Invite by asking, "Would you like to know more?" The gospel is not complete without an invitation. You will be surprised at the results. As Rick Warren says, “You don’t have to pull hard when the fruit is ripe.” God is ripening people’s hearts.
- Invite practically. Jesus looked around and saw them following. “What do you want?” he asked them. They replied, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?” “Come and see,” he said. ( John 4:38, 39 NLT) Invite people to a process of discovery, not a point of decision. The invitation should be, "come and see" not "come and stay." It’s not a call to believe on the spot. It’s an offer to know more. It's an opportunity to learn what it means to follow Christ. It is creating a setting in which, over time, the Holy Spirit can use your love and the truth of the Scriptures to bring about genuine and lasting spiritual change.
- Invite confidently. I have other sheep, too, that are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them also. They will listen to my voice. (John 10:16 NLT) Expect results. There are people who will respond positively to an invitation to know more. People long for the life Jesus offers. Many just need a safe and friendly invitation. A warm offer yields amazing results.
- Invite honorably. But when the young man heard this, he went away sad, for he had many possessions. (Matthew 19:22 NLT) Jesus allowed those who declined his invitation to walk away. Practice “catch and release” with those who decline the offer to know more. Thank them for their time, and leave open the opportunity to continue the dialogue another time. It is important to remember that each “no” response means that you have successfully informed them about life Jesus offers. Many who are treated this way express appreciation for not being lured into an unwanted debate. The gospel ceases to be the gospel when it is forced. Statistics show that people need several separate exposures to the gospel before they are ready to respond. “Catch and release” allows you to be one of those. It is not uncommon for someone who says “no” to an initial invitation to say “yes” later when they realize it's safe to do so.
No one has ever been saved by praying a prayer, raising their hand, bowing their head, going forward or signing a tract. A few have been saved WHILE doing these things but no one has ever been saved BY doing these things.