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August 19th, 2008

by Craig Groeschel

43 comments (+ Add)

10 Reasons Not To Invite People to Follow Christ at Your Church

  1. You are afraid of rejection.
  2. You think everyone at church is already a believer.
  3. You wouldn’t dream of offending someone.
  4. You don’t really believe the gospel changes lives.
  5. You are so busy preaching about “sex” or “how to have a better life” that you don’t have time to present Christ.
  6. You would rather tell another joke than spend time explaining the gospel.
  7. You don’t want to be criticized for being narrow minded.
  8. You care more about everyone feeling welcome than about their eternity.
  9. You are embarrassed to talk a lot about Jesus.
  10. You don’t really really believe the gospel yourself.

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there are a total of43
  1. Aug 19, 2008 at 5:46 am

    Ouch, Craig these are so REAL!

    You wouldn’t dream of offending someone.

    Is obviously not one you struggle with, :-)

  2. Aug 19, 2008 at 5:51 am

    I love the way you turned this around Craig! You really are “stepping on some toes” here. I think I bought into the “don’t want to make it too uncomfortable” shtick that was being spread around. Combine that with the feeling that all who attended were Christians and the church frowning on “rededications” and the recipe was disaster to the invitation time. Many things changed that for me. Moving to an exciting church was one but also the whole idea of there is someone out there who is far from God and needs to know Him. Thanks for the reminder Craig!

  3. Aug 19, 2008 at 5:57 am

    I’m heading into my church staff meeting in just a few minutes. I feel like we’ve been doing a very poor job of this lately and I’m bringing it to the table today. Somewhere along the line, with all the good intentions in the world, we begin to miss the single most important point of why we are all there in the first place.

    It’s hard to admit when you’ve been wrong, but it’s even harder to admit that Satan has been using you as a distraction to the gospel. So here’s to focusing on the truth. Thanks for these last couple of posts Craig.

  4. Aug 19, 2008 at 6:03 am

    Bring it on, Craig!

  5. Aug 19, 2008 at 6:33 am

    Craig if you had ever lost “it”, you’ve got “it” back…

    I pray that God uses your boldness to give “it” to those whose ear you have…

    Challenging post… and I thank God for it bro!

  6. Aug 19, 2008 at 7:42 am

    I’ve been thinking over these things since my last comment, and discovered that these are often reasons why we as individuals don’t invite people to know Christ or share our faith…very convicting! Especially 7 (we were never made to be “open minded”). Thanks for the challenging post!

  7. 7Judy
    Aug 19, 2008 at 8:06 am

    Now Craig, are you listening to too much Ed Young….I am kidding…Love Ed Young…Good confrontation, #5 cracked me up!!!! Reminds me of the guy who asked a seasoned pastor, “When do you think the Tribulation will happen?”…to which the seasoned pastor, looked the young pastor right in the eye and asked “Do you love your wife?”…the whole experience should set up the all important invitation to follow Christ.

  8. Aug 19, 2008 at 8:07 am

    Jesus said, “If any of you are ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of you when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.”

    The whole message falls apart if we remove Jesus from the center, but keeping Him there requires the humility and faith to believe He is the only hope.

  9. Aug 19, 2008 at 8:14 am

    Chris # 8

    RIGHT ON!

  10. Aug 19, 2008 at 8:22 am

    YES!!!!

  11. Aug 19, 2008 at 8:32 am

    Maybe one could be your don’t believe in Hell.

  12. Aug 19, 2008 at 8:51 am

    #10….If we believe in something, it will such a part of us that we won’t be able to hold it in!

  13. Aug 19, 2008 at 9:16 am

    yes and…

    11. You believe the gospel is so big, transformative, mysterious, and life changing that you refuse to reduce it to a simple formula.

    12. You believe there are ways to invite people to align their lives with Christ without the traditional alter call, hand raising.

    good stuff Craig.

  14. Aug 19, 2008 at 9:50 am

    Nice… very nice! Bring it on.

  15. Aug 19, 2008 at 9:52 am

    13. You believe that the people who are called to call others to Christ are the people in the Church, and therefore empower them to do so rather than indicate that Church is the best location for it to happen.

  16. Aug 19, 2008 at 9:54 am

    By the way, I think this list would be more useful as a list for the members of the congregation rather than for pastors - perhaps titled as “10 reasons not to invite your friends and coworkers to follow Christ wherever you are”.

