As we approach the month of August, we realize that the upcoming fall season tends to get people back into their “normal” routine. Kids are back in school, vacations become fewer, and people are thinking about coming back to church on Sundays. In fact, the fall is a time of natural growth for churches. We want to take advantage of the natural growth cycle that is coming to help grow River City Church. We want to ride the natural momentum of this wave. However, this time around we aren’t going to do a 40,000 piece mailer to all of the households in Missoula. No radio ads. Nope. This time, we’re relying on you, RCC members, to get the word out. Fan-based marketing. Word-of-mouth marketing.
There are a lot of advantages to using word-of-mouth marketing over mass marketing strategies. Perhaps the most important is that it gives each one of us personal ownership in helping out with the Great Commission, which is to make disciples of all the nations. Furthermore, an invite to church from a friend or family member tends to be much more effective than receiving a piece of mail from a church you’ve never heard of. If someone comes to church with a friend or family member, they are much more likely to stay and get plugged in, because they have relationship.
Here’s how it’s going to work: I want each person to come up with 2-4 people who don’t currently attend a church, or who at least aren’t actively involved in a local church. Then, I want you to commit to praying for each of those people for the next month. In fact, we’re going to pray for them as a congregation each Sunday through the month of August. We are going to pray specifically that God would stir their hearts to want to grow spiritually and start attending a church. We’re also going to pray that God would provide a perfect opportunity for us to invite them to River City Church.
Prayer is going to be key to the INVITE Initiative. I’m not asking you to commit to inviting them to church. I’m not asking you to commit to proselytizing them. Right now, all I’m asking from each of you is that you commit to pray for 2-4 people every day. That’s it. What’s going to happen as we pray for these people, is God is going create opportunities for you to share your faith with them, and for you to invite them to a Sunday service or other RCC event. These opportunities will not feel forced, but rather will come very naturally. People will start asking you questions about your faith and your church out of the blue. We are going to be amazed at how God works through us.
For the next few Sundays, we are going to be handing out wallet-sized cards that we can write people’s names on as a reminder to pray for them. Ask God to give you the names of 2-4 people for this Sunday. Bring them with you. And remember last week’s sermon on stepping out in faith to overcome obstacles. I realize this is going to be a stretch for some of us. That’s okay. What’s not okay is allowing fear to rule us. Let’s step out in faith together and believe that God is going to use each of us in a great way to see His Kingdom grow through River City Church.