12 Steps to becoming an inviting church
Introduction to the 12 steps – things to consider
Consider the difference between a welcoming church and an inviting church.
The Pastor / leaders / congregation must not see this it as a one-week-wonder!
It is about developing an on-going invitational mindset. BTCS is a tool to get
the ball rolling!
Leaders and congregation need training and encouragement on how to be
Many are afraid of friends saying no. What happens when 50% had no-one respond
to their invite? Anticipate possible challenges and be ready to deal with it.
There may be certain people they don’t want to have in church. How do we deal
This resource is profound in its simplicity and effectiveness when done with
The accompanying DVD is a training guide for the pastor, leaders and some clips
for the congregation.
Make use of the Prayer Book when speaking eg. Page 390 Paragraph 71 and Page 434
STEP 1. Vision:
If every one of us invited a friend, a family member, a neighbour or
colleague to church and they accepted, we would double our congregation in a
The purpose is not for a “one day wonder” but to develop an invitational mindset
that persists. Having BTCS each year serves to renew our vision to be an
invitational church, not just a welcoming church.
Not every member will necessarily respond. However, we must hold up the vision
before the congregation of what could happen if every person did play their part
– it would double, even if it is just for that day. (And of course we must pray
and work with the hope that they keep coming back or that at least a new
connection is made with those who came.) But the vision does begin to paint a
real picture of what could be achieved through a congregation that has been
taught, encouraged and challenged about becoming invitational!
STEP 2. Modelling:
As the church leader, be the first to invite someone!
STEP 3. Cascading:
Make sure that you invite every member of your congregation personally to invite
Clergy should find creative ways of inviting every member of their congregation
to invite someone to church who does not attend church, or comes very seldom, or
has been hurt through some issue in the past (angry with God or the Church) etc.
STEP 4. Friendship:
Teach / preach about how God connects people through friendship
Speak about the gift of friendship
People are more likely to respond on the basis of friendship
“I have no friends” is a response one may have to speak into (and other
objections / excuses for not being invitational).
STEP 5. The “Power of your Story”:
To recall how God worked in your life
Get every member to ask themselves, “Who has God been preparing for me to
Practice the question, “Would you like to come to church with me?”
• Prepare / rehearse how you would invite your friends and what you would say.
STEP 8. Pray:
Pray for courage for courage to invite, and pray for those being invited.
• Pray, Pray, Pray – the vital key.
Make the invitation
People can say “Yes” or “No”. Don’t be disappointed if it is the latter.
Ask more than one person. Have a few people on your prayer list whom you could
ask, 4 or 5.
Go and pick up your invited guest from their home and walk or drive over.
• If they want / don’t mind being picked up. This is first prize.
Introduce your guest(s) to your friends over food and coffee.
Always useful to have an informal time where people can connect – tea / coffee
and snacks always helps
Add your guest to the church by adding them to your circle of friends at church.
Warmth of Christian fellowship is attractive.
Assume they are coming the following Sunday, so invite them again. And follow
Thinking to get rid of: “If they want to come, they will come”. This kind of
thinking / behaviour loses what may have been a hard-won initiative. If they
come a second time, it gets easier in the future!
Follow-up of some sort is vital – Alpha, Renew, Rooted in Jesus, SCC /
Home-cell, Bible study etc. Serve them in relation to their needs. Love them
practically. Heal old wounds. Bring hope as Jesus would.