At Alpha we are often in conversations with churches from a variety of expressions and backgrounds. A common challenge that we hear from church and Alpha leaders is “how do we get people to invite their friends and family to church and Alpha?”
A lot of Christians think that they won’t be warmly received when it comes to talking about faith, God, and church. So for many, it feels like inviting people to church and Alpha might hurt our relationships with the people in our lives.
This defeatist approach to evangelism and invitation does us, and the people we love, no good. The assumption that the people in our world are opposed to us sharing our faith makes us retreat, apologise and defend instead of being led by love.
Recent studies show a different story. Last year, a study by the Barna Research Institute in the US found that 90% of non-Christians who have had a digital discussion about Christianity with a friend or family member in the past year, reported that the conversation ‘went well’ and that 41% of non-Christians would be open to participating in a spiritual conversation about Christianity if the experience felt friendly.
The number one reason why people come along to church or Alpha is because they have been invited. In fact, 9 out of 10 people who try Alpha came along because they were invited!
As believers, it’s our job to invite people to come to church, to ask people to try Alpha, or to bring people into a conversation around faith. It’s the Holy Spirits’ job to worry about the acceptance of this invitation.
Melinda Dwight, the National Director of Alpha Australia shares about how we can often over complicate our invitations. She says, “When it comes to inviting your friend or family member to Alpha, keep it simple. Just say; “Would you like to come to Alpha with me?””
It’s simple and it’s easier than we think. All we have to do next is wait for their reply, listen to what they have to say and see what the Holy Spirit does.
Frank is a leader who runs Alpha in his home in Canberra. When speaking about inviting people to Alpha, he said;
“I just keep inviting people. Sometimes you get a no. I’m not afraid of a no. The Holy Spirit will get people there on His time. It’s my job to keep inviting and trust the Holy Spirit. Because if He says yes but you say no, good luck to you!”
Behind every ‘yes’ to church and Alpha, there is a lot of prayer. Why not take a minute of your day to sit and do the following three steps:
Step 1: Write a list
Three people who you think might be open to an invitation
Three people who you feel sure would never come to Alpha
Three people who you have no clue whether they would come or not
These might be close friends or family, or people who make your coffee in the morning! Sit and see who the Holy Spirit puts before you.
We have prayer cards available to download here to be reminded to pray for people in the lead up to Easter.
Step 2: Start praying for them
Ask; Holy Spirit, whoever you have ready to accept, help me cooperate with that.
Step 3: Invite them to Alpha
It’s that simple.
Here are some examples of a text you can send to invite someone to Alpha.
Hi! I’m going to an Alpha launch party next week. It has food, conversation and info about exploring faith. Would you like to come with me? It’s this Wednesday night at 7pm. Happy to pick you up. Melinda.
Hey! I’m about to start Alpha Online. It’s a place to have really open discussions about life and faith. Would you like to do it with me? It’s on Monday night, I can send through the link if you’re keen. Murray