calendar January 29, 2013 in Roster

From the Deans: Come and See

The next day John again was standing with two
of his disciples, and as he watched Jesus walk
by, he exclaimed, “Look, here is the Lamb of God!”

The two disciples heard him say this, and they
followed Jesus. When Jesus turned and saw them
following, he said to them, “What are you looking
for?” They said to him, “Rabbi” (which translated
means Teacher), “where are you staying?” He
said to them, “Come and see.”

— John 1:35-39


Jesus said to them: “Come and see.” It is an invitation.

Have you ever been to a new restaurant and half way through the meal you knew you just had to tell your friends about it? You give them all the details about location, food specialties, price and ambience. You tell them exactly why they should try out this place and you might even suggest that you go together.

Have you ever shared with a friend or neighbor the specifics about a particular product brand? You might mention its reliability, quality, effectiveness and value. And you do it without hesitation or awkwardness. You do it with enthusiasm and confidence; you know they need this product.

Have you ever wondered why you don’t give the same kind of endorsement or invitation to friends and neighbors about your church? Our excuse is often that we don’t like to bring up religion because it makes people feel uncomfortable. But…maybe we are the ones who are uncomfortable?

Research has shown that people are more likely to try a church if invited by a friend or relative. If the pastor asks them to come, it is their job to ask; when a friend asks it is a genuine invitation. That is why some congregations have an official “Bring a Friend to church” Sunday a couple times a year. It allows for you to be intentional about the invitation and helps you articulate just what it is about your specific congregation that “feeds” you. You might speak about the music or the community that surrounds and supports you. Maybe you love the sermons or the opportunities for faith formation and outreach; whatever it is tell others.

If there is anything that this world is desperately in need of it is a relationship with God-in-Christ. In most respects this can only be fully found in a church where the Word of God is proclaimed and the Sacraments are administered. I say that because good music and community can be found in others places as well, but not Word and Sacrament, and those other things.  Is that your church? Is it a faith community that you want all those you care about to be part of?  Then invite others to “come and see.” Such an invitation could change their life and yours.

Consider inviting others to “come and see” on a regular basis and if you don’t think it is a good and faithful congregation, give some prayerful thought to whatyou might do to help make it one. After all, your friends deserve the best — and it doesn’t get better than Jesus.


The Rev. Ellen Meissgeier is dean of the Lower Montgomery Conference and pastor at Resurrection Lutheran Church, Horsham.


Please share this message in your congregation. You may post this article and/or reproduce it in your bulletin or newsletter.