Occasionally someone asks, "What is the most important part of a worship service?" Although every act of worship to God is significant, we have a tendency to “prioritize” the service. For example, many would be quick to point out that the "The Lord's Supper" is the most vital part of worship, as we remember the horrific death of our Lord. Some might insist that the sermon is the most crucial part because we are listening to God’s inspired word. Still others will point out the deep significance of our prayers, singing and giving.
Who’s right? Perhaps everyone. After all, I cannot imagine a corporate worship service that omits out any of the aforementioned acts. At the same time, I would like to draw your attention to one portion of our typical worship assembly that receives little attention and is occasionally omitted entirely -- the invitation song!
No, I cannot quote a scripture that mandates the singing of an invitation song at any or every corporate worship assembly. But I can assure you that God has no objection to such being offered – “And the Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" And let him who hears say, "Come!" And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.” (Revelation 22:17)
So what makes the invitation song significant? Following a Bible based sermon, the preacher typically concludes with a fervent plea for needy souls to obey the gospel of Jesus, rededicate their lives to the Lord, or possibly request special prayers. In virtually every church assembly, lost (or struggling) souls are present that desperately need to respond to the invitation. Unless they do so, they may leave the building headed for the eternal fires of Hell!
It is unfortunate that, during the singing of this decisive song, some Christians appear to have “more pressing” matters on their minds. For example, some may giggle or tease back and forth; others might go for the drinking fountain or rest room; a few may gather up coats, toys and other belongings; and some might even hurriedly head for the nearest exit. And all of this during the singing of a song in which heaven itself seems to plead: "Sinner, come home!"
The reason that God sent His Son… that Jesus died on the cross… that brave men (and women) have been tortured and martyred for proclaiming the gospel… can all be summed up in what occurs during the invitation song -- sinners are urged to come (or return) to Jesus Christ!
You cannot put a price on the value and significance of the invitation song. Therefore let the teasing, coats, toys and drinking fountains go for a few minutes. Sing the song with all your heart! Pray for the lost to respond as you sing! And praise God when a sinner comes home!
"I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance. (Luke 15:7)
Jesus, always Jesus!