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Don't Bother Inviting Me
by Tom Goodman
October 5, 2011

"Don’t worry about inviting me to church."

That's the surprising way Pastor James Emery White began a recent newsletter to his congregation.  It was written as if from a friend of a churchgoer.  It can help us get ready for Connection Sunday, October 16.

Writing as the the unchurched friend, White continues:

I know we’re friends, and you go to church, but I know talking about your faith makes you uncomfortable.  At least, that’s the sense I get.  We talk about a lot of stuff, but whenever church or God comes up, you get -- I don’t know, tense.  I’ve never understood why -- it doesn’t weird me out as much as it does you -- but I’m happy to relieve you of what is obviously something that makes you awkward.

Besides, he asks, is there anything at church that could really make a difference in his life?

It’s not like I’m an atheist -- I’m not.  I believe in God.  I’m spiritual.  And I want to do better; I’d like to understand the Bible, be a better parent, have a closer marriage, maybe even volunteer for something that would help others.  But last time I went to church, that isn’t exactly what was offered.

And then there's the unchurched friend's personal hesitations:

Besides, we both know I’m not exactly a poster-child for Christianity.  I’ve got baggage.  I’ve got questions.  I don’t think church is exactly the kind of place for someone like me.

But Pastor White has a point to make, and he closes his note from the imaginary unchurched friend with this:

But if, by chance, you think I have this all wrong,
then for God’s sake,

Have you figured out the person you plan to invite to meet your Hillcrest Family on Connection Sunday, October 16?  I'll begin a 9-week series on the life of King David that day, and I hope the stories will engage, inspire, and convict your friend -- as well as every one of us.

Did you know that Jim Johnson, the man who captained this year's phone campaign, began to attend our church as a result of just such an invitation in our last Connection Campaign?  We expect 100 new faces on October 16 because of the phone calls, but we'd like to meet your friend, too.

Take a moment right now to write me and tell me who you're planning to invite (  I'll also need your name and your preferred phone number on your note.


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