Toward and Effective Invitation Time

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by USN2Pulpit, Jan 28, 2005.

  1. USN2Pulpit

    USN2Pulpit
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    Pastors (and others), what are some of the effective techniques you have to present invitation? Also, have you any experience with things you felt you've done wrongly?

    Personally, I try to blend the requirement for "a verdict" on the part of the listener with the whole worship time - including music. I tend to have trouble though with the mechanics of calling people to decision - in other words - the "invitation time." I feel that I need to improve in this area. I can sense the Spirit moving in individuals many times, but I feel deficient in leading them as to "what to do now" - like when the people asked the apostles, "brothers, what should we do?"

    I would note that I think it's entirely scriptural to call people to decision - as Joshua did when he said "as for me and my house..."
     
  2. gb93433

    gb93433
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    When we enter we must realize it is God who has put us there. It is an awesome task God has given. We must never take it lightly. The first order of business is with God before we come, in the quietness of our closet with God. The work must be done in the closet first. It is amazing how many times I said something only to find out later why. We must seek God so that He is glorified and not just a matter of what we think. When He does the work we know it and cannot take credit for it.

    I have always made the invitation a natural outflow of the sermon. I give the sermon and then at the end give a conclusion with the invitation as a point in the sermon. It is never a point all by itself exclusive of the sermon. There are those who would like you to pray for them. Others have questions. The range can be enormous. The majority do not come forward for salvation but rather so many other things. Once I preached a sermon and seven people came forward with heavy hearts. They wanted someone to pray for them. In the congregation was a lady who was not a believer who was impresseed that I would take the time to care enough to pray for people. She had come that Sunday at the invitation of her daughter. Another time a lady came forward to ask us to pray for her because her cousin had just been murdered.

    I see the invitation as a time for people to come for whatever need they might have. It is a time to demonstrate great care. I have seen people standing at the front before I finished giving the part of the invitation. The invitation is a time to invite people to come and receive help for whatever they need. There have been times when I have had someone else close the service while I am still dealing with people. Sometimes that has gone on for up to one hour after the service.

    Sometimes nobody will come forward and other times there will be many. I remember when one lady came forward the church rejoiced and applauded after I told them about the decision she made earlier in the week to receive Christ.

    The invitation is never a time to manipulate people. We must honor their space. Some will wrestle with God struggling with a decision they need to make. We must respect their struggle. After all how many of us don't struggle? Everyone of us have struggles and we would not want to be pushed but helped and encouraged.
     
  3. HappyG

    HappyG
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    One of the best methods of giving an invitation is to not give one. Hear me out as I am not trying to create controversy or argue.

    But when people skeptical of faith come to church and they are allowed to leave without someone "trying to close the deal" with them, they feel like it is an invitation to come back.

    Most people in our post-modern culture need conversations and aren't ready to respond to a singular call for conversion. And if we think about it honestly, to accept basic tenets of Christianity within a 1/2 hour presentation is alot to ask of people.

    When I know that I won't accept that a Tahoe is better than a Suburban during a 1/2 presentation from a sales person.

    So I always give an invitation...we would be wasting our time if we didn't. It is just that sometimes my invitation is to come back and we will continue this honest and open "conversation" and hopefully one day it will lead to a conversion.

    Haven't you ever avoided certain sections in a department store because there is an overly aggressive sales person who wants a conversion instead of an informative conversation? I have.

    Just my idea of a great invitation is the invitation to come back and we'll keep this conversation going.
     
  4. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
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    In dealing with youth, I always give an invitation IN the sermon (NOT an altar call) and then invite them to talk to me afterward. Those who are serious will. For others, there is no pressure or manipulation.

    When they are ready (by the work of the Spirit and not Bob) they will respond.
     

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