Since the 1970s, a custom has arisen in extending invitations to gatherings allowing the invitee to include a Plus One -- defined as a person who accompanies an invited guest to an event or gathering. Today if you receive a request to RSVP for an event, you will likely be given the opportunity to bring a Plus One.
How might this apply to your life and that of your congregation? Here a just a few suggestions, and I am sure you could add many more:
- Invite a Plus One to come to church and Bible study
- Invite a Plus One to join a small group with you to know more about the Bible
- Invite a Plus One out for coffee with the intent of sharing a discussion on spiritual matters
- Invite a Plus One to a church concert or movie
- Invite a Plus One to a church school sporting, music or drama or special speaker event
- Invite a Plus One to give their input to how we can better serve our community
- Invite a Plus One to share prayer concerns with you
A number of years ago, a former president of the LCMS commented that he prayed daily for the as of that prayer a yet unknown person the Lord would bring into his life with whom he could share the Gospel. His eyes and ears were open to the opportunities. He was alert to take the initiative to witness to those God brought into his life. This is a lesson for us all. What if we began each day in prayer for a Plus One to be invited into a spiritual conversation? The Lord has commanded us to go, commissioned us to tell, and empowered us by His Holy Spirit to be salt and light in this present darkness.
While “Plus One” has the reputation of a social nicety, I believe we ought to incorporate it into our hearts and lives as a core value of caring and praying for those facing a Christ-less eternity!
Plus One in Action
- Pray. It is the foundation of all that is done. Pray! Pray some more! Keep on praying for the salvation of those who are facing a Christ-less eternity! Matthew 9:37-38; Romans 10:1
- Lead. Take the initiative intentionally, proactively, lovingly and directly to speak of Jesus. Matthew 28:18-20; Isaiah 55:4
- Use God’s gifts, led by His spirit. We are working together as a community of faith! Acts 16:31; Galatians 6:10
- Seek the Lost that they might be found in Christ now and for eternity. Luke 15:4; Ezekiel 34:6
- Orient your life to engage others in place of doing those things that do not count for eternity. Isaiah 59:21; Ephesians 5:16
- Now! Not later! Urgently! No one knows how much time any person has left on this earth. There is no second chance for salvation once someone has died. James 4:14; Romans 8:18
- Exhort other members and encourage them in their daily witness! Hebrews 3:13; 2 Timothy 4:2
In Mark 16:15, Jesus said, "Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.”
Food for thought: Use a Plus One prayer card during the services. Write down the name of your Plus One (first name and last name initial), and those cards could be placed in a prayer box in front of the congregation. Regular prayer for those collected names can be included in the time for prayer in our church services. If/when there are intentional church prayer meetings, the first names can be distributed to those gathered to pray specifically for their salvation.
Plus One is not a program, nor is it a special event! My prayer is that this becomes an essential, integrated core value, infusing the warp and woof of ALL that is done at your community of faith!
For Your Prayers
- For the Roegners as they give care to Bob’s parents and their daughter during this challenging time
- For Nancy’s healing following her December 27th knee replacement surgery by Dr. Tyler Goldberg
- For Jordan Peiser’s continuing ministry in New Jersey
- For the Lord to bring the next leader to The Apple of His Eye this year
- For Micha Cohen as he just celebrated his 43rd birthday and is in hospice care in Chicago battling Huntington’s Disease
- For a cessation to the hatred and anti-Semitism fomenting here and abroad
- For our many supporters that the Lord would bring HIS true shalom to them this year
Steve Cohen is the founder of Apple of His Eye