Explain It

In our partnership class and sometimes via e-mail, we get questions about how often we do come-forward-type invitations.  Public invitations are relatively new to to the organized church, but I grew up in a church were altar calls were standard practice.  I’m quite used to them,

At Oak Leaf Church, we sometimes do public invitations. About four or five times a year, we’ll really encourage our people to bring their friends (maybe their “one”) and we really teach a Gospel message.  We’ll do some type of public response.  Sometimes, we’ll ask people to move from their seats; sometimes I will walk them through it and I’ll ask them to fill out a card; one time I just asked them to stand up boldly with no music playing.

We’ve made a commitment to never do things without explaining them.  For example, lots of churches tack on communion to the end of a service (nothing wrong with this).  But for us, whenever we celebrate The Lord’s Supper, we want to take a lot of time and explain the significance and explain what’s happening.  The same goes for invitations, and baptisms.  Because Sunday morning is designed with guests in mind, we don’t want to do things that make sense to the insiders but would confuse the outsiders.  Calling for decisions, seeing people baptized, celebrating communion…these are all great things.  When we do them, we want to be intentional and explain everything.

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