New research is showing that postmodernists are much more open to spiritual conversations, and even an invitation to church, than we think! Wow, does that surprise you?
There’s a lot of spiritual content on Instagram, but it can often fall flat as a form of genuine community that engages the deeper questions and spiritual longings people have. Maybe our friends are like this as well, or maybe they’re more receptive than we think. What if we practiced engaging with others on a deeper level in the coming weeks? We might find that people are more open to an invitation to church than once assumed.
I remember someone telling me once: “I always invite my friends to come along with me to church. It’s a part of my life and they’re a part of my life, so I invite them to see other parts of my life. I used to not invite them for fear they would say ‘no’ but then I realized I was taking the ability to choose away from them. I was making the choice for them. So now I ask, even when I’m nervous, and they get to choose ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ It’s been liberating to know the part I play – giving the invite – but knowing I can’t control the response at all. That part is not my job to worry about.” After hearing that I thought, “is hearing ‘no’ really the worst? Why do I take it as rejection if someone says ‘no’ to me? I hear ‘no’ in other areas of my life a lot. Why isn’t it the same?”
Sometimes I hear “no” when I ask a friend to meet up for coffee or I hear “no” when I ask a friend to help me move and they can’t physically do so. During the pandemic, I hear “no” when there’s no room on the patio and I ask my friend if they feel comfortable eating inside.
I realize I hear “no” all the time. So why do I put so much pressure on myself and feel such an impending sense of doom on hearing a “no” when I invite someone I know to church? Let’s practice lumping all those situations together and look at a church invitation as just another normal ask. When we do the asking, God will handle the rest. If they do say yes, then get ready to invite them out to eat afterwards to chat about their experience! And if they say “no” … well then you could say, “no problem! I know sometimes church can be a weird thing to consider for some people. Have you ever had an experience at a spiritual place before?”
Even a “no” can lead to a deeper conversation about a part of your co-worker’s life that you didn’t know anything about!