway says “Only 2% of church people invite an un-churched person to church”

 

Now our Sunday service at Mountain View Bible most weeks is crafted for the edification of believers and their worship of God.  So when we have a special service like Easter, Christmas Eve, or other outreached-focused Sundays we must determine to break the trend where only 2% of believers make invitations.  I believe that three aspects of biblical love can help us to do that:

 

First God’s love for us should move us to share.  Paul put it this way in 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 (HCSB) 14  For Christ’s love compels us, since we have reached this conclusion: If One died for all, then all died. 15  And He died for all so that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for the One who died for them and was raised... 

Sharing our faith or making an invitation to church should not be something we must whip up.  But when we are moved by the reality of God’s love for us in Christ we, like Paul, will be compelled to share with others.

 

Secondly, our love for God should move us to share  The Lord Jesus repeatedly taught then when we love God we will obey His commands (John 14:21 (HCSB) 21  The one who has My commands and keeps them is the one who loves Me. …)  The Lord Jesus last command was to go make disciples (Matthew 28:19-20).  So to be effective in sharing the gospel or invitation to church we don’t need to focus on beating ourselves up, but rather on loving God more with a corresponding obedience to share the gospel.

 

Thirdly, our love for others should move us to share.   It is a scary thing to invite someone to church or to share the gospel with them.  What if they reject us?  What if they get angry with us?   First John 4:18 tell us that perfect love cast out fear. When we love others, when we see their spiritual needs, emotional pain and relational struggles we will share the gospel.  When we realize that they lay under the power of sin in this life and the life to come and that they face a real and eternal judgment, our heart of love will cast out the fear of their possible rejection, we will cross the line of comfort and make that invitation!

 

My dear church family sharing the gospel and a church invitation can be difficult.  But I don’t believe that the answer is more self-effort and guilt.  Rather, the answer is a focus on the reality of biblical love.   As we do that, each of us will have a chance to say to family and friends this Easter, “Be Our Guest!”  

 

Rejoicing in Him,

Pastor Jeff


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                   New Tripoli, PA 18066
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