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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN

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Invitation Manners

There may not be a time so crucial in our periods of worship as when the invitation of Jesus Christ is extended. This is a time when souls are being urged and persuaded to become obedient to the gospel. The right atmosphere is s-o-o-o important. During the invitation we are trying to encourage those whose lives are not right with God to make an emotional response as well as an intellectual response to save their souls. We MUST do our very best to eliminate every distraction from the serious business at hand! A soul that is on the verge of responding and making, without a doubt, the most important decision in life, but is discouraged from doing so by thoughtless behavior of those around him, may never be that near again. In fact, he may die and be lost because of our behavior! Everything the preacher, songleader, and every other member of the church does should be done in a way as to encourage those who need to respond to do so. Please consider the following "invitation manners":

    1. Sing the invitation song with interest and meaning. It is pitiful to see so many who gaze around and make no effort at all to sing. It appears that such people are just bored by it all! Those who are ashamed of their singing could at least read the words silently.
    2. Don't move around nor allow your children to leave during the invitation unless there is some kind of emergency. That is, unless you need to respond! Then, by all means, move around sufficiently to come to the front! The devil can use innocent children to detract people from responding to the gospel if we don't properly control them. It is sad to see more people going out the back door than coming to the front when the invitation is extended.
    3. Wait until after the closing prayer to get ready to leave. Some folks are more concerned about putting on a coat, picking up a purse, gathering up toys than they are in the salvation of someone's soul during the invitation.
    4.Don't talk, giggle, write note, elbow someone, etc. during the closing remarks of the sermon or invitation song. Really, this is not appropriate for any time during the worship service.

Try to put yourself in the position of someone who needs to respond. You are about ready to step into the aisle and walk down front when suddenly you bump into someone who is on their way out! Or the kids in front of you are laughing and playing! Or people are gathering up all their belongings! How would you feel?

For His Cause,
Tim Woodward