Ecclesiastes 11:1 says:
“Cast your bread upon the waters,
for you will find it after many days.”
I don’t know about you, but I’m not the kind of person who is really good at inviting people to church. And when I do, people usually don’t come.
When I was a teenager, passionate and a whole lot more dedicated at this, I used to invite my neighbors and school friends. I would pray like crazy and even fast before handing them an invitation to our “Noche del Amigo” – an evening designed for unbelievers, with special music and a presentation of the Gospel that we used to have at my church in Guatemala.
Only two of my classmates and a couple friends ever came.
After a while, the perceived rejection got to me and I figured inviting and getting people to church just wasn’t my “gift.” So I pretty much stopped.
However, one happy Sunday at church when my kids were little, I stood in line waiting for my turn to pick up my daughter from her class. I noticed a woman standing by the door, smiling at me. She looked somewhat familiar, but I didn’t know who she was.
The woman said hi to me and – judging by the perplexed look in my face, I’m sure – she told me that I had given her an invitation to church while our children were receiving their swimming lessons, and that she and her family had been coming to church and now she was even volunteering at Children’s Ministry.
And I don’t even remember doing it!
Years have gone by and I’m still passing on a few invitations to church here and there, hoping someone will come, but basically getting the same results as before.
But now I understand that my job is to extend the invitation. It is up to that person to accept or reject it. I’m not going to make that decision for them by not inviting them.
Just like “bread cast upon the waters,” maybe one day I will find out that someone else, besides the one lady from the swimming lessons, did come to church and that their life was changed because of a simple invitation.