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It's about the Invitation

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So we’ve had a pretty incredible stretch of reach out events and possibilities this fall. Many of you threw Halloween parties in your neighborhoods. We had over 600 volunteers (many of whom don’t go to Eastern Hills) pack and deliver over 1200 meals for Mountains of Mercy. We are ice skating at Southlands this week, and even having Santa land in a helicopter for our Santa Fly-In event on Sunday afternoon. All of these events are awesome, they have impacted people around us, and they are a ton of fun. However, you know what makes them Reach Out events? It’s when we invite our friends and neighbors to experience them with us.

So here’s the question, are you inviting people? Are you meeting your neighbors, are you reaching out, or are you just hoping people show up?

This Christmas season is a great time for Reaching Out. Check out your weekend program over the next few weeks for ways that you can reach out in your neighborhood. It’s so fun to bake Christmas cookies and you can avoid the calories by giving them to your neighbors. Make up  some plates and bring them to your neighbors. Shovel their driveway, bring them a meal, go caroling, hang up some lights on their house if they don’t have any. (That last one might be going too far) Then invite them, invite them to Christmas Eve. Yes, it’s a risk, it might change your relationship, but it also might change their lives. People are more likely to go to church at Christmas than any other time of the year, so why not get out there and invite someone. Give them the opportunity to see that life with Jesus is better.

in Church

The 82% of the 92%

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92% of our neighbors, coworkers and people all around us are disconnected from a relationship with God. Many of them have simply decided that church isn’t relevant to their life or they have more important things to do with their time.

When we show up to something like Easter and see a ton of people we assume that we’re reaching new people. But unless we’re inviting the 92% we may just be shuffling the deck of Christians that come to church infrequently. God longs to connect with people that are far from Him, it’s why He sent Jesus.

God spoke through His prophet Ezekiel to say that very thing, “And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh (Ez.36:26).” There is no one so far gone that God can’t soften their heart and change them from the inside out.

And actually—it may be way easier than you think. Did you know that 82% of people who identify as “unchurched” say they would be “somewhat likely” to attend church if someone just invited them?! That’s amazing.

We think it’s going to be so difficult and we allow our fear to paralyze us against the backdrop of something like an invitation to easter but more than eight in ten people you ask are at least “somewhat likely” to come. There are very few risks we take in our life that have that good a chance of success and the stakes of this invite could be eternal.

The power of invitation has personally changed my life many times. I had a friend from my neighborhood invite me to his Cub Scout troop when I was a little boy and it eventually led to new leadership skills, an Eagle Scout rank, and a medal of heroism (but who’s keeping track?).

God used that invitation to shape me; and God wants to use your invitation to shape the future of people so close to you but so far from God this Easter. So invite someone. You’ve got great odds ;).

Posted by Phil EuBank with
Tags: easter, invite

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