A modern form of evangelism that is popular today is inviting people to worship assemblies. People have thrown out statistics for years that says people come to church because a friend or relative invited them. Based on this, preachers and pastors have been encouraging people go out and “evangelize” by inviting people to the worship assemblies.
Evangelism is the act of fulfilling the Great Commission by proclaiming the gospel either by word of mouth or by writing. Inviting someone to church is not sharing the gospel, and in and of itself is not evangelism. It is pre-evangelism as long as you know that the person will hear the gospel presented when they are in the assembly.
Secondly, there is a very good chance that the person you bring to church will not understand a lot of what is going on, and more than likely, will not hear the gospel being preached from the pulpit. The reason is this: the worship assemblies are for believers. They are not designed for unbelievers.
The purpose of the assemblies is to equip the saints for ministry. This is what the teaching during assemblies should be focused on. The problem here is an improper view of the church’s role in evangelism. Instead of equipping the saints for the work of ministry, there are churches who essentially create an environment where ministry only happens within the confines of a church’s building and its activities and programs, and evangelism is brushed off onto the evangelist or pastors.
Inviting people to church is at times a copout for those who don’t want to share the gospel with people. They would much rather invite them to church, have them spend time around Christians, and maybe, just maybe, they will decide to become a Christian because they like the church or the preacher. My friends, this is not evangelism. Christians must be equipped to open their mouths and to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ. This is what we are commanded to do. People deciding to become “Christians” because they like the church or the preacher are more than likely not really Christians, but false converts. Only the preaching of the gospel along with conviction and repentance can bring a soul to Christ.
Besides all this, whenever unbelievers are coming into assemblies, many times they take communion, and in so doing, eat and drink judgment on themselves (1 Cor 11:27-29) because they are not discerning the Lord’s body. We need to think about our practices more than we do. There may be times when unbelievers may enter into our assemblies, but we should not just welcome them in to have communion with the saints of God and to bring judgment on themselves.
Instead of inviting people to church, invite people to Jesus Christ. He is the one who people must be converted to. Only when they are pierced to the heart by the Gospel; only when they see their need for repentance and forgiveness, will they come to Him. And only when you are telling them about these things are you doing evangelism.