When we invite people to join us at church, we do not invite them to change who they are. Rather, we invite them to join us so that we may together encounter God. Invite them to talk about themselves so you can find out who they really are. We join each other in community life so that we can be enriched by the diversity of our experiences of God.
When we invite people to be a part of our community, we do so knowing that the diversity of God’s creation is present in every person. We should recognize their unique gifts and help lift them up in service to the world. We should also pay attention to the challenges people face. Embrace people as they are, and listen to what they have to say. The invitation isn’t about the church. It’s about encountering God in the life and ministry of a community.
This message is adapted from “E-vites, invites and other ways to welcome” by Kristen Glass in the June 2007 issue of Café magazine.