Creating a Culture of Invitation
Over the past few weeks we have been talking about the people that we are surrounded by. We all have our different spheres of influence and different people we see and interact with on a daily basis. But often we struggle to know how to create a culture of invitation with the people around us. Last week we wrote on “Roadblocks to Invitation.” This week we want to begin to make a plan of action to move past the roadblocks and into a culture of invitation.
If you remember, moving beyond the roadblocks involves identifying what roadblocks exist, assessing which ones you most identify with, and then making a plan to move past them. But how do you make the plan to begin with? Here is a simple way to approach making a plan to move into the space of intentional invitation.
Answer the WHY: Why is it important to create a culture of invitation? Do we invite simply to increase numbers? Or are we doing this because we believe that Jesus changes things, he changes people, and that we want all people everywhere experience his love and presence in their lives? Answering the why is often the hardest but it helps to create the clarity needed to take action.;
Define Success and Failure: It’s hard to know if we have actually done the things we are hoping to do if we don’t first know how we are defining success and failure. Success could be defined as working up the courage to invite a close friend to your Missio Community. It could be defined as inviting 10 friends to a service initiative. Or it could be defined as taking a bold step of faith and sharing your story. Whatever success means for you, it has to be clarified so we know where we are headed. That way when we don’t quite make it. When we fall just short of what we are hoping to do, we then have the ability to ask why we didn’t act or what didn’t work so we can reassess and try again.
GRACE: It is always important to give yourself lots of grace in this process. We don’t always do the things we hope to do. And oftentimes we are our own worst critic. But if you don’t reach your goal or you don’t succeed the way you wanted, then pause, give yourself grace, and figure out a better way forward.
Trust: Invitation is an uncomfortable space for a lot of us to be. And this is often the case because we have convinced ourselves that it’s all on our shoulders. But it is in fact not all on you. God does most of the work. You are simply trying to position yourself within people’s lives to be used by God to create the culture of invitation.
As we think about creating a culture of invitation, one of the most important aspects is to believe that God is going before us. God tends to place people in our paths who are either ready for invitation or who need you to invite them into your story of transformation, love and life. We are inviting people into so much more than just going to church on Sunday mornings. It is about inviting them to encounter Jesus because we believe that an encounter with Jesus changes so much. Jesus heals wounds, brings fullness to our story, reconciles relationships, puts broken people together, and overthrows hatred by the power of his unfailing love. This is what we are inviting people to experience and be a part of.