Repent and Turn Ministries

Learn how to share your faith...Simply...Effectively...Biblically                                                  

The Invitational Style

Biblical Example:  The woman at the well in John 4

Theme Verse:  Luke 14:23
Then the master told his servant, "Go out to the roads and country lanes and make them come in, so that my house will be full."


  • Hospitable
  • Persuasive
  • Enjoys meeting new people
  • Enthusiastic
  • Spiritually opportunistic


  • Don't let others do all the talking for you.  Your friends and acquaintances need to hear how Christ influenced your life.  In addition, they have questions you could answer concerning the implications of the gospel. 
  • Carefully and prayerfully consider which events or church services you take people to.  Look for ones that are clear with truth but sensitive to the needs of spiritual seekers. 
  • Do not get discouraged if people refuse your invitation.  Their refusal could be an opportunity for a spiritual conversation.  Also, their "no" today may become a "yes" tomorrow.

Suggestions for Using and Developing This Style

  • When inviting people, try to get written details about the event into their hands (either preprinted or handwritten).  Whenever appropriate, offer to pick them up and do something together before or after the event. 
  • At events, mentally put yourself in the place of the other person.  Ask yourself if you were that person whether the event would relate to your concerns and mind-set.  Reinforce the positive aspects to the person you invited. 
  • Offer constructive feedback to the event sponsors consisting of specific and realistic ways you think they could improve the event and make it more compelling to the people you bring. 
  • Team up with friends who have other styles that may be better matched to the personality of the person you hope to reach. 

The Samaritan Woman's Invitational Approach

Don't you love the way God picks unlikely people to fulfill His divine purposes?  We've seen it with the blind man, with Matthew, and now with this woman from Samaria.  And, as you get more involved in personal outreach to others, you'll probably feel this way about yourself.  I sometimes look at God's activity of touching people through me and say to myself, "Who'd have ever thunk it!"  God seems to delight in using ordinary, everyday kinds of people in surprising and exciting ways. 

The Samaritan woman had three things going against her:  she was a Samaritan, she was a woman, and she was a living an immoral lifestyle.  Back then, any one of these would be enough to disqualify her from being taken seriously by society.  But do you think that stopped Jesus?  You can read in John 4 how He ignored all the conventional wisdom and political correctness of the day by striking up a conversation with her. 

It didn't take long for the woman to realize that the man she was talking to was no ordinary Jewish teacher.  His prophetic insights and authoritative answers convinced her of His claim to be the Messiah. 

So what did she do?  She immediately went to her town and brought a bunch of people to the well to hear Jesus for themselves.  This simple invitation resulted in His staying in their town for two days.  Many of the woman's friends declared, in verse 42, "Now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world."

There are many people who would make great strides in their spiritual journey if someone would go to the effort of strategically inviting them to a seeker-oriented church service or outreach event.

And a lot of non-Christians are open to this approach.  A poll by George Barna showed, for example, that about 25 percent of the adults in the United States would go to church if a friend would just invite them.  Think about it:  One in four of your friends would be willing to join you!  The primary question you'll need to answer is what kinds of events---church services, concerts, movies, plays, or other programs in your church or community---would be approprate to bring them to.  Consider their perpective and interests in order to make the best choice.

Although invitations are a great way for all of us to reach out to others, some people, like the woman at the well, have a knack for getting people to go places with them.  Maybe you're one of them.  Do you find yourself constantly widening the circle of people involved in your activities?  Have you found that when there's an outreach event going on your minivan is getting a bit tight?  Maybe it's time to trade it in on a full-size SUV so you can expand your evangelistic efforts!

It's hard to think of well-known examples of people with the invitational style.  Many of these Christians tend to stay out of the limelight.  But when you see one you'll probably know it.  They love to pick up strays.  They're the unsung heroes who make outreach events successful by filling them with people who need to hear the message

This information is adapted from the book and Participant's Guide, "Becoming A Contagious Christian", by Lee Strobel, Mark Mittelberg and Bill Hybels