As a pastor, it is easy to gravitate in the direction of the people we see every day, or the people we like, or the people that can carry on an educated conversation about their faith. However, these are not the people who need my attention or need me to reach out to them. The people who need me the most are the people who I have never seen at church, or the ones who only come at Christmas or Easter. When I became the General Manager of The Printery House two years ago, I discovered a creative and interesting way that Pastors reach out to their parishioners. At Christmas and Easter time, Pastors would choose a card and have us imprint the Mass/Services schedule on the left inside of the card. They would also write a little message of their own and sign the card. They would then send this card to every member within the parish. This is a small way of reaching out to everyone within our community, but it is also a powerful way to let people know that you are thinking of them.
While approaching someone about their faith can make for an awkward conversation, it is even more awkward to be on the receiving end of that conversation. The invitation to faith comes to each of us in a different way, for some it is a tiny whisper and for others it comes to us like a bolt of lighting with the crack of thunder that follows. There is no secret formula in coming to faith. However, we can ask ourselves some important questions that can help us invite others to faith: Where am I currently at within my own faith journey? With whom do I put my faith and hope in? How do my actions lead others closer to Christ, or do my actions lead people away from God? If I were to invite someone to go to church with me who would I invite? Why them? How do I invite them so that they are not threatened (or feel that I am judging them), but are able to see me authentically asking them to journey with me in seeking God?
In asking these questions we will have a better understanding of our own faith and where we authentically are at within our own faith journey. Having answered these basic questions we will not be thrown off when asked and we will be more confident with who we are and who we are in relationship with God.