FIRST-PERSON: Ladies luncheon with purpose

PENSACOLA, Fla. (BP) -- Question: What's an easy way to introduce a friend to your God and your church?

Answer: Invite her to a purposeful ladies' luncheon.

Can sharing Christ get any easier than that?

I admit it. Almost any ladies' church group enjoys a luncheon. It's great fellowship and quite a fulfilling project. Many churches are planning a spring luncheon right now. But when you add the stated purpose of outreach to your luncheon, you give it an eternal purpose.

Try some of these simple tweaks to morph your current ladies' luncheon event into a life-changing outreach strategy:

-- Make it enticing. When each detail of every luncheon is consistently top-quality, "as unto the Lord," members are proud to invite unchurched guests. Beautiful décor. High-energy atmosphere. Well-planned timing. Engaging speaker. Yummy food. Chocolate dessert.

-- Announce dates. When any church member has the luncheon date on her calendar far ahead of time, she can more easily invite guests. Select the day and time to fit your community. Our quarterly luncheons were on a weekday, with a one-hour timetable so women could come on their lunch break.

-- Provide tickets. Whether there is a cost or not, a printed ticket provides value. A woman can present it as a gift to her guest.

-- Create friendly peer pressure to remind members to bring unchurched friends. For example: Only those who bring new guests are seated at the best tables.

-- Train greeters, table hostesses and church members to intentionally welcome guests, include them in conversation and introduce them to friends. Consistently invite guests back for Sunday worship. The atmosphere becomes "it's not about us" as members see God at work drawing women to Him.

-- Ask the speaker to unapologetically weave God's plan of salvation into her talk and point to His impact on daily life.

-- Gather contact info with a door prize form. (Just one door prize, please.) Ask for name, email, phone, and use checkboxes to indicate member or guest, interest in becoming a Christian, and a checkbox to request church information.

-- A follow-up team acts quickly. Each guest receives a "thank you" email or call before Sunday, with an invitation to worship and a link to the church's website. Those who want to know Christ receive immediate follow-up.

A purposeful ladies' luncheon provides a comfortable venue for a woman to bring unchurched friends to know God. She could bring an employee, boss or co-worker. She may invite her hairstylist, city council representative, neighbor or classmate. She may reserve an entire table for her playgroup moms, book club, PTO officers, yacht club, bowling team. You get the picture!

"I can do that!" you say. And so will other women in your church.

As Luke 14:23 states, "Go out into the country lanes and behind the hedges and urge anyone you find to come, so that the house will be full."

For more detailed tips for planning ladies' luncheons, see the free downloadable booklet at www.dianadavis.org.

Diana Davis is an author, columnist and ministry wife in Pensacola, Fla. She is the author of "Fresh Ideas," "Deacon Wives" (B&H Publishing) and the newly released "Six Simple Steps -- Finding Contentment and Joy as a Ministry Wife," (New Hope Publishers).
Download Story