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Invest and Invite

The material you are about to read through is a copy and paste. My brother-in-Law, Chris Reed, executive pastor of Christ’s Church of Flagstaff wrote this and its too good to just read and put away. I hope you enjoy it and are challenged by it…
Invest and Invite
Right up front, I have to let you know I did not come up w/ this phrase. Someone else did. Those of us who are Disciples of Jesus Christ realize there is a Gap between our current level of evangelism and the level we want to operate our lives at. Following Jesus requires that we share him with others who are far from Him. We know that and we also know that we aren’t very good at it. We have a Gap.
Here is the task I gave during a recent sermon, go to a local bank in which you don’t have any money deposited. Give the teller your ID and ask for your money. The confused look on her face after a few seconds of searching her computer screen will be quite humorous. When she tells you that you don’t have any money at that bank say, “Ok, I didn’t think so, but I thought I’d try anyway.”
That is exactly what you and I do when we walk across the street to our neighbors and invite them to church at Easter or Christmas. You may even think, “Ok, I didn’t think so, but I thought I’d try anyway.”
We understand investment in regards to money, but we don’t often apply the same principles to investing in people. We know that if we want to invest wisely with our money we must set aside (save) a portion of it on a regular basis. We have to sacrifice our wants and desires today for a payoff tomorrow. That makes sense. We don’t all do it, but it makes sense.
Your neighbor who is far from God is no different. You have to display consistency and sacrifice to truly invest in his or her life. You have to set aside (save) a portion of your time to invest in people who are far from Christ. To do that requires a sacrifice that most of us are not willing to make. We have to have time to give; we have to say no to something that we are currently doing with our time. We may have to stop taking our kids to dance classes or soccer practice 4 nights a week. We may have to stop playing so much golf or only DVR 4 shows a week instead of 8. To save money on a monthly basis means that you can’t spend all the money you get each month. To invest time in your neighbor means you can’t spend all the time you get each month.
Once you and I start to consistently and sacrificially give our neighbors time we can then begin to think and pray about the process of inviting them to an event or service where they can encounter Christ. How will you know its time to make an invitation to a church service? Look at your investment with a particular person, if you ask them to church and they aren’t receptive, do you have enough invested that they know you will still be their friend if they don’t accept the invitation?
How do you get started? That’s the hardest part. Start planning a night a month in which you are going to invite several neighbors over for a potluck dinner. Make a decision ahead of time that Sundays from 2-3 you are going to be outside each week and strike up conversations with anyone that comes across your path. Turn off the phone and music during your child’s practice and talk to the other parents. Remember investments take time to mature and pay a dividend. Not all of your relationships will lead the other person to a salvation experience, but your life and the life of your family will be richer when you invest in the lives of others.
Give me some more ideas, how can we all invest in the lives of others?