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Do's & Don'ts
According To Leighton Ford,
President of Leighton Ford Ministries
Former Vice President of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association
In giving an invitation, DO pick up the feelings of the crowd. Empathize with their fear of embarassment, not being able to follow through, etc.
DON'T Bait & Switch ... asking them only to raise their hand, then later only to stand, then later only to come forward. We must not trick people or make them feel used.
DO make the meaning of the invitation clear.
DO wait patiently, giving people time to think and pray, knowing the inner conflicts they are facing. DON'T extend it when there is no response.
DON'T preach your sermon again!!
DO give the invitation with courage and expectancy, but DON'T try to take the place of the Holy Spirit.
- Leighton Ford "Giving An Honest Invitation"
Today's Preacher Would Add ...
Be sure that your invitations are consistent with your message. If you preach on tithing, and then give an evangelistic invitation, it doesn't jive with the ears of the hearers that just heard about giving their money. This is not to say that we should not ask people to come to Christ ... we should!!! Just be sure it ties in.
Calling The "INVITATION" By A Different Name May Be More Effective. In today's post modern world, terms that are too Christianized can be hurdles. Try calling the invitation a "Time Of Committment" or "Time Of Devoting" or any other creative name you may find.
Keep It Fresh!! How many times have you heard a preacher go over how to join the church, how to be baptized, how to be saved, and how to "give God your tithe" all in 5 sentences??!! These are noble goals, but it's sensory overload. Pretty soon, your congregation will see the invitation as the "CLOSING SONG" where people (but not me) can join our church, accept Christ, repent, etc. They will not see it applying to them. Your closing and invitation should be fraternal twins, not step children.