Did you know that between 63% and 82% of Americans say a personal invitation from a family member, friend or co-worker would be very or somewhat effective in getting them to visit a church? That statistic alone should be enough to make most of us take pause and sincerely consider who in our lives would be immensely blessed by having the privilege to experience the same beauty we have come to see through this special community. But the details of what constitutes “an invitation” or “a visit” can make a big difference in whether an initial invitation to visit a church turns into two visits, then three, then true connection into the community in a meaningful way… or just a polite “courtesy visit” to a church service, never to return again. More often than not, the most successful church visits engage visitors in a community through a “side door” to the church, rather than a traditional Sunday service.
The Invite Team exists to help us be better at connecting with our neighbors to help them connect with The Church of the Good Samaritan. Through this team, we will be exploring new and creative ways to equip and empower members of Good Samaritan to cultivate more intentional relationships with our neighbors outside of Good Samaritan and develop more opportunities to invite people to Good Samaritan beyond our usual Sunday services.
What to Look Forward To: The first step to becoming a more inviting community is to cultivate a passion for developing authentic, sincere, loving connections with those who “are not yet here” within the hearts of those in our community who “are here.” One of the first steps we will be taking to help empower our community toward that end will take the form of a sermon series titled “Beautiful Lives” – designed to help empower how we think about our role in the Kingdom of God differently.
Next, we need to become more intentional about what type of “side door” and even “church-adjacent” “visit opportunities” we can provide to people who are new to our community – to help them connect into circles of relationship as easily and powerfully as possible. One practical step already taken on this front is the decision by the Vestry, formalized at our November 12th Vestry meeting, to discontinue “Fair Days” for the foreseeable future to free up resources, energy and focus for the Invite Team to explore new ways to engage the community around us over the summer.
This will be just one small part of what the Invite Team is working on over the coming year – but it is an important and highly visible part of this team’s near-term objectives.
How You Can Help: The most powerful and practical way you can help advance the vision for why the Invite Team exists is to simply be more intentional about the relationships you have with your co-workers, friends, and neighbors. Find new ways to elevate your conversations to matters of more significance, and seek out opportunities to invite them to engage with the community at The Church of the Good Samaritan.
And, of course, none of these conversations have but a fraction of their potential beauty and significance if the Holy Spirit isn’t at the center of them. So, we are in constant and desperate need for people to bathe this community in prayer at every step along our journey. Please pray that the Holy Spirit would ignite a passion in the people of Good Samaritan to seek to love and serve those who “are not yet here” in new and powerful ways. Pray that doors would be opened – each and every day – for us to show what it means to “love our neighbor” in ways that are radical, counter-cultural, and transformative.
Finally, we will need creative energy, hands, and feet to bring into fruition new and creative opportunities to invite people to Good Samaritan beyond our usual Sunday services. What amazing ways can we use our property to serve our surrounding community and invite people into our lives? What new communities can we form, or events can we host, that will engage people where they’re at, and serve our surrounding community in ways that will make them feel invited and welcomed at our church? The Invite Team will need both ideas and volunteer help to flesh out the best version of all these ideas – and bring them into fruition.
To start a conversation about how you specifically can contribute to advancing our vision through the initiatives of the Invite Team, contact Ben Capps at firstname.lastname@example.org.