How to invite people to an evangelistic course
We recently did a survey in the Kensington area and found that 77% of churches that responded are running some kind of enquirers course. This means that people living around those particular churches have an opportunity to explore the claims of the gospel on a deeper level, and to develop their faith. However, just because we run an enquirers course, doesn’t mean that people will attend. There are a bewildering amount of things to do in London on any given day so we face a challenge to break through the noise of a busy city. The question is how could we better enable these people to hear about it and then how can we encourage people to attend the enquirers course.
Here are just two things to think about when inviting people to an evangelistic course:
Am I inviting my own friends?
By far the greatest uptake for a course like this is if someone they know invites them. It’s much harder to expect people to simply turn up (although the benefit of courses like Alpha is that they have such a large presence and infrastructure that people can type in their post-code and find their nearest course that way, and we regularly have people come in that way at our own church). I tend to work on a 1 to 5 ratio. So for every 5 people I invite, I would expect 1 of those people to come along, if you want 20 people, then as a church you need to invite 100 people, and so on.
Would I want to attend myself?
While resources can be tight, it’s really important to think about how to make the course you are running something that you yourself would want to attend. This is a key part of having confidence to extend an invitation to our friends. If we feel like they would be blessed by the experience then it makes such a huge difference when we are asking our friends to come along! Think about what happens when people arrive at the door, are they left to enter a room on their own, or are they greeted and made to feel welcomed in? How does it feel for a newcomer? What about the lighting, is there food, what is the ambient temperature? It’s important to run through what it feels like for someone else coming in. Are we putting people at ease, or is it awkward?
Don’t worry, the pressure is off what happens after the invitation has been extended. Our role is simply to invite people along and to make sure we’re ready for when people arrive. This is the success. What happens next is over to God.
Revd Matt Hogg, St Alban with St Augustine Fulham
To find out more and explore resources visit the Ambassadors page