“Hey, let’s go to breakfast sometime.” She says yes, there is conversation and laughter, which leads to dating, marriage, three kids, and a life together. It all began with an invitation.
“Do you want to go to the ballgame son?” He says yes, and his six year old eyes go wide at the sight of all the orange and blue, the cheers, the band, and of course, the football. A loyalty is born. Forty years later, he doesn’t ever remember why he has such a passion for his team in good times and bad. It all began with an invitation.
“We have a customer who needs to talk with someone and there’s no one else to take the call. Could you handle it?” Nervously, he picks up the phone and soon feels like he talking to an old friend. He handles the problem for the customer, hangs up the phone and feels great; he helped someone have a better day. The next week the boss comes in and says, “We’re promoting you.” It all began with an invitation.
“I think we need to go to counseling.” The marriage has been rocky, but lately the rocks are winning. She agrees to go. In the counselor’s office, she feels safe, opens up, and pours out her heart. Her husband says, “I never knew you felt that way.” Hope begins to crush the rocks. It all began with an invitation.
“Hey, you want to go to church with us this Easter?” He shifts nervously. He hasn’t been in a church for years. He has no plans for Easter. So more out of loneliness, he says, “sure.” He comes, hears the good news, and discovers a spiritual hunger he didn’t know he had. He comes back the next Sunday, and then the next. He discovers there are answers to his questions, and that Jesus is a lot smarter than he thought. One Sunday afternoon, on the way home from church, he is pondering all of this, when there is a movement in his heart. He realizes it is all true – and he needs Jesus. He pulls off the road and prays, “Father, I don’t understand everything, but I get you love me. I am a sinner and I need Jesus. Please come into my life. I will follow Jesus always from now on. I want to be your child.”
After a few weeks and talking to a pastor, he is baptized. He meets an amazing woman at church. They get married and start a family. He serves in the parking lot ministry, is honest, and every day asks God for help. His life story is different because he met Jesus. It all began with an invitation.
Invitations make a difference. Someone’s life can change. It is the simplest, kindest thing your can do – invite someone to take a step toward Jesus. God doesn’t do much with an empty chair, but he can change people who sit in that chair.
It all starts with an invitation.