How to make inviting a friend to church less awkward
How did you find your favorite restaurant? Did you Google it or was it a recommendation from a friend? What about your dentist or when you needed that repair on your car? There’s a good chance you tried something new because of a recommendation from a friend. In fact, 92% of us state that we trust the recommendations of friends and family over advertisements or reviews online (according to Nielson).
It feels easy and natural in conversation to say ‘have you tried the new coffee shop, the lattes are delicious!’ or ‘I had to get a root canal last week, but Dr. so-and-so made me feel so great and I had zero pain’ - so why is it so hard and often awkward for so many of us to make that same kind of recommendation/natural conversation about church?
Perhaps it’s that it feels more vulnerable or personal to talk about the church, but what if you tried making that recommendation as casually, naturally, or enthusiastically as that new coffee shop?
Easter and Christmas are probably the easiest time to invite someone to church because most of us attended as children and have positive memories of those experiences.
Here are a few things you could try this week to make it less awkward for you, and your friend:
Ask in normal conversation:
“What are you doing for Easter?” or “What are your plans during Spring Break?” You may be surprised at the answer. Maybe they have no plans, maybe they're headed to Florida for a few days and will be back before the holiday.
Mention your plans:
Tell them all about your week, and share you'll be attending services on Easter.
Mention your favorite parts of the service:
“Our music is amazing”, “There is a delicious brunch after the sunrise service”, “The sermons are so good- check out the podcast and listen to last week (share the link), or “the kids love the egg hunt”
Make the ask:
“Would you like to go with me/us? We will meet you in the parking lot and sit together”
Share what to expect:
Give a few details on where to park, what to wear, how communion works and send them our “Plan a visit” link on the website. Trying out a new church can be a little nerve-wracking when you don’t know all the things yet! Assure them you are excited to be their guide that Sunday!
Invite them to lunch afterward:
It is much easier and more comfortable for our friends to visit with us than to visit a new church - perhaps that invitation to lunch or coffee afterward is enough comfort to help them try it out!
Don't take it personally if the answer is no thank you:
Sometimes we have to be invited or reminded a couple of times before we are open to trying a new thing. Maybe this Easter isn't the right time for them, but maybe our upcoming Earth Day Plant Adoption is, or they should check out VBS.
Share our posts on social media with a friend
Send them our podcast link or a favorite sermon video
Drop off a postcard with service information
Invite them to participate in a service opportunity before inviting them to worship!
Whatever you choose to do, we will be so glad to see you at church any day!