Teaching Pastor for Willow Creek Community Church
Ed: The book does not have evangelism in the title, but it’s categorized under that. So, why an evangelism book? Everyone’s talking about mission, justice, etc., but not a lot about evangelism. So, why write on that?
Steve: Friends told me that writing your first book on evangelism isn't the smartest business decision, but for some reason I felt like I needed to do it. Over the past ten years, I've seen a decrease in urgency when it comes to sharing one’s faith. I think a lot of it has to do with the way evangelism has been portrayed and done over the years. What I want to do is to try and reclaim the essence of the word.
Paul tells Timothy to "Do the work of an evangelist" (2 Tim. 4:2) and he's telling Timothy to make the good news your life's work! This Invitational Life is an attempt to inspire everyday people to live winsomely and risk themselves to align with God's heartbeat for humanity.
Ed: Talk to me about the title— why “invitational”?
Steve: We come from a great tradition of invitation. I think of a devout disciple in Damascus who heard God whisper his name and his response was "Yes, Lord." God asked Ananias to go downtown and meet with Saul and invite him into the church family. Ananias had to overcome his own fear of what Saul might do and his own fear of rejection, and then trust that this moment was brimming with redemptive potential.
People whom I come across that are unchurched or post-church still love to be invited. When we live invitational lives, we are choosing to invite people into our story, our homes for a meal, our lives, our church, and God's story.
I didn't grow up in a Christian home and my life was transformed by two ...