I’ll never forget the experience. I was the leader of a Sunday School visitation team on a Wednesday night when it was raining cats and dogs. We were drenched running from the church doors to my car. We drove a short distance to the home we were to visit, and we ran to the carport and were soaked for the second time.
In order to knock on the door, I had to bend my arm around the stream of water flowing between the house and the carport roof. When the young adult came to the door, I introduced myself and other two members of our team and told him where we were from. Before I could continue, he said he had known for some time that he needed Jesus. The Holy Spirit had gone ahead of us. He had already extended His personal invitation to the young man. We experienced a divine appointment.
But what if the rain had discouraged us from making a visit? What if, like many classes, we decided only to call or write cards with prospects? What if, like many classes, we only contacted people who visited us. This young man was waiting on God to send someone to him to help him to know how to accept Jesus as Savior and Lord. There are people just like him waiting for us to ask them to come to Sunday School and, more importantly, to come to Jesus.
I am reminded of what Billy Compton, former pastor of Serverns Valley Baptist Church in Elizabethtown, told me years ago when we were on staff together in a church in Bowling Green. Following a visit he told me, “Don’t decide for someone whether they will or won’t make a decision. Ask them.” His sage advice applies to sharing Jesus and to inviting someone to Sunday School.
There is power in the personal invitation. David Durey reports on some research he did by saying, “When asked, ‘What attracted you to this church?’ over 70 percent of the new Christians interviewed responded by saying it was a personal invitation.” In fact, for many persons the invitation of a layperson has more impact than that of a pastor or staff member. Often we invite people to worship, but we fail to invite them to Sunday School.
Personal invitations still work. Be a revolutionary! Pray. Establish a relationship. Care. Invite. Offer to pick them up or to meet them at the church door. Watch what God does. Be faithful. Be sensitive to His leadership. Remember, His Holy Spirit is already at work. Make disciples. Be revolutionary!