  17. Aug 19, 2008 at 9:54 am

    11. You’re disobedient.

    … what part of “Go” don’t you get? Matt. 28:19-20.

    - great post(s), Craig!

  18. Aug 19, 2008 at 10:16 am

    Ouch!!! Some of those questions are easy to answer. Some I’m afraid to answer. And some have an answer that has been tasting very bitter for a while and are requiring me to embrace my medicine. Thank you for reality check questions. God bless you Craig!

  19. Aug 19, 2008 at 10:35 am

    Nothing comfortable about letting go of everything to God. I’m guilty of trying to make people too comfortable at times.
    Great thoughts. Very convicting.
    Thanks C!

  20. Aug 19, 2008 at 10:37 am

    #2 Isn’t everyone in church already a Christian?

    Working at Lifechurch has taught me the truth about that! Thank God!

  21. Aug 19, 2008 at 11:03 am

    These are such great points. Jesus should never be taken away from anything we do.

  22. Aug 19, 2008 at 11:33 am

    good stuff Craig!

  23. 23Jon
    Aug 19, 2008 at 11:57 am

    Incredible post.

  24. 24robbie obrien
    Aug 19, 2008 at 12:00 pm

    I like your lists. I actually hung up the first one near my desk. I’ve got a question though…

    What does it look like to invite people to follow Christ in your church? For many it’s an altar call etc. But I don’t remember Jesus asking people to come to an altar or say a prayer. (Not to dismiss a time honored tradition.)

    Let’s keep the main thing the main thing - but describe what that looks like.

  25. Aug 19, 2008 at 12:36 pm

    Tell it!

    Boldness….

    Titus 2

  26. Aug 19, 2008 at 12:40 pm

    To #24- I can’t answer your question because I don’t go to this church but I did want to add a comment about your question.

    First, what is a church? It is the people. Church is not a place to worship… though I don’t really see the harm in saying, “I am going to church today.”

    Second, saying a prayer or doing the alter call thing is a tradition, though I believe that God can use these.

    I am part of a movement that focuses on baptism as part of the salvation process. But I have also come to realize that God cares more about our motives than He does our methods. Whether it be an alter call, prayer, baptism, or some other form of tradition I would have to believe that God sees that as a starting point in our commitment to Him.

  27. 28Lenni
    Aug 19, 2008 at 12:50 pm

    #24 if you watch any of lifechurch.tv messages at the end during the prayer, you can hear/see how lifechurch.tv does this. To see/hear this go to http://www.lifechurch.tv and click watch messages. The prayer is at the end of the message after there is prayer for people dealing with the sermon topic at hand.

  28. 29Jared
    Aug 19, 2008 at 2:31 pm

    I’ve done something that just eats me away…or moreso I DIDN’T do something.

    I was in Kenya preaching at a church in the poorest areas of Kenya…and I was giving a message on how God will provide…and how He is called the Great Provider. Well during my sermon Satan had been holding me back on presenting the gospel. He just kept feeding me lies…”these people don’t need it, Jared”…”All of them are saved…”…”You’d offend them if you presented the gospel”…and I didn’t. I listened to Satan’s deceit.
    What REALLY tears me up though is that the whole time I was preaching there was this one guy God put on my heart…he looked like he was extremely depressed (moreso than the rest of the people)…and that Satan was just bothering him and tearing him up…..I KNOW that if I would have presented the gospel he would have raised his hand. I felt it. But i listened to Satan’s lie.

    THIS is what pushes me to present the gospel. Scripture does, but this is a HUGE BURDEN God has put on my heart - to present the gospel every time. Why? Because that’s what it’s all about. Loving others and sharing Christ with them.

  29. Aug 19, 2008 at 9:09 pm

    If you seek IT you will find IT if you apply IT you will get IT when you get IT you can’t help but bring IT when you bring IT you share IT with those who seek IT. I thank God for IT and for the bold, excellent way in which you share IT!

  30. Aug 19, 2008 at 9:57 pm

    Thanks for pushing us Craig.

