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The Do’s and Don'ts For Inviting Friends to Church

We know it can be unsettling to invite someone to attend church with you. You know the Gospel message is the vital and life-changing foundation in your life. You know serving the Lord, and building a relationship with Him provides you with everlasting life. You know and you desire to share the good news of the Gospel with your loved ones and you’ve been commanded to spread His word. So why does it feel daunting? 

Human beings don’t like to be uncomfortable, and we tend to avoid any feelings of discomfort. This includes both discomfort for ourselves and those around us. Why can sharing something we value so highly cause discomfort? There are a number of reasons why we feel rattled over the thought of inviting someone to church, especially if they are a non-believer. We may be worried they’ll just decline the offer. Maybe you don’t want to come off as a pushy person. It is possible you just don’t know the most tactful way to start that conversation. Whatever your reasons may be, we hope that after reading this article you’ll feel more at ease about inviting a friend to tag along with you this Sunday. 

 

The Do’s:

 

Mention your church- Intermittently bring up something you learned at church, an interesting fact, or something that brought you comfort. You’ll be planting the seeds of interest within your friends. 

Be careful with your choice of words- Use phrases such as, “Do you attend a church around here?” or “Did you attend a church when you were growing up?” These are a couple of great conversation starters to get onto the topic of church. 

Keep it casual- Invite your friend to a casual and relaxed church function. This could be anything! If your church is holding any type of social gathering, such as a BBQ or movie night, that is a great place to introduce your friend to your church and other members.

Utilize Holidays- Inviting a friend to a holiday-centered church program can have a substantial impact. Around holidays, such as Christmas and Easter, people are naturally feeling more warmth in their hearts. They are more open to service and good deeds. The Gospel and Doctrine of Jesus Christ embody the importance of serving others. Holiday-centered programs highlight the service and sacrifices Jesus Christ endured for us. These programs are an excellent birthplace for the Spirit to manifest in your friend's heart. 

Follow up- Your friend agreed to attend a church gathering or meeting of worship with you, but they haven’t followed through with their end of the agreement. That’s okay. Send them a quick text asking them if they’re still planning on coming with you. 

Love them- You’re ultimately inviting your friend to church because you love them. You love them so much that you want to share this cherished element of your life with them. Let that love shine through in your invite. Even if they say “no”, let them see that you will continue to love them anyway. 

Pray- Say a prayer for guidance when inviting a friend to church. Let Him open and soften your friend's heart. 


The Don'ts

 

Don’t judge them- One major reason the topic of church and inviting someone, especially a non-believer, feels kind of taboo for both involved, is the underlying fear of judgment. The invited are often worried that their friend inviting them is secretly judging them as a person. If we are being honest, sometimes we are judging someone. We might be judging where they are in life, and desiring for them to see how having a relationship with Christ can improve their lives. However, It is important to not judge who you are inviting. Allow them the freedom to choose what is best for them and support their decision.  On the flip side, we can feel like the person we are inviting is judging us. We worry they will think we are weird or awkward. We shouldn’t let this cause us to fear. 

Don’t force or nag- When someone feels forced to do something, or they’re always being nagged to do it, they usually don’t want to follow through with whatever it is. This is the same for inviting a friend to church. Follow up with whoever you invited to attend with you, but do not cross the line over into nagging. 


Remember

 

Inviting your friend to church with you doesn’t have to be an intimidating experience. There are ways to ease the conversation and create a comfortable atmosphere, by just being you. Start the conversation, plant the seeds, let Him do His work, respect their decision and don’t take a denial personally, and above all, continue to love them. 

-Torrance Church of Christ

 

365 Day Bible Reading Challenge

Have you ever taken the time to read through the entire Bible? All 66 books? In any case, if you have it is always valuable to read it again, and if you haven’t, there’s no better time to start than now. 

We have broken up the chapters from every book into weekly segments so you can easily follow along with the reading. From there, you can split up the chapters to read according to best fit your schedule. Example: you know you have more time available on Mondays so you choose to read more chapters on that day. Maybe you don’t have time to read on Wednesdays, consequently, you need to read more chapters on a different day. We suggest breaking the weekly chapters up so you can read something every day, nevertheless, if that is not possible, it is key to disperse the chapters to match your busy life. We want you to enjoy your studies in order to attain paramount insight into the gospel and teachings of our Savior Jesus Christ. We don’t want the reading to be stressful or burdensome. 

If life gets in the way and you fall behind in your reading, that’s alright. Pick up from where you left off. Over time your persistence will create a habit. We can all use more healthy habits. 

Come along with us and accept this challenge. Tackle reading the Bible chapter by chapter. You have nothing to lose, in fact, just the opposite. You only have infinite blessings to gain.

- Torrance Church of Christ

How to Gain the Most from Bible Study

Whether you’re reading the Bible for the first time or the twentieth time, it is important to get the most out of the crucial messages which bound each passage. Digging deeper into your studies of the Bible can achieve a better understanding of His word and amplify your personal relationship with our Lord. For some, Bible Study can be somewhat of a daunting task, but we have some tips and tricks to help ease the process and help you feel closer to God. 

Bible Study

What Tools Are Available?

There are an array of tools available to enhance your studies. Let’s take a look at the options.

