Yesterday at Mt Vernon Church I met a nice young family with a precious daughter. Not too out of character for a Sunday at church. They were a different nationality, and they ran a small business in town. Standard stuff. Then I learned a little bit more of their back story, and my heart broke a little bit.
They moved to our city six years ago. They own a small retail business, one that sees at least a hundred people a day walk through the doors. Yet this was the first time they’d been to church in Columbus. Why? Because it took six years for someone to invite them to church! Mississippi still considers itself to be the buckle of the Bible Belt, meaning there were tons of good-natured Christians that did business with this nice young family. If half of their normal customers that came in went to church, then that would equal 78,000 encounters with church going folks without an invite to church. Ashamed yet?
Wait, it gets better. The lady from our church who invited them isn’t from here. She’s been in town less than two years herself. This young couple is still waiting for someone who considers this city their home to invite them to church.
What’s the moral of the story? Never assume that someone else will invite that person you see every week to church. Don’t assume that every person you see goes to church somewhere. Invite them. Invite them to come to church with you. Hopefully they won’t have to wait six years for an invitation to church.