Southern Baptists’ decline in baptisms reached its 15th year in 2015, decreasing by more than 10,000 from 2014 data recorded by our churches through the Annual Church Profile.
Although 295,212 people were baptized by our churches last year, there is cause for concern whether, albeit figuratively, the waters in our baptisteries are drying up.
Here’s a simple step for all of us: Let’s get back to inviting people to come to Jesus.
Jerry Vines, longtime Southern Baptist leader, recently said, “Invitation is at the heart of the Gospel. Those who respond to the ‘Come’ are to ‘go’ and invite others.”
So how should the public invitation be given today after the proclamation of the Gospel?
Here are some things to keep in mind in improving our ability in giving a public invitation:
— Give the invitation consistently. The late Charles Spurgeon is reported to have said, “Before you conclude any message, make a beeline for the cross.” You never know whom the Spirit of God has led to attend any given gathering. They need to hear the Gospel! And having heard it, they need the opportunity to respond.
— Give the invitation clearly. A clear invitation begins long before it’s given. It begins in the study. In other words, the invitation must be prayed through and prepared for as much as the message itself.
— Give the invitation creatively. There is more than one way to give an invitation. In the book, “Preaching Evangelistically” by Al Fasol, Roy Fish, Steve Gaines and Ralph West, they mention several ways to give an invitation: “Invitation to come forward, card signing, counseling or inquiry rooms, lifting one’s hand, praying where you are.”
Click here to read the full article, including more ways to improve a public invitation.
Your partner in ministry,
P.S. – Even though our lives are filled with invitations big and small, ironically, the most important invitation we can offer to someone is often the hardest to extend: Would you like to come to church with me this weekend?
My new book, The Difference Maker: Using Your Everyday Life for Eternal Impact contains the latest ways to effectively share your faith and make a Kingdom impact. I share with you tips and strategies for inviting others to church and sharing your faith in a non-threatening way.
It’s a must-have addition to your evangelism tool-kit!
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