By Pastor Tracey Leslie
“Who’s FRAN?” you might be asking yourself. FRAN is an acronym for Friend, Relative, Acquaintance, Neighbor. Though our culture is increasingly unchurched, the Christmas season is still a time when people are more open to reflection on their spiritual life. In addition, many people struggle with depression or melancholy during the holiday season and may experience feelings of loneliness or isolation. So it is an especially good time to invite someone to join you for church!
Beginning December 3, for the four Sundays of Advent (Dec. 3, 10, 17, and 24), I encourage you to bring someone with you to church. On December 3, invite a friend. On Dec. 10, invite a relative. On Dec. 17, invite an acquaintance. On Dec. 24, invite a neighbor. It’s the FRAN plan. Please do not invite people who regularly attend another church. The goal is to invite someone who is not regularly attending a church.
Finding a new building and determining where to park and what door to enter can create anxiety. So, don’t just invite them; offer to pick them up. Make sure you sit with them during worship and introduce them to those who are sitting around you. Also, I encourage you to invite them to join you for lunch after worship. Make it your treat! It doesn’t need to be anywhere fancy or expensive. You might even invite them to your home for lunch. If lunch is too difficult, offer to pick them up early and take them for coffee. Invite them to join you for a Sunday morning study at 9:15. Small group studies are one of the best ways for people to get connected to the church. It’s a smaller and more informal group of people you can begin to get to know. In today’s busy and often impersonal culture, one of the best gifts we can offer others is our presence.
Beginning in November, Sunday bulletins will include invitations you can use to invite FRAN. A spoken, personal invitation is best. Pray for your “FRANs” before you invite them. But the invitations will allow those you invite to see the name of the church, service time, and our website address in case they want to check out Trinity in advance. Remember to let those with little ones know we have Children’s Worship and a fully staffed nursery throughout the morning.
We all want Trinity to grow and nothing is more effective in encouraging people to attend a church than a personal invitation from someone they know.
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