Emden Christian Reformed Church opened its doors to the community of Renville, Minnesota, with its “Invite Your Neighbor to Church Day,” which drew about 20 neighbors to worship.
The special worship service was planned to encourage community members to go to church and to educate them about worship.
Duane Mulder, an elder until recently, got the idea from a neighboring Lutheran church. Mulder said being invited “gives people a reason to go to church.”
Congregation members were encouraged to invite friends, family, neighbors, or coworkers who were not already attending other churches. They prayed for the courage, words, and opportunities to invite people to church, and even watched videos to learn more.
On the day the neighbors came, the pastor, Anthony Sytsma, explained the singing, the greeting, congregational prayer, the offering, the importance of the Bible and the preaching of the Word, and what the benediction is.
About one-quarter of the visitors continued to attend the church in weeks following. Sytsma has been visiting with some of the new people to get to know them better and answer their questions about the church. Some of them have become involved in church activities.
Sytsma has encouraged congregation members to follow up with the people they invited and invite them to come back.