The Power of an Invitation

Kris Kristofferson can be celebrated for his academic accomplishments as a Rhodes Scholar, army helicopter pilot, songwriter, performer, and actor, but perhaps his most impacting (and eternal) accomplishment was the penning of his transparent recording, Why Me. Since releasing the song in 1973, countless people around the world have been touched by the humility, authenticity, and power of his Christian testimony put to song.

What’s even more amazing is how the testimony (and the song) came to be. Country music artist Connie Smith invited him to church where he heard Jimmy Snow preach and Larry Gatlin sing. Kristofferson shared that he found himself raising his hand and going down to the altar where he had a profound and life-changing spiritual experience. Why Me was the result of that encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ.

We often think supernatural transformation happens because of how the Holy Spirit uses pastors, teachers, prophets, apostles, and evangelists, or some traveling music ministry or revivalist to communicate the gospel to the lost. We should be grateful for the wisdom, anointing, and calling on men and women who share the gospel in power with the unreached and the untold. We should not, however, downplay our role in getting people to hear the message through the simple but effective act of inviting someone to church. Kristofferson wrote that song after his encounter with the Lord, and that experience with the Lord was made possible because Connie Smith cared enough to invite him to church. Think of it. Millions of people have been touched by a song made possible by a single invitation. We should never underestimate the power of an invitation.

We see this same example in Scripture when Andrew invited Peter to Jesus and when Philip brought Nathaniel to the Lord. The Scripture records that a woman, married and divorced five times and currently living with another man, used this simple approach to reach her entire village: “Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?” (John 4:29). It seems we’ve just overcomplicated the whole Church thing in America. We need to just get back to the simplicity and the power of the invitation – an invitation to church!