Matt 22:9 Go therefore to the main roads and invite to the wedding feast as many as you find.

I am very excited about the journey that we are on with God. We always need to remember we are on His program, His timeline, and we have the privilege of partnering with Him.

Our Journey so far, has some interesting twists and turns, all good of course. In line with our Five “E ” Grace values which I recount:

Encounter God”; we need His presence more and more each day, and unless we encounter Him in each step of our journey, then it is simply an exercise based on human effort.

Engage People”; we are called to engage people from all walks of life.  We are seed sowers of the Gospel ~ dispensers of grace.

Equip the Saints”; so that we may all do the work of the ministry.

Empower Leaders” ;  into all facets of life.

Extend the Kingdom of God”;   our commission here on earth.

All in all our “E grace” values are are not a list, but reminders of what is important to us in order to see that Our Father’s name will be glorified, as we extend our Bridge to our community.

Journey with us, as we look into our new series, ” INVITE”, that we may Engage People!

There is a banquet set every time we meet, every time we gather together, whether for our prayer meetings, Life Groups, Sunday Celebration, Youth meetings, Men’s, Ladies and Legends meetings; or as simply stated, we walk across the road to sow seeds in our community.  Let us, with intentionality, develop a culture of  “Invite”.

You might say this sounds like evangelism?   You get an “A”!   We know that each local church has a mandate, an ethos, which is germane to that particular church, simply because of what God has placed on that church and it’s leadership.  You might go as far to describe it as a flavor;  yet in all churches, there are a couple of common denominators that should reflect a community with a heart for the lost, and the un~churched, those that you come into contact with daily, who have never heard the message of the gospel.  As we would call it,  your “ Oikos”.   No, I don’t mean a Greek yoghurt, I mean your circle of influence!

Each local church has a certain culture or ethos. However, what appears to me, is that there is one culture that is mostly not well developed, and it should be near the top of the list (so to speak), and that is a culture of  “Invite”.    It is this very thing that we were commissioned to do from Matt 28, “as you go along,  make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” (paraphrase)

The stats tell us that by far, 86 % of people who come to Christ, do so after a one to one personal invitation, which leaves very little room in “soul winning” to mass evangelism,  crusades, pulpit preaching etc, etc.   Don’t hear something else, all mediums of evangelism have their place, it’s just that the most effective one by far, is one on one, face to face, up close and personal evangelism.

It is also reported that 72% of North Americans, have no clue who their neigbours are. Here’s a thought, because we are creatures of habit, meaning we normally shop at the same places ie , butcher, baker, candlestick maker, how many of us know the names of our local vendors?    Just saying….

The #1 reason why the majority of people don’t come to church ~ you guessed it ~  because no one ever invited them……WOW!    You may ask at this juncture, are you into numbers? The answer is a categoric yes. In the words of Reinhard Bonke, “we want to continually be plundering hell, to populate heaven”.   It’s not about numbers for numbers sake, however, read Acts 2:41 and Acts 4:4. It was important then and it is important now. It’s about extending the Kingdom of God, expanding our sphere of influence, and planting churches.

This is an open invitation, no gilt edged card required, to invite your friends,  family, neighbours, and acquaintances.   Lets us be doers of the word, Mark 16:15 And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.”

I love the recounting of Paul in Phillippi ( Acts 16) with Lydia and the Philippian   jailer; “Immediately they came to know Christ, they opened their hearts to the brothers and they opened their homes to them.”    An open invitation extended……….

When we read John 1, we see a marvelous examples of invitation, John the Baptist, as he went along, we read of the next day and the next day, he was a great Influencer, in pointing people, in actual fact strangers to Jesus.

The first thing Andrew does, he goes after his family, he brings his brother, Simon, who became Peter,  to meet Jesus. Did Andrew ever realize at the time, that his brother Peter, would be so mightily used of God?

Philip then invites his friend Nathanael ( Bartholomew) to meet Jesus.

Our invitation to extend the kingdom covers our Oikos, our sphere of influence, where weinvite and bring strangers, neighbours, family and friends to Christ.

Let us be generous in opening our community’s eyes to the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Mark Ellwood

Husband of one gorgeous wife, blessed father, delighted in my daughter, pastor, preacher, pedestrian, follower of Jesus, amazed that I have been chosen. Mark is the Senior Pastor at The Bridge Church For All Nations. Follow Mark’s personal blog