  • Study Bibles- A Study Bible is an edition of the Bible that has additional information in order for the reader to gain further insight into the context. This can include annotations for difficult verses, historical information, biographies, definitions of complex words, and much more. Depending on which Study Bible you are using, it can be an all-in-one option.
  • Bible Journals- A Bible Journal is exactly what it sounds like. It is a journal where you write down your thoughts, questions, feelings, and anything else that comes to mind while you are reading your Bible. You can journal by writing directly in your bible, in a notebook, or there are many different Bible Journals on the market. Some of the Bible Journals you can purchase are normal Bibles that are bigger, providing more room for your notes. Bible journaling can be a great way to get creative. Many people decorate their journals, drawing artwork inspired by scripture or passage. 
  • Bible Dictionaries- Bible Dictionaries are dictionaries with helpful entries for vital information in the Bible. The entries include specific words, themes, locations, people, and doctrines. It can be an excellent tool to use for reference. 
  • Parallel Bibles- Parallel Bibles can be tremendously useful, especially when you are having a tough time understanding a passage. Parallel Bibles are multiple translations built into one book, so you can easily compare and contrast verse by verse, or even word by word if you needed to. This can help you comprehend the nature of the message. 
  • Daily Devotionals- Daily Devotionals most often come in a booklet or book form. Daily Devotionals offer a scripture to read once a day, often paired with a remark relating to the scripture. They can be used as an extra utensil to complement your studies.
  • Bible Atlas- A Bible Atlas is a compilation of maps for places referenced throughout the Bible. These can be useful when studying the Bible geographically. 
  • Bible Concordances- A Bible Concordance is an all-encompassing index of references used in the bible. 
  • Bible Commentaries- A Bible Commentary is a series of books that analyze the Bible. They contain interpretations and observations. Bible Commentaries can examine whole books of the Bible, different passages, or individual verses. 
  • Apps and Websites- With technology continually growing there is a wide range of different Apps and Websites devoted to helping you with your Bible Studies. Any of the above-mentioned tools can be found online. But if that’s not your thing, that’s okay. One of the most important keys to Bible Study is finding what works for YOU

Different Ways to Read The Bible:

You’re ready to read the Bible, the desire to learn more is there, and the motivation to seek a deeper personal connection with God weighs heavily on your soul, but you’re not entirely sure where to start. Does this sound familiar? Luckily, there are so many different ways to dive into your reading. 

  • Cover-to-Cover- Read the Bible from beginning to end. 
  • Chronologically- Read the Bible in chronological order of the events and stories throughout it. 
  • By Topic- Read the Bible by focusing on passages and books that pertain to a specific topic.
  • Geographically- Choose what to read based on a geographical location of your liking. Once you’ve finished a location, you can start another.
  • Book-by-Book- Pick any book you’d like to read. Once you’re finished, simply pick another book.
  • Cross-References- Pick a keyword and read passages that regard your word. Cross-reference your keyword and read the passages which relate.
  • Character Study- Choose a person in the Bible you’d like to research. Read chapters and verses that apply to them.

You can try any one of these approaches, and if one doesn’t feel right, that’s okay. You can go ahead and try another one. It doesn’t matter which technique you use as long as you are attaining a better understanding of His words. 

Some Methods Used to Maximize Bible Study:

Here are some methods you can use to ensure you are getting the most out of your studies.

  • Use the SOAP Method- SOAP stands for Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer. With the SOAP Method, you first choose your scripture. During your reading, take note of any observations that stand out to you. Ponder how you’ll apply these observations to your life. Be sure to end your studies with a prayer. 
  • The Sword Method- While you’re reading a passage, imagine you’re holding a sword with the tip pointing up toward God in Heaven. The handle is aimed toward you, a person, man. The sides of the sword are sharp, they cut. With this method, the sides of the sword represent cutting through life. As you read your passage, ask yourself the following questions. 
    • Tip Pointing Toward God: What did I learn about God?
    • Handle Pointing Toward Man: What did I learn about man?
    • Left Side of the Sword: Is there a sin to avoid? Is there a promise to claim?
    • Right Side of the Sword: Is there a command to obey? Is there an example to follow?Sword Method
  • The HEAR Method- HEAR stands for Highlight, Explain, Apply, Respond. This method is akin to the SOAP method. Highlight anything that stands out to you. Explain what this passage means to you. Apply it to your life. Finish by responding to the passage. The best way to respond is with a prayer.
  • The Journalist Method- For this method, pretend you are a journalist. Ask yourself the classic journalism questions: Who? What? Where? When? Why? How?

Additional Tips:

  • Pray before your studies. Invite the Spirit and ask for guidance. 
  • Look for keywords.
  • Use color-coding when highlighting passages.
  • Set aside a specific time to study your Bible.
  • Read to learn, to seek out the context. Don’t read for the purpose of reading. Read to benefit from the message.
  • Don’t skip or leave out any books. There is vital wisdom to be learned throughout the entire Bible.
  • If you are using a Bible Commentary, wait to read it until you’ve read the passages and had an opportunity to create your own reflection. 
  • Be patient with yourself. 

Studying the Bible leads you on an enlightening spiritual journey. It enables you to grow closer to our Father in Heaven. Reading the passages can guide you to pertinent answers in your life. 

-Torrance Church of Christ

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