“Extend Invitations and Follow Up,” New Era, Mar. 2015, 22–25
If you want to share the gospel but are nervous or aren’t sure how to do it, this article is for you. Sharing the gospel is more than just inviting your friends to meet with the missionaries. That’s a great idea, but there are so many other things you can do to “invite others to come unto Christ” (Preach My Gospel: A Guide to Missionary Service , 1). And it’s easier than you think. Maybe a soccer analogy will help.
Good players know how and when to pass the ball to their teammates to give them an opportunity to move forward. Inviting others to learn about the gospel is like passing the ball, only instead of giving them an opportunity to score a goal, you’re giving them an opportunity to come unto Christ.
Here are a few ideas to get you started. Pray for inspiration and be creative as you adapt these ideas to fit your friends’ interests or situations. Then cheer them on!
You have a friend who is obsessed with sports. So when you hear that this week’s Mutual activity is a sports night, you realize it’s the perfect opportunity to invite her along.
You’re listening to a talk from general conference on your MP3 player while you walk to school. A friend asks what you’re listening to. You tell her the truth—you’re listening to the words of a living prophet of God. “What does that mean?” your friend asks. You explain about modern prophets and apostles and then ask your friend if she would like to join you in April to hear what those leaders are saying.
One of the articles from a recent issue of the New Era reminds you of a conversation you had with one of your friends. You share your copy of the magazine (or an online link) with him and invite him to read the article.
Your ward has a goal to read the Book of Mormon by the end of the year, so you take your scriptures to school. One of your friends notices your book and asks you what it’s about, so you explain what the Book of Mormon is and share your testimony of it.
Read Kenneth’s story later in this article to see what happened when he saw a Church member with a Book of Mormon at school.
Your best friend invites you to hang out this Friday, but you have a Church dance that night. Instead of just rejecting his invitation, you invite him to the dance!
You’ve been asked to teach part of a lesson on Sunday. When a friend asks what you’re up to this weekend, instead of skipping over your Sunday plans, you explain that you’ll be teaching part of a lesson at church. Your friend is curious, so you invite her to come with you so she can hear you teach.
Your friends have a lot of questions about our beliefs, so you show them Mormon.org to help answer their questions.
During your morning scripture study, you come across a verse that would be really helpful for a friend who has been having a hard time lately. You send her a text message letting her know that you were thinking about her and came across a scripture that she might like.
Dad is making his famous spaghetti this week! You notice a new student at your school who doesn’t seem to have many friends, so you decide to invite him over for family dinner. If it’s a Monday night, you might even ask him to stay for family home evening afterward.
As you plan your big project, you realize that you’ll need help, so you decide to ask some of your nonmember friends to help. This can give you the opportunity to explain why you serve, and you can also have fun serving together.
If a friend asks why you live by certain standards, give him a copy of For the Strength of Youth and talk about how living the standards has helped you feel happier.
Read Hannah’s story in this article to see how she shared this booklet with a friend.
After inviting, the next step is to follow up. In soccer, the best players know their job isn’t over once they pass the ball—they have to keep moving and get open.
Following up can be as simple as asking what your classmate thought about the scripture you shared or how your friend felt after coming to church with you.
For an example of how following up changed a young man’s life, check out Kenneth’s story.
When you follow up after inviting others to learn about your beliefs, you’re showing that you care about their happiness. They’ll sense your sincere desire to help and they’ll feel comfortable asking you more questions in the future.