  31. Aug 19, 2008 at 11:44 pm

    Craig asked…”What does it look like to invite people to follow Christ in your church?”…

    Multi-faceted question with a simple answer for me…

    A gospel presentation, and a clear and simple invitation to get alone with God and obey his gospel though it may cost you even your life…

    Hand raising, and altar calls are good for us (the church, or pastors and evangelists) to see what impact the Spirit is making in other people’s lives, but to me the “formula” can become the goal or focus of the message…rather than the real focus, which is faith in Christ, and the filling of the fruit bearing Spirit of Christ…

    My church is on the streets, and wherever I may be led in life, and the people I invite to follow Christ I ask them to first count the cost, understand the decision, and then yield in obedience to complete trust in their lives for the direction and leadership to Christ…

    I believe that some people raise hands to please pastors or church members, (though some sincerely repent and trust and follow Christ to please God)… but for me, I don’t lead in a salvation prayer, or an altar call…but rather invite those who I believe have responded to the gospel to begin to trust Christ in obedience from this day forward…(not for salvation but as a result and fruit of their faith in His Gospel)…

    When I see someone respond immediately in obedience, I can be sure that it is faith… and not just a routine hand raising to please a pastor, or respond to pressure, or to get attention, or any other false motive, etc….(just being real here)…

    I believe if the Spirit is working, the heart will follow, and the mouth will testify of what God is doing in the heart…be it through prayer, testimony,tears or jubilation….

    My hope is not to put any stumbling block before a person, and that their sole goal in obeying the gospel is from a heart of faith, yielding to Christ…

    We have this saying in modern church “accept Christ into your heart”… and I think its weird personally … to me that gives way too much power to the person, and too little to God, even though it is just verbal preference…

    I like to say “Christ accepts you because of your faith and trust in Him…”,

    That kind of makes clearer the point that Jesus is the leader, and we are the followers…Jesus invites and we likewise respond in faith…

    I know, I am weird and radical… but I almost try to talk a person out of just saying a prayer… because I don’t want them to be deceived by a legalistic or religious landmark but rather by the gift of the Holy Spirit coming to give them peace between them and God through their faith in Christ…

    I know too many people who struggle with assurance because they “prayed the prayer”, or “stepped forward”, but do not have the Spirit’s assurance, and worry that they might have become religious rather than in faith trusted in Christ for salvation thus receiving the assurance, and seal of the Holy Spirit…

    To me, it is God’s job to give assurance, not mine… and I agree, I don’t see a “sinner’s prayer”, or an “altar call” in the scriptures…

    I am not saying those things aren’t important, or genuine, but just that I have come to the a place of faith where I trust that God will give them assurance of salvation and the hope and peace that comes with the indwelling Holy Spirit, and don’t see any need for those, or the possibility that those thing might provide false assurance…

    Sorry so long, but this question hit my “evangelist” button….

    Christ’s blessings…

  32. Aug 19, 2008 at 11:52 pm

    Should We Do an Altar Call Every Service?…

    …In the New Testament model of Church, the Church is the place where believers come together to worship. You never hear about altar calls during Christian worship in the New Testament, simply because the NT Church is a place for believers. Paul o…..

  33. Aug 20, 2008 at 2:16 am

    [...] previously mentioned by Craig Groeschel. Having listed 10 reasons why we should invite he now lists 10 reasons why we don’t invite people to become Christians. Interesting [...]

  34. Aug 20, 2008 at 5:40 am

    [...] the whole list of ten reasons at the Swerve blog here. Sphere: Related [...]

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  36. 37tanya
    Aug 20, 2008 at 7:54 pm

    wow…so what makes a person a REAL CHRISTIAN? by attending church every sunday? im confused?

  37. Sep 3, 2008 at 1:14 pm

    [...] 10 Reasons Not To Invite People to Follow Christ at Your Church (8/19/08) [...]

  38. Jun 11, 2009 at 5:10 am

    [...] | Tags: Church, Craig Groeschel, Evangelism, gospel, Jesus, Preaching, spiritual formation Craig Groeschel provided the following 10 reasons why we don’t invite people to follow Christ at our [...]

  39. Jul 12, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    People of Thunder said,

    “We have this saying in modern church “accept Christ into your heart”… and I think its weird personally … to me that gives way too much power to the person, and too little to God, even though it is just verbal preference…

    I like to say “Christ accepts you because of your faith and trust in Him…”,

    That kind of makes clearer the point that Jesus is the leader, and we are the followers…Jesus invites and we likewise respond in faith…”

    I like that. It has always seemed too weird to accept Jesus into our heart. Maybe the place to accept Him into should be our wallet. LOL

    Really though, it seems to diminish the place of grace and mercy if it is all up to us. By us accepting Christ our salvation is then because we did something. By Christ accepting us because of our faith in Him (also given to us) it is all from God.

    What an amazing gift.

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