If there is a wedding we wait to see if we are invited. Even when the wedding is open to everyone who wants to come, we watch for those words before we consider attending.

If I am not an insider in the church or another group, who knows the social cues and rules, I wait for the invitation, because I am not sure if the group wants me to participate in that activity.

An insider might say, “Well, everybody  knows that we need volunteers for that event.” But that is not true.

There are hundreds of social cues that indicate welcome, acceptance and  desired involvement.

Someone has to want you there and you must feel wanted before you will go.

The group must make a place for you, not just put up an “everybody welcome”  sign. What does that mean anyway, except, we all want to think we are welcoming.

Invitation matches the individual to the event or activity to which they are invited.

If we are all eating, surely they eat as well. You are invited. The invitee understands the criteria.

If this is a mission trip to Zaire to do heavy construction work, people of fragile health or ones who do not have a passport are not invited. Everyone would understand this.

Invitation must be thoughtful and consider the needs of the person rather than the need of the group to grow.

Genuine invitation conveys a budding affection or love for the person and a desire for them to join the dynamics of the group.

While many may not be into formal “invitations”, there is no doubt there is a moment or moments when folks wonder, “Am I invited to this?”

The church must remove all doubt that the people of God are invited to the banquet of God’s saving grace and they are invited to the groups and events which cause them and us to grow in faith.

Moving to the deeper places,