Becoming more inviting…

Michael Harvey taken from
Creating a welcoming atmosphere has been a key aim for our parish for some years now. As our mission statement puts it ‘God’s amazing welcome to each of us in Jesus forms the basis of who we are and what we do’. But how ‘inviting’ are we? How often do we think to invite someone that we know to come along to our church?

‘Creating a Culture of Invitation’ was the theme of a talk I recently attended, organised by the Hounslow Deanery. During the evening the speaker, Michael Harvey, shared his vision and experience of helping churches to become more actively inviting as a form of outreach in which we can all participate. 

According to his research, on average, if asked who they would like to invite to church, 70% of a congregation will have someone in mind, but 90% of that same congregation will say they have no intention of inviting anyone. 

Perhaps we can relate to that? But what holds us back? During the evening we looked at how fear of rejection and failure can be at the heart of our reticence, causing us to miss out on opportunities to invite people who may well be glad to say ‘yes please’. 

In order to get going we might need to re-define our ideas of ‘success’ and ‘failure’. Michael Harvey defines success not as one person inviting another and that person saying ‘yes’, rather, success is one person inviting another and leaving the results to God. 

Perhaps this is something we could consider together? After all, before we were welcomed into God’s kingdom, we must somewhere along the line have received an invitation.

Michael Harvey has written two books – ‘Unlocking the Growth’, and ‘Creating a Culture of Invitation in Your Church’. See also

Rachel Michael