At Christmastime, churches have a unique opportunity to minister to guests who may not typically attend a worship service or Bible study. A recent study from LifeWay Research provides interesting insight into the attitude of Americans toward church attendance this time of year.
The study was conducted through a poll of 1,000 Americans. Among those polled, six out of 10 said they do typically attend church around Christmastime.
That statistic might not surprise you too much, but consider this next one: Among those who do not attend church at Christmas, 57 percent said they would likely come if someone they knew invited them.
A study like this reminds us of the importance of a personal initiation. This Christmas, consider the following ideas for inviting women to church and share them with whose you lead.
Extend a personal invitation.
This step is quite obvious, but it is the most important. A woman may never come to church if she’s not invited personally. As you go Christmas shopping with a friend, talk with a neighbor about holiday traditions, or exchange gifts with a family member, watch and listen for the opportunity to extend an invitation. Then, when the opportunity arises, simply ask her to come!
Provide plenty of information.
If she has children, let her know what options exist for childcare and help her find out where to go and how to check in with the children’s ministry. Tell her a bit about your church and the opportunities that exist. Let her know what the service will be like. Depending on her familiarity with church, she may not know what to expect. Ease her mind by filling her in on what her visit will be like.
Attend the service with your guest.
If we invite a woman to church, it helps to follow up and actually attend the service right alongside her. As leaders this is a challenge because we often have responsibilities before, during, or after the worship service that keep us busy. However, remember that it can be intimidating for a guest to attend a service where she doesn’t know many people or she’s unfamiliar with the atmosphere. Do all that you can to arrive with your guest, or create a definitive plan to meet her in a certain place. Sit with her during the service and experience her visit right alongside her. If you do have responsibilities that might pull you away for a while, introduce your guest to your family or a friend who can help make her feel welcome while you’ve stepped away.
Remember the invitation doesn’t end when the Christmas season does.
Did your friend come to church with you for a Christmas event or worship service? That’s great! Now, continue inviting her to attend with you even after the holidays are over. Help her meet others in the church so she begins to feel more comfortable attending. Show her ways she and her family can get more connected.
Also remember, inviting a woman to church is most important because it provides a special opportunity for her to hear about Jesus. Follow up with her and answer any questions she may have about what she heard during the songs, sermon, or prayer time. Help her understand what Christmas is truly all about—our Savior who came to us as a baby and loved us enough to die for our sins.
What are some additional ideas or thoughts you have related to inviting women to church this Christmas? Share them with us in the comments!
Tessa Morrell is the editorial manager at Brentwood Baptist Church in Brentwood, Tenn. In addition to her role on staff as a writer and editor, she also has the joy of serving as a volunteer Bible study leader of a small group of young adult women each week.