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One of the most vivid memories I have of my childhood was being invited to Grandma's on Easter Sunday. Although the menu was always the same; baked ham, scalloped potatoes with jello salad and home made apple pie for dessert, the whole family was there. It was a holiday event that no one wanted to miss.

Many Christians will invite family for dinner this weekend. Have you ever considered inviting company to your church on Easter Sunday?

Unchurched people are more likely to respond to your invitation on Easter than at any other time of the year. One out of four unchurched people surveyed said they would go to church if someone they knew invited them.

Easter is a singular opportunity for unchurched friends to hear the gospel. According to a Gallup poll, church attendance surges by 25 percent on Easter.

Your friends are more likely to accept your invitation at Easter because people think of new beginnings, a clean slate and a spiritual awakening during the Easter season. Some desire to reach out to God and to be refreshed by spiritual renewal.

For others, Easter is a season of rebirth that brings the hope of optimism, the feeling of a fresh start. This year many will attend church to pray for loved ones in the military, while others will attend church simply to attend church on Easter the most important day in Christendom.

In John 4:5 when Jesus spoke to the woman at the well of Samaria, she immediately invited her friends to "come and see." Why not use this Easter as an opportunity to invite someone to come and see what the Jesus the Word of God can do for them?

What is the best way to invite an unchurched friend to church at Easter?

The invitation process must begin with prayer. Pray that the Lord will "open their eyes, [and] to turn [them] from darkness to light, and [from] the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith." (Acts 26:18)

Don't prejudge how someone will respond to your invitation. Don't say no for someone before your invite them. Sometimes you ask and the person says no, or you ask and they say they're going to come, but they don't. Or you ask and they say they're going to come, and they do, but nothing seems to happen. Don't get discouraged. Invitation is a process, not a one-time event.

When they do accept your invitation, put yourself in their shoes. Imagine yourself as a first time visitor. Offer to pick them up and drive to church together—a gesture of friendship that makes your guest feel comfortable. And remember your guest may want to be inconspicuous on their first visit, so be sensitive to where you sit.

Invitational evangelism is a relational and non-threatening way to share Jesus with people you know. Easter is an open door of opportunity for the Holy Spirit to use your relationship with another person to introduce them to the love of God.

And of course you can always invite them over for ham and scalloped potatoes after church.

CFAITH All rights reserved

Author Biography

Phil Winn
Web site: Living Word Christian Center
A lifelong Minnesotan, Phil graduated from North High in Minneapolis in 1963. At age 17, he enlisted in the National Guard and received his commission as an Army officer in 1966. After graduating from the University of Minnesota in 1970, he took a position a hospital representative for Novartis Pharmaceuticals. The same year he married his college sweetheart Annie Haviland.

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