Who Will You Invite?
October 14, 2022
in Pastor's Weekly Message
When people hear our church’s name, what comes to mind? This is the question the United Methodist Church asked decades ago, so it did research. It discovered the general public didn’t have a good or bad impression of the church. This was good news, but it was troubling that people had no opinion at all. The denomination set out to change that to a positive image, and the “Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors” campaign began. In the local church, the slogan helped us to identify how we saw our faith community – a community where all are welcome.
This campaign did a great job of helping us to identify our nature of being welcome. Here at St. Mark’s, we believe all are welcome, and we do a great job of welcoming those who arrive in our worship or activities.
The campaign missed the mark, however, by letting us believe it was enough to just welcome people who come in through the doors. We also need to do the work of being invitational. We need to do the work of inviting people to come to worship and our activities. We need to do the work in the community of being known as a relevant place where God’s work is done.
We do this well, of course. Our ministry partners know we are strong leaders in missions and outreach. Our Early Childhood Center families know we are strong leaders in early childhood education. Other Methodist churches know we are leaders in the conference in a variety of areas. Our community knows us as the church with the pumpkin patch. That’s right: This ministry that started as a fundraiser for our youth is a great outreach to the community. Countless people know us for that, and that alone. (So volunteer to help this outreach opportunity happen! Details are below!)
But what about your neighbors and friends? Are you invitational in your circles? Studies have shown, over and over, that people are more likely to come to a church because of a personal invitation instead of a postcard or other advertising. I loved it when two different people last Sunday introduced me to people they had invited and brought with them. This is our task as Christians! Invite others to Christ!
I invite you to think today about someone who could experience the welcoming congregation called St. Mark’s. I invite you to pray for an opening to invite someone to come hear about a God who loves us unconditionally. You might be surprised who is placed in your path. It might be your hair dresser or your bank teller. It might be a neighbor or a family member. You never know who God shows you to invite.
Church slogans are a great first step. Your witness of who God is among the people of St. Mark’s is the next step. Who will you invite today? How will we be known to the world?
See you soon.
- 8:30 a.m. Traditional service in Sanctuary and child care in Rm 15
- 10 a.m. Traditional service in Sanctuary and child care in Rm 15
- 10 a.m. Youth and children’s Sunday School and child care (except fifth Sundays)
- 10 a.m. Livestream premieres on YouTube and Website
To access our livestream service:
- From the main menu on our website click “Worship.” -OR-
- Go to YouTube and search for UMC St. Mark’s Oro Valley or use this link.