Why Church Members Don’t Invite Others to Church – Rainer on Leadership #069

Podcast Episode #069


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In this week’s podcast, we cover a recent post here at the blog written by Chuck Lawless on why church members don’t invite others to church. Some highlights from the podcast include:

  • We have to keep an awareness before our church members that they need to invite others to church.
  • Don’t be afraid of rejection. Celebrate those who accept your invitation.
  • Don’t be reluctant to invite others because your church isn’t perfect. No church is.
  • Pastors: when is the last time you instructed your congregation to invite others to church?
  • Don’t discount the potential success you can have with a “Friend Day.”
  • God uses us as His instruments to invite.
  • We often use excuses and rationalizations to mask our disobedience to the Great Commission.
  • Redundantly remind church members to invite others.

Here are the ten reasons church members don’t invite others to church:

  1. “I just don’t think about it.”
  2. “I’m afraid I’ll be rejected.”
  3. “The music isn’t that good.”
  4. “The preaching isn’t strong.”
  5. “We’ve got too many church problems right now.”
  6. “Our church is already too crowded.”
  7. “Nobody ever challenged me to invite anyone.”
  8. “I don’t know how to start the conversation.”
  9. “It’s the Spirit’s job—not mine—to bring people to church.”
  10. “It’s too far for people to come.”

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If you have a question you would like answered on the show, fill out the form on the podcast page here at ThomRainer.com. If we use your question, you’ll receive a free copy of Autopsy of a Deceased Church.



  • Matt Wisecarver says:

    My wife and I just moved to Kansas City so I could attend Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary full time. Within the first week of moving into our new apartment, a couple above us greeted us outside and invited us to their church. It was very encouraging.

  • Shannah says:

    Another issue for metropolitan churches is our commuter culture. I believe strongly in worshipping and building community close to where I live. Thus, I am active in a church that is 10 min from my home. However, I work downtown – a 40+ min commute away and a majority of my non-believer relationships are forged there. Those individuals either live close to the office or also commute from other suburbs. My local “community” happens at church and unfortunately not in my neighborhood – and from what I’ve observed, many of my neighbors commute as well.

    This isn’t an excuse to get out of evangelistic activities, but it is a very real issue and one that I’ve personally struggled with. Who is my neighbor and how can I effectively engage my daily circle of influence beyond the workday without unduly impacting the limited time I have to spend with my family?

  • Russ says:

    #10 deserves serious discussion.
    There are two large well known SBC churches 5 min from our home. We drive 25 min to serve at our church out of relationships forged when we lived in that community. It is however declining due to major shift in demographics of the area. We do openly “boast” of our church and invite and get funny looks and ” you go where?”

  • Josh says:

    Let’s not make the mistake of equating inviting someone to church with obedience to the Great Commission. I think for far too long my US Bible Belt culture has made that mistake. Obedience to the Great Commission requires a lifestyle of obedience. If inviting people to church is our only evangelistic strategy, then we are outsourcing our responsibility to make disciples and we will never fulfill the Great Commission. Making disciples of all nations involves much more than an invitation to church.

  • Kevin Hester says:

    Good stuff! As a Pastor I also must be an example by witnessing and inviting others to church myself. Remember it’s sometimes more caught than taught!

  • Wes Brockway says:

    The given reasons are certainly real. However, I think we fail to look realistically at who, some anyway, of our congregations are. For example where I presently attend, and a church I previously pastored, the majority of the people are elderly. Also our “young adults” who attend regularly are in their 40’s and 50’s. We have virtually no young adults in their 20’s or 30’s, no high schoolers, and a very few middle schoolers and children. These are some things I’ve observed about my seniors.

    1. They are great people and many have a deep faith in Christ and some a great knowledge of the Bible. It is unfortunate that most young people won’t take the time to get to know them.

    2. In their younger days they participated in the visitation programs of the church. Several have told me of when the church had a scheduled visitation time that they were a part of.

    3. Due to limitations of their age they rarely drive anywhere that isn’t a regular route they follow such as to the grocery store, their doctor, their church, and so forth. Searching for an address in a new area is very difficult for them and disorienting. They don’t drive at night and sometimes don’t even go out at night. Memory is a problem and they can easily lose their way back from a new area. Knowing this they won’t take a chance.

    4.They are settled in their ways sometimes as a coping mechanism. They have selected their church and will attend it until they can’t. This is true even if they don’t like the changes. Their friends are of a similar age and mindset. Their friends have chosen if they are going to attend church and if they are, where they will attend church. They’re not looking to make a change.

    It is not my desire to denigrate the senior generation. They have done the work faithfully when they were physical able to and they still faithfully attend and support their church. Financially they, as a group, are probably keeping the church afloat. It is unrealistic to expect them to be the group that grows the church and unfair to harangue them about bringing people to Christ and the church.

    Our church, like many others, does not have enough faithful, involved adults in their 40’s and 50’s to sufficiently meet the leadership and work needs of the church. This is a necessary age group as, typically, their children are grown and are out of the house. They have gained wisdom and experience that enables them as leaders, and, hopefully, they have been trained well in the scriptures.

    Young adults, and youth are where we find abundant energy and excitement. They eagerly invite friends to that which they are involved in. They provide the joyous energy in our churches.

    As I pass the years, I am believing more and more that we need to return to specific, planned times of evangelistic visits that includes those who have visited the church and cold calls. This needs to be seen, modeled, and practiced by our pastor(s), deacons, and lay leaders if our members are going to catch the vision and get involved. If members are introduced to people who have come to the church because they were led to Christ by a pastor or deacon, they will be more likely to join a successful venture and get in on the action.

    Next, in a church with many seniors, the pastor needs to gain permission, by presenting a vision and soliciting it, to make specific efforts to engage younger people by developing personal relationships with them by inviting them to his home, getting involved on a softball team, or taking them out to eat, and any other means to connect to them. This will probably mean the deacons, and others, will need to pick up the slack in visiting and communicating with the seniors so they don’t feel used and abandoned.

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