If You Invite Them They Will Come
When it comes to inviting, we follow one simple principle: If you invite them, they will come. Occasionally I have heard leaders say that they do not invite people “because they might not come.” When people tell me this, I always ask, “If you invite them, what is the worse thing that could happen?” They generally respond, “They might not come.”
Then I reply, “If they are not coming anyway, how have you lost anything? After all, they just might come.” It is exciting to know that if you invite them, they will come. Not all will come. Not all will come right away, but if you invite them, some will come.
According to Richard Price and Pat Springer, “Experienced group leaders . . . realize that you usually have to personally invite 25 people for 15 to say they will attend. Of those 15, usually only eight to 10 will actually show up, and of those, only five to seven will be regular attenders after a month or so.” This means you can grow a new group of ten to fourteen regular members in a year by inviting one new person each week! If a whole group catches the vision of inviting, a group can experience explosive growth.
If you will invite enough people, some will come. When I start a new group, I start by asking two to five times the number of people I expect to have at the first meeting.
Some ask, “Where do I find people to invite?” There are at least four good places to look for people to invite:
3. Co-workers or fellow students.
KEYS TO EFFECTIVE INVITING:
1. Saturate the situation in prayer.
God knows the “what, when, where, and how” of an effective invitation. Prayer helps us to cooperate with what He is doing.
2. Keep them saying “Yes.”.
Once someone has said “No” to an invitation, it can be easier for them to say “No” to the next invitation, so it is valuable to get them to say, “Yes” and to keep them saying “Yes.” If possible, build a bridge of “Yeses” until they are regular attenders of your group.
For example, some people invite a person to a group before the person is ready to say “Yes” to a group. However, the person may be ready to say “Yes” to allowing their children to attend a children’s activity at the church. A progression of “Yeses” may look like this:
Yes to accepting cookies you made for their family.
Yes to having you pick up their mail while they are on vacation.
Yes to allowing you to pick up their kids for a function at your church.
Yes to desert at your house.
Yes to having them come over and watch the Superbowl at your house.
Yes to letting you pray for their sick mother.
Yes to attending your group.
Too often, we invite people once, and they say “No,” so we do not invite them again. Too frequently, we invite them to come and they say “Yes,” but do not show, so we do not invite them again. Sometimes, we invite them to come, and they come but do not come back, so we do not invite them again.
Many times we are guilty of giving up on a person too easily and quitting too quickly. Persistence makes a difference. I find that many people who do not come at the first invitation often come after the third or fourth, if I have continued to build a caring relationship.
Lovingly use these to increase ministry to the person you hope to invite …because if you invite them they will come.
(Taken from the Small Group Dynamics "If You Invite Them They Will Come" by Dave Earley, June, 2005.
Sharing the Journey,
Rick & Becky Diefenderfer