Blowing the Invitation Time

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by USN2Pulpit, May 9, 2004.

  1. USN2Pulpit

    USN2Pulpit
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    Have any of you pastors ever "blown it" during invitation time? Today's Mother's Day sermon was out of Proverbs 31:10-31. It was easy, even for a rookie pastor like myself.

    I critique myself because the invitation was not very strong. Have you pastors ever had trouble transitioning from sermon topic to invitation? I sure did today.

    (Fortunately, I have another chance tonight!) And by the way, I had compliments about how things went, even though I'm critical of myself.
     
  2. Baptist Believer

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    If God is working in and through your sermon, you shouldn't worry too much about not giving a "smooth" invitation.

    Too many folks give "smooth" invitations that manipulate people down the aisles to make 'decisions' that were not inspired by God. In John 6:44, Jesus teaches that no one can come to the Father unless the Father draws them. If the Father is drawing them, they will respond to a brief and competent explanation of how to respond to God.

    All of us work very hard on our sermons and communication skills, but God is the only One who can enliven the preaching moment to speak life-changing truth to the congregation.
     
  3. blackbird

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    Hang in there, USN!

    Blackbird
     
  4. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    I wouldn't give it a second thought. I firmly believe that the Holy Spirit works in hearts no matter how badly we humanly handle situations.

    You don't know yet what happened in the hearts of your people.
     
  5. just-want-peace

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    Not a pastor, but my experience may be of value to you.

    I have taught SS for approx. 30 years, and I've learned one very specific fact: If I think/feel that I've done a great job, there is normally no response except the usual "good lesson" comments.

    However, on those lessons that, in my mind, I have yet to pull together after much effort & time, and totally screw up on delivery, someone will inevetably tell me how this lesson answered some need they had, or was a word of encouragement, or some such "blessing".

    I have long since decided that I need to do my best, and have no concern whether I'm "EFFECTIVE" or not; that's in HIS hand.
     
  6. Major B

    Major B
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    IF you preached the Truth, the whole sermon was an invitation. Every invitation found in a sermon in the Bible is an integral part of the message given--check them out--from "look unto me and be saved" in Isaiah to "the Spirit and the Bride say, 'come,'" that is the format.

    I think we err if we see the invitation as a separate thing and don't see preaching the cross as 100% invitation from "Let us stand in honor of God's Word," as we read the expositional passage to "Amen," at the end of the sermon. Remember, the "altar call" as a separate entity is an innovation that arose from Finney in the 1800s, not from the Apostles.
     
  7. Bro.Bill

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    You should not worry yourself. How many churches in America do not even prach a Gospel Message let alone have any invitation at all.
     
  8. Dr. Bob

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    I give an invitation in every sermon. Cannot imagine giving an "altar call", though. Why that system ever caught on in fundamental Baptist churches is a head scratcher for me. It is so far from our historic Baptist heritage.
     
  9. Uncle AlaGator

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    I've always heard of the invitation as an altar call. What is the difference, Doc? As a new pastor, I try and turn it over to God and allow the Holy Spirit to lead those to the altar who need Christ.
     
  10. Dr. Bob

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    An invitation is what makes a sermon a sermon. Without the impetus to action, it is just a speech or lecture.

    So throughout the message I give invitations with imperative verbs - you MUST, you OUGHT, you SHOULD ...

    Decisions are made in the heart, not at a 'place'. So I try to let the Word of God do the work (via the Spirit).

    Sad part of much of the "altar call syndrome" is psychological manipulation - by music, by cajoling, by high pressure, by seeding (sending people down the aisle as a scam to get the crowd moving). Watch a Graham crusade - first 100 people to rush to the altar are all shills, er, workers to prime the pump.

    Recommend reading Ian Murray's "The Invitation System" and why I eschew such.
     
  11. Artimaeus

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    It is a good thing to critique yourself, just not to death. No agony, just a cold looking for ways to improve. I pity the pastor, and the congregation, who think they have arrived and have it down pat. I also pity the pastor who nitpicks himself into ineffectiveness. A healthy balance seems right.
     
  12. Jim1999

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    An invitation at sermons' end has not been my practice, but I confess there have been times when I felt compelled to give such an invitation. Never long, prolonged or with musical accompaniment.

    We don't know who the elect are, or how God the Spirit moves upon the souls of men, but we do know that God has chosen the foolishness of preaching to be the vehicle of deliverance. If this includes the invitation to come now to Jesus, who am I to say it is wrong?

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  13. dclark14

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    "If we spread the gospel, Jesus will spread the salvation" (Juha Räihä).Every message must be an invitation in/of itself, whether we add our invitation or not.There have been times I have been very thankful I gave an invitation, but it was to respond to the invitation already given.There have been other times that I just left the gospel message "on the table" and self-realization as used by the Spirit has done miraculous work in a life.
    [​IMG] Resting in Him
     
  14. Dan Todd

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    I've often wondered how many "conversions" as a result of the LONG-EMOTIONAL-MUSICALLY-INDUCED type are real!
     
  15. USN2Pulpit

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    That's not the kind of invitation I was talking about in my original post.
     

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