On Sunday, March 5th, our 40 Days of Invitational Living initiative got off to an exciting start. We “sold out” of 500 booklets immediately after the service and many others accessed the digital version. You can download the digital version HERE. We didn’t want to just talk about the WHAT of invitational living; we truly want to help you with the HOW.
We believe strongly that partnership and accountability can be so helpful on an invitational journey. To this end, many of our community groups are included the 40 Days in their regular meetings. As our small group began this conversation in the first week of the study, it was fascinating to see the different places from which individuals started this journey – some with a lot of experience and some with none at all. We enjoyed a great time discussing some of our perceptions, reservations and misgivings about invitational living – things such as fear of failure, feelings of inadequate knowledge and concerns about appearing obnoxious or condescending to others. We committed together to try to take some invitational steps (even if just baby steps) each week and were excited to see how God would stretch us and work through us.
It was so encouraging to hear stories of how others attempted to take invitational steps during this season. We shared stories each week. If you still have a story to share, please email Pastor Rob at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here are a couple of stories from the 40 Days:
"While traveling out of town, we engaged in conversation with a server at a restaurant. She mentioned she had just moved to this city to “reinvent” her life. Because 40 Days was on our radar, we had the chance to ask her if she was considering church or God to be a part of her reinvention process. She opened up and briefly shared about going through a divorce after 30 years of marriage and some bad church experiences in her past. Because we were out of town, a Willow invite wasn’t an option, but we were able to give her the name of a really good church we know of in her city. She thanked us and said she would check into it. Not sure if anything will come out of this encounter, but hopefully it gave her a nudge in the right direction. Thankful God gave us this opportunity and that the 40 Day emphasis helped us seize it."
“As [my husband and I] studied the devotional . . .we came to a deeper understanding that God's plan for our marriage is a result of His overwhelming and unconditional love for us individually and together. . . .It is too easy to be distracted by life and forget why we are blest and who brought them. We want to bring God's empowerment to others.”
Let us live out this invitational life!
Discipleship Pastor | Willow Chicago