MTS Director of Training Russ Smidt combines his years and experience and experimentation inviting people to Christian events. From Uni ministry to church planting to training evangelists, his PARTICIPATE framework will help you invite your friend to your next event!
Pray regularly for friends, their salvation and warm opportunities to introduce them to Jesus.
Accept their invitations regularly. Make invitations and acceptance (and declines) a normal part of the relationship.
Relationships matter! Build deepening friendships with people.
Thank your friends for hanging out and for their invitations.
Be interested in your friends (and their family), what they think, big questions in THEIR life, hopes and dreams. Ask questions with a loving curiosity.
Be clear on WHY you are inviting your friend (whether to meet people, introduce them to Christianity, help with questions they have, observe you give testimony/talk/item or even hope they become a Christian); consider sharing this with your friend.
Don’t surprise your friend at the event when you are the main speaker or testimony giver and they are left at their seat on their own!
Invite them to your event with a personalised invitation. Add a note to the flyer or Facebook post. Give them extra details for meeting beforehand or after.
Promptness matters. Be on time so they can feel the most comfortable they can.
Accompany your friend to the event and the WHOLE of the event. Any roles you might have in running the event should be minimal (especially catering that might take you away in conversational times).
Thank them for coming!
Enjoy, Expect and Explain
Enjoy the event. Expect your friend to enjoy the event. Explain anything that is particularly unusual (but NOT everything). If they need expert commentary on everything this is either the WRONG event for them OR you are setting yourself up as their dependent – they can never be there on their own.
It can be intimidating to invite a non-Christian to an event at church or uni, but making invitations is an important step for them to learn about Jesus! We hope this PARTICIPATE framework can help make the process a little easier.