Sometimes I know the best way to answer a great question about 30 minutes after the conversation is finished. That was the case recently when I was asked about an element of evangelistic preaching known as the invitation.
The invitation is a time of response to the message from God’s word that was just proclaimed. It usually comes right at the end of the sermon. There is often a song that is sung, and people are invited to come to the front of the church to indicate they are ready to follow Jesus, be baptized, join the church, answer the call to Christian ministry, or possibly pray or re-commit their life to Christ.
I am in favor of invitations and use them most every time I preach.
It is not difficult to make a biblical case for issuing a call for public response. Jesus told Matthew to follow Him. He invited others to come to Him. He told weary people to take up their cross and follow Him. When a person heard Jesus speak, they were challenged to act.
But there is another case that can be made for invitations today. In Acts 16:30 the Philippian Jailer asked Paul and Silas what he must do to be saved. They immediately answered his question and he responded.
Our Sunday morning worship services do not normally allow for a question-and-answer time at the conclusion of the sermon. However, is not it possible, and in some cases likely, that someone in the congregation is asking, “What must I do to be saved?”
If it happened in the Philippian jail it may also be happening in the pews of the church building, or the Facebook live stream, where you have been preaching.
Here are five elements of a helpful invitation:
Kentucky Baptist Churches are blessed with some of the best and most effective Gospel preachers in America. Good preaching is essential for Christian development and evangelistic effectiveness. God uses these faithful preachers and their preaching week after week.
God can also use a simple Gospel invitation to prompt those who are hearing the Gospel to respond publicly affirming the work He is doing in their lives. When God moves and people respond the entire church celebrates and gives praise to the God who saves.
Keep inviting people to lay down their life