Every week, I hear stories about what is happening around Valley Life Church. I know that you want to invite someone—maybe several people—to the Christmas Eve service at Tramonto, Surprise, or Arrowhead. And I know you are probably a little nervous to take that step, maybe even scared.
So, when I heard this story about a friend of mine who was scared to invite a coworker to church last week, I asked her to write it down. Here it is in her words:
“Overwhelmed. That is the feeling that has blessed me this week. Overwhelmed with love, and with emotions. Overwhelmed with God’s response.
It started with a friendship, then a name added to a chalkboard filled with people I pray for regularly to know Jesus. While praying for one person, I repeatedly felt prompted to invite her to go to church with me, but I didn’t.
You see, I was afraid. I feared the discomfort and what she would think of me. I feared her saying ‘no’ and, at times, I feared her saying ‘yes.’ And what if the pastor’s words offended or upset her? It might jeopardize our friendship.
For three weeks, I sat in church worshiping a savior I love, hearing a message of salvation, and hearing God whisper her name to me. For three weeks, I left church knowing she wasn’t at church, not because she refused, didn’t need Jesus, or thought poorly of me. My friend didn’t come because I didn’t ask. She wasn’t invited.
After three weeks of God whispering her name to me, I confessed not only to God for my disobedience, but also to my friends. Honestly, I knew if I didn’t tell my friends I would continue to push God’s request of me to the back burner.
I wish I could say that once I confessed I drove to her house and invited my friend to church with me. But I didn’t. Five days later, after being prompted two other times that week to call my friend, I sent her a text on a Saturday morning, 24 hours before I wanted her to be in church with me. I sent the text and immediately felt overwhelmed. I responded to my feelings by asking for prayer from my friends.
Unbelievably, she responded with, ‘I would love to go.’
Not only did she come to church and sit next to me as the gospel was declared that Sunday, but when I invited her to my community group, she came. The overwhelming joy of sitting with my friend in church and hearing her ask questions for the first time has reminded me of the love God has for us. I continue to pray for her, and I cannot wait until she accepts Jesus and follows him in baptism. What a day that will be.”
Here’s the way the story was told to me:
“My friend came to church! And to group! And when someone asked her what she believed about Jesus she said, ‘Well, I believe that he loves me!’”
I want you to have a story like that. I want you to be there when your friend trusts Jesus and you get to baptize them.
So ask them. Text them, call them, tag them on Facebook, then tell Jesus how much you want them to know him. You will be so glad you did.