Last winter I received a CD of the Dick Campo Band from one of its former members. They play Big Band music from the 40's and 50's. There is something very exhilarating about the music. I especially enjoyed his trumpet solos. I enjoyed the CD and thought that was the end of it.
Of course our lives really are like a tapestry where different colors and themes weave their way in and out of our experience. Last week a different friend of mine mentioned she was singing with the Dick Campo Band on Saturday night at Ocean Beach. My ears perked up. Did you say Dick Campo band? The truth is that I wanted to support her and her music and the fact that I already knew a little bit about the band didn't hurt. So I traveled down to the beach and took a step back in time.
I met a few friends there and had a wonderful time under the bright moonlit skies on the boardwalk. The tunes wafted through the air and I couldn't help think of the young men and women who danced to the big band sounds in my grandparents days. If I could have captured the evening in a photograph, it would be one that would hang on my office wall.
As I was driving home it struck me that we miss out on a lot of opportunities in life because we let them pass us by. Unsure of what to expect, not willing to step out of our comfort zones, we go right on doing the things we always do. It is certainly true for those who don't regularly attend worship. They might say, "Why bother? It is just one more option to choose from in the menu of life." I can understand that. If Joanne hadn't invited me to come and see her band, I would have passed on a wonderful evening without even knowing what I was missing.
I think the same is true when it comes to inviting our friends to worship with us. We think they won't come. Yet, when you invite them, your friendship becomes one of the major variables in whether or not they will come. If they like you and see the blessings you get out of attending worship services, there is a good chance they will say yes and you will get to expose them to one of the joys of your life. If you don't ever invite them, then they will miss an opportunity to be blessed.
Now as the preacher, I am hesitant to write things like this. It puts the pressure on me and thwe whole worship team. I know if you invite your friend to church and I have an off week or if the choir is a little flat or the Praise team is not quite right, or one of the ushers had a fight with his or her spouse on the way in and is a little grumpy, or the kids are rambunctious and loud during the service... it could have a negative effect on your friends.
Well here is the truth. None of that matters. Sunday morning belongs to God and he even uses our imperfections to speak to people's hearts. My advice is to invite your friends and then trust God to speak to their hearts.
When I went to see the Band the other night I was blessed. I don't know if anyone missed a note or not, but the experience touched my soul. If a big band can do that on a Saturday night, then I am sure God can make something happen on a Sunday morning. So stop making excuses. Bless your friends. Invite them to worship with you. They will thank you afterwards.