My man-child returned on Tuesday morning from a whirlwind weekend experience in Colorado. Even in his advanced state of exhaustion, he’s spent the last couple of days recounting his adventures ad nauseum.

Was he most excited about becoming reacquainted with the majestic Rocky Mountains? No. Was it the cool, crisp air that never reaches above 50% humidity the cause of his elation? Nice, but nope. Were the hikes or the brisk swim in Horsetooth Reservoir the highlight of his trip? Not even close.

Bryan went to Colorado to hang out with his buddy Aidan. He’s the Gus to Bryan’s Shawn, the Joey to his Chandler, and the Felix to his Oscar.

Quick backstory: Bryan and Aidan met in 8th grade math class at Erwin Middle School. They were forced to sit next to each other, and they didn’t think they’d ever become friends. By November, they were best friends. Here’s a picture of them from back then, sitting in math class:
ba2013

While on his trip last weekend, Bryan and Aidan stopped by Erwin Middle School. Why? They wanted to take the same picture, in the same class, in the same seats. Saps… Here’s what they look like now:

ba2016

Whether you’ve got the type of friend that spurs you on to reach your God-given potential or you’ve got friends who push you to new levels of depravity, there’s no question that we are influenced by our friends (for the record, I’m glad Bryan and Aidan are potential-pushing friends!).

Earlier this week I read the result of a research study that highlighted the power of friendship. There’s inherent influence in relationship. How are you leveraging your influence?

LifeWay Research surveyed 2,000 Americans who do not attend church on what would draw them to one. Typically, statistics and surveys don’t get me too excited, but I found the results of one question (asked in two parts) of particular interest to me…

Question: What would get you to church?
Events:
62% – a meeting about neighborhood safety
51% – a community service event
46% – a sports or exercise program
45% – a concert
45% – a neighborhood get-together
35% – a worship service
25% – a recovery group
24% – a seminar on a spiritual topic

Question: What would get you to church?
Method of invitation
(this is where the Bryan and Aidan story will make sense):
51% – a personal invitation from a friend or family member
23% – a TV commercial
23% – a postcard
21% – a church member knocking on the door (editor’s note: don’t do this in JoCo–you just might wind up catching a bullet!)
18% – a Facebook ad

Do you know what the survey tells me? Invite your friends and family to church, and there’s a pretty good chance they’ll show up! I meet new people every week at the Guest Spot on Sunday morning and I always ask how they found out about the church. I’ve lost count of the number of times people have told me that they came because someone asked them to visit. You have the potential to influence someone for eternity when you invite them to church.

What are you waiting for? Take a bit of a risk and invite someone to be your guest at church this Sunday morning. You never know – they may spend all eternity thanking you for the invitation!
What I need to remember:
BAPTISM Get ready to hoot and holler this (and next) Sunday morning! We’ll be baptizing some new believers in our second service this Sunday, plus we’re going to baptize a few folks on Sunday, October 2. It’s not too late to sign up for next week’s baptism – allow your church family to celebrate the transformation Jesus has made in your life. Sign up for more info here.
What I’m reading:
I’ve been on a C.S. Lewis kick lately. It might have something to do with my books of choice this week – I’ve been spending some time with ol’ Clive Staples by reading Miracles and a biography by Alister McGrath. As a result, my need to visit Addison’s Walk has moved to a level 10 emergency!
About me:
John Sanders is the non-stuffy pastor at The Church at Clayton Crossings. His primary mission is to lead people to find and follow Jesus. Additionally, he longs to write like the child of Aaron Sorkin and Dave Barry, preach like W.A. Criswell, look like Bradley Cooper, and eat like he’s seventeen years old. A more complete (and less snarky) bio can be found here.

Let’s be friends: