I invited him, and he actually said yes! I wasn’t a pastor yet, just a listening ear when we met in a parking lot and happened to start talking. He knew of my church but had never even considered the possibility of attending until I mentioned that he was welcome. It turns out that my invitation was the answer this man was searching for ever since his church had closed several years before. He DID come to church the next Sunday and soon after became a member. After about two years this man became ill and passed away. Those two years were great years, though. He and his wife had grown in faith, received the sacrament, and enjoyed new deep friendships in church. When illness struck, he and his wife received the love and support of their church friends and pastor.
Holidays in our culture still tend to be times people “feel they should go to church.” We will probably have guests just show up at Zion for holiday services, especially near Christmas, and we will prepare to welcome them. However, you can also actively use these as opportunities to invite to Zion any friends, family, and even people you are just getting to know. Because it is a holiday you might find it less scary, and they just might already be thinking, for example, “I really should thank God on thanksgiving by going to church rather than just stuffing my face and watching football.” I’ll make sure they hear the Gospel and leave the service with more for which to thank God than they even considered before coming.
• Consider inviting someone to this year’s Thanksgiving Eve worship service.
• The Outreach Committee is preparing Thanksgiving food baskets for families in need. Do you know a family that could use some help?
• Consider inviting a soldier, college student, or single person to your house for Thanksgiving supper.
–Pastor Stephen Heimer