One of our worship leaders shared a great line in an email to me. He and his wife met a couple from our area at a marriage retreat recently. As they got to know the new couple over the weekend they found out the couple didn’t currently have a church. The worship leader and his wife invited the other couple to attend our church. Here’s the shocking part of this story. You might want to sit down for this one. You aren’t going to believe what happened next.
THEY SHOWED UP! They actually came and even better…they liked it and have actually returned. In Michael’s email to me he wrote, “This inviting people thing really works!” I love that line. That line is true. That is the simple principle which has built Grace into who we are as a church today; no advertising; no fancy brochures or mail outs; simply the art of the personal invitation.
It reminds me of when I was pastor at another church several years ago and as soon as I arrived they wanted me to start an outreach program. They had considered and tried all kinds of formal, organized programs and nothing had really worked for them. I gave them one of my own. I taught them one Sunday how to grow their church. It is a genius plan. I highly recommend it still. It’s called the “Wanna Plan”. It worked great and the church that had been stagnant for years began to grow again (actually very quickly).
The “Wanna Plan” goes like this. Read slowly so you don’t miss anything. You approach someone (could be someone you know or someone you don’t know) and say, “Hey!” Go ahead and practice that part. You can even try different ways of saying “Hey!” if you want ranging from super-excited to semi-mellow. Don’t try to tackle the next part, which is much more difficult, until you get the “Hey!”downpat.
Then, carefully, not too fast and not too slow, in a pleasant sounding voice ask the people, “Wanna come to my church?” Now try that. Ask it as a question; not a statement. Say it with enthusiasm! After you’ve rehearsed each of these rather tricky lines a few times until you’re sure you have them, try putting them together into one phrase. I know what you’re thinking: This is too much information at once, but you can do it. I promise! It goes like this: “Hey, wanna come to my church?” (If you need to you can write this on a cue card in case you get too nervous and forget your line.)
This complicated system, if you can master it, really does work. Try some of the magic today.