On Sunday, I (briefly) announced a new initiative at Good Shepherd called #Invite9000.
Well, here are the top five things you need to know about the project and, more importantly, how you can become part of it over the next twelve months.
1. It’s a challenge for the people of the church to do less “cheering” of our mission and more “owning” of it. Now: the people of Good Shepherd love our mission statement of inviting all people into a living relationship with Jesus Christ. We repeat it, we post it, we teach it and in turn the congregation itself knows it gives us both focus and clarity.
Yet when it comes to the “inviting” piece of the mission, we have realized that the majority of folks who call Good Shepherd home cheer when others invite but seldom own the inviting process themselves. So we asked ourselves: “what would it look like if the people of the church didn’t just belong to an inviting church but became inviters themselves?” The answer: #Invite9000.
2. The “9000” comes from a combination of estimation and extrapolation. We average right at 2,000 attenders per Sunday between Moss Rd, Zoar Rd, and Latino. We figure that 2,000 comes from at least 3,000 folks kindergarten and above who call this church home on at least a semi-regular basis. So how about a challenge for every person who calls this church home to issue at least three invitations in the coming year to folks not connected to church at all? The invites could be to Sunday worship, LifeGroup, ServeTeam, or outreach event. So: 3,000 people x three invites (and even I can do this math) = 9,000. Hence #Invite9000.
3. We gotta have a web page to keep track. So we created one. Where you can very quickly log in and record your invites. The page automatically keeps a running tally. Only three days in to the public phase of #Invite9000 and we already have 172 invites given. Click on the link here.
4. Hands-on resources are the center of our inviting strategy. We know it is much easier to invite people into church life if you have something tangible to hand them. That’s why this past Sunday we distributed the Stop Hunger Now cards for people to use in inviting friends and family to serve with us at this week’s Radical Impact Project. It’s why we’ll distribute “movie tickets” for our Value Of A Soul short film Sunday on November 20. And it’s why for our Christmas series … well, I’m so excited about that inviting tool that I don’t want to give it away today. Just know that the series is called God Drops and we’re combining that title with an unforgettable — and tasty — way to invite people you love to be part of what we’re doing.
5. We invite not to fill seats but to populate heaven. That’s what an invitational push is all about. We’re not about the preservation of an institution but the salvation of souls. That’s why we want all the invited to become inviters.