Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Whatever it takes

One of our members, Mary Ann Russo, is using an unusual method to get her unchurched family members to come to WBC for Easter services. Call it bribery, call it extortion if you will...I call it genius! I asked Mary Ann for permission to post her story on the blog. I hope it will serve as an inspiration to all of us. Our friends, neighbors and relatives need the Lord, and we are the most likely candidates to help them meet Him. As Mary Ann told me, she was out of church for fifteen years at one point. A neighbor told her, "I pray for you every time I see you." That neighbor was instrumental in getting her back into the family of God. Now Mary Ann is doing whatever it takes to return the favor. Enjoy:

After Fred's memorial service we heard a lot of comments on how much everyone liked the service and the church. Some of them talked about visiting Westbury. Brad and I did follow-up with them with a invitation and I even sent one family some literature on Westbury. But never did hear anything.

This is what I run into all the time. Someone will say they are interested and I invite. They either do not come or they may come two or three times then come up with excuses.
I told Brad, I feel like I plant seeds but they never grow or bloom.

So when Easter was coming up, I thought about sending out invitations to the Easter Service and then have a brunch at the house. After Bible class or the service I would feel really strong about this...and then a thought would come to me...who would come? It would end up being just Brad and I. I struggled with this for weeks never mentioning it to anyone. At the same time, I realized it was evil or the devil putting these thoughts into my head so no one new would come to know God or come to worship God. This went on and on.

Then one Sunday night when Brad & I were walking the dogs, he asked me - when my next party was going to be? I told him about what I was thinking for Easter. What a different view point. He was very excited and thought everyone would come. No one would miss it. We both did agree that who ever we invited had to go to Easter Service to come to brunch. Our purpose was to get our families to church.

Then one evening we were having dinner with my son and his fiancee, and Brad starting talking to them about the big event. It was going to be the event of the year. Robert and Allie thought Brad and I had set our wedding date. We told them no we had not set a date and they figured out it was something to do at Easter. But we did not tell them what. I wanted everyone to receive their invitations in the mail so they would think about it and not say no immediately.

I bought Easter cards and hand wrote out Easter invitations for church and brunch and asked everyone to RSVP. Before I mailed them I said a prayer that the Holy Spirit would help them to RSVP a yes.
I was so excited the first couple of days because I would come home and my message light would be blinking. My first thought someone is RSVPing... but it was some one selling something or a political add. This went on for several days.

Then my son came over to the house. He said that Allie received her invitation(Robert had not read his yet) and he would come to brunch not church. I informed him he had to go to church to get brunch. He laughed and said OK. He knows his mom.

Then others said they would come but their husbands would come to brunch. Brad and I informed them it was a two in one deal. Church then brunch. Brad & I figured it was not going to hurt anyone to go to church.

So as this date... we have 5 out of 18 RSVP a yes. Some of the 18 will be out of town but I wanted to let them know they were invited.

So, what is your plan to get someone to church?


Carrie said...

And Maryann has asked others to pray for a positive outcome. This is such a neat way to celebrate Easter.

Jeff Berger said...

You're right. I don't know why I left that part off of the post, so thank you for pointing that out, Carrie. I can't wait for Sunday!