You’re not alone if you have a loved one who doesn’t know Christ. You also know how hard it is to pray for their salvation. It would be easy to promise that if you follow these tips, your loved one will be saved, but that’s not the case. God is the one who works in their heart.
However, these ideas on approaching unsaved loved ones about attending a service with you will leave the heart restoration work to God through the Holy Spirit. Before getting into how you can get your nonbelieving loved one to church, let’s discuss what’s not going to them in church.
No one likes to be nagged about anything. Asking your loved one numerous times to come to church is like pestering your children or spouse to do a chore; it makes them not want to do it. If you continue to invite them to get the same reply, it only makes them want to avoid you. Another thing you shouldn’t do is try to scare them will hell. Even though those who don’t believe in God will be in hell for eternity, trying to scare your loved one into going to church by describing hellfire typically makes it worse.
Hell has its place in Scripture but not as a way to scare someone into going to church. Finally, it would be best not to trick your loved one into church with you. This tactic will only make them mad and may forever turn them away from God. With those methods out of the way, here are some ways to get your nonbelieving loved ones to church.
James 5:16 tells us the prayers of a righteous person are active and influential. While praying for your loved one, ask God to give them the desire to go to church with you and to open their heart to your attendance invitation. Before you try any other suggestions, pray about it.
Invite them to church.
Your loved one can’t get to church unless you invite them. When you do so, try not to do it in a nagging way. Still, regularly, like once a month or so, welcome them to go to church with you. Also, it may be best to invite them to activities outside of church service, like plays or children’s performances. They’ll get the experience of having a church family without necessarily going to church service.
Remain faithful in asking.
Despite the numerous no's, keep asking and inviting your loved one when it feels right to do so. It may take a while, but they may eventually come around. God is always one time so ask and get ready for a yes in the middle of the nos.
Accept ‘no’ politely.
You’ll likely hear more negative reactions than positive ones, so it would be in your best interest to receive those negative responses graciously. Try your best not to guilt them into saying yes or pouting. They’re probably watching to see how you accept their response, which might be why they say yes next time.
Talk about the church in a kind manner.
This tip may seem obvious, but how many times do you talk about something from a recent sermon with your nonbelieving loved ones? Not in a lecturing way, but in an educational way or a “this opened my eyes to a new perspective about the Scripture” way. Psalms 95:1-2 says, “Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before Him with thanksgiving and extol Him with music and song.” If this is how we see going to church, we should share that with those around us. Why would our unsaved loved ones want to attend church with us if we don’t talk about Sunday mornings in a constructive light?
Discuss faith in regular conversation.
As disciples of Jesus Christ, we should sprinkle our conversations with faith, not force-feeding it but naturally. For example, if you and your loved one are discussing their recent bout with unemployment, talk to them about how God can provide no matter the circumstance. It’s an organic response to a question on how you’re doing and a sincere way to share our faith with our unsaved loved ones.
Show how your church supports you.
Your church members are a part of your more extensive support system, and nonbelievers must know that. Psalm 66:5-6 reminds us, “Come and see what God has done: he is awesome in his deeds toward the children of man. He turned the sea into dry land; they passed through the river on foot. There did we rejoice in him.”
If your church has a history of giving away meals to those in need, talk about this service with your loved one, especially if you’ve benefited from this service. Talk to them about how that service blessed your life and how they could be a blessing to others. Seeing Christians’ care and love for one another could make them want to start going to church.
Open your mind to different churches.
Your loved one may want to go to church, but they may be more comfortable attending another denomination, so you should look for alternative churches and people who are part of those congregations.They can give you more information about what happens in their church. Recommend your loved one to go to a service at that church and go with them if they agree. For example, your loved one may feel more comfortable with a liturgical congregation than a Pentecostal one. As long as they attend church, does it matter which one they go to?
Part of being a Christian is to inspire others in their faith and help the nonbelievers find faith. Hebrews 10:24-25 tells us to think about how to stir up love and good works in each other. We shouldn’t neglect one another, but we should encourage each other as Judgement Day draws near. It can be heartbreaking when an unsaved loved one shuns any mention of church or the Gospel, but God has a plan. He can use our church invitations to soften our unsaved loved one’s hearts and redeem those He’s called to Him.