I was at the dentist’s office on Wednesday for a checkup. Some people are not fond of these necessary events, but I’m not bothered by them at all. One can’t hate on dentists and hygienists; they’re just doing their jobs. Even when we diligently care for our teeth and gums, there may come a time when procedures must be done that are necessary and possibly uncomfortable, but the pain we experience in the dentist’s chair is generally more manageable than the pain we might suffer were we to neglect such care.
It may seem strange, but I rather enjoy visiting my dentist’s office, mostly because of the people. They are kind and friendly, and we usually engage in some sort of conversation.
As I was leaving on Wednesday, I mentioned to the receptionist that we are going to have a ‘chili competition’ pot luck lunch on Sunday. As I said this, another patient who was waiting chimed in to say that she had been invited to a chili pot luck, too.
Turns out, it was the same event!
The patient told me who invited her; it was one of our elders, with whom she had a relationship.
I was pleased to see that invitations were being given! Sometimes, a second invitation – which I offered – might just be enough to encourage the person to attend!
Never underestimate the value of the invitation. Whether it’s to worship, a lunch, a small group, or some other event in church life, we can make the ask. The person might say no, but she or he might say yes, too, and you’ll never know if you don’t make the ask.
It might take multiple invitations before the person says yes. You don’t want to badger your friends and loved ones with invitations, but you don’t want to ignore them, either.
A friend of mine was regularly invited to church by a coworker. At that time, my friend was not a Christian and had no interest in going to church. But later, when, by God’s grace, he did become a believer, guess whose church he went to?
Yep. He went with the coworker who invited him so many times.
Persistence without belligerence has a far greater chance of bearing fruit than keeping the invitation to yourself. Make the ask.
Wayne Gretzky famously said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” And the reality is that God’s people aren’t taking many shots. Make the ask. It could make an eternal difference in someone’s life.
“Come and see what our God has done,
what awesome miracles he performs for people!” (Psalm 66.5, NLT)