Winning Ways - from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas  Contact Tom Goodman, Pastor
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A Re-Invitation Away
by Tom Goodman
August 19, 2009

Eight in ten people who are not involved in a church would attend if someone would just ask them.

You need to be that "someone," and today would be a perfect day to start.

LifeWay Research found that 82 percent of unchurched people would likely accept an invitation from a friend or family member to attend church.  Unfortunately, said Thom Rainer, president of LifeWay, few church members invite their friends and neighbors.  "Only two percent of church members invite an un-churched person to church," he says.  "Ninety-eight percent of churchgoers never extend an invitation in a given year."

Most people who drop out of church haven't lost their faith in God.  Instead, they fell out of the habit of churchgoing.  Some moved or had another change in life circumstances, or had a falling out with their former church and simply drifted away.  Most often, life simply became too busy.

That means they are open to returning to church.  "Many de-churched people are a simple re-invitation away," says Mark Batterson, of the National Community Church in Washington, D.C.

As I said, today would be a perfect day to test this research.  You have friends and relatives and co-workers who may be a simple re-invitation away from getting connected to the Hillcrest Family.

We prepare 52 events a year to help you with this.  In other words, you should see every Sunday worship service as an outreach opportunity.  But there's a special one coming up in two weeks.  On August 30, Jaime Jamgochian will lead us in worship.  You can learn more about her at  Following the service, we want all Sunday School classes and Common Ground groups to prepare a half-hour of fellowship.  This will give you a chance to introduce those you invite to your friends.

In Rainer's research with those who used to attend a church but don't at present, he found that many are open to more than just attending for a single Sunday.   Most (62 percent) were open to the idea of getting active in a church again.

That's promising news.  Don't give up on your friends and family!  Your continued prayers and prodding could get them into the life and ministry of Hillcrest.  Our prayer is that they will find and follow Jesus together with us!

Weblog:  Check out my blog, "Get Anchored."  Some things to look for...

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