I love a good invitation … not sure that it is a tradition beyond a few generations in the modern aspect but it is a memory from childhood. Should we do more with the invitation? Why do I hesitate
Afraid of the Doctrine.
The terminology and careful wording of the sermon that is preached includes an invitation… but to just go and speak to fill time/air with the “invitation” is a little frightening. I realize that “Just As I Am” and “Softly and Tenderly” speak clearly for themselves and are at times useful. But there should be no break between worship and repentance. I hesitate because I don’t want to say the wrong words or teach bad theology.
Afraid of the “magic.”
This is the big one for me. I have had to overcome years of being trained that the place for decision and repentance is the front step of the church. I am not saying it can’t happen there, just that we shouldn’t wait to get there! Time and time again I work with people that are “waiting” to “be saved” or “repent” until next Sunday… and often times that next Sunday never comes. Perhaps this should make me place more of an effort with the invitation.
Afraid God may work.
What would happen? What could happen? What would our church look like if we called for repentance and people responded? Maybe there is a little bit of stilt in my view because I am afraid that God will work in a more open way. Then again, maybe this is because I see God working in so many other areas and bringing people to Himself that I don’t worry about the invitation as long as the call to repentance is in the message.
While I won’t be running to push an outright invitation at church services I do feel that it is necessary to call to people to repent EVERY time we preach. That is an invitation that is modeled in Acts and used by God to save sinners.
And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.
What do you think? Evangelize the church? Turn the sermon into soul-winning seminar?
I didn’t get to go to T4G2014 but I have heard a couple times of this invitation of John Piper. After watching it I still hesitate to use an invitation, but I am less afraid of it 🙂