Knowing the primary purpose of something is very important. I once heard this explained using Nolan Ryan, the great baseball pitcher, as an example. The author said it was very important for Nolan Ryan and the team he played for to remember what his primary purpose or main contribution was to the team.
His primary purpose was to pitch. If he became distracted by trying to help the team by becoming a good hitter, he would lose his focus on pitching and stop being able to make his greatest contribution. As a result, the team would suffer and be less likely to accomplish its goals.
In the same way, it is important, in anything we do, to understand the primary purpose. Otherwise we will get distracted and be less likely to accomplish the goals God has given us.
One example of this is the upcoming Valentine’s Extravaganza. As I understand it, the primary purpose of the event is evangelism or outreach. We want to invite people who don’t know Jesus to a place where they can experience the love of God through others and where they can hear the good news about Jesus.
As a result, it stands to reason that our invitation efforts would focus primarily on the unchurched and those who don’t yet know Christ. If we forget that primary purpose, we will be satisfied with filling our tables with those who are already saved.
Of course, a byproduct of this evening is that whomever we are with will experience a great time together. We will enjoy a great night with our spouse or with a friend or another church member or family member. However, that is not the primary purpose. If we experience all of those things but don’t have anyone with us who doesn’t know Jesus, we will fail to accomplish our goals.
I want to encourage you to try to invite unchurched people to be with you at your table at the Valentine’s Extravaganza. It might be a family member, a friend, a coworker, a neighbor, an acquaintance, or someone you met on the street that day. A very large percentage of unchurched people still say they would attend a church function if they received a personal invitation.
On top of that, God is always working in people’s lives to draw them to himself. See this as an opportunity to live through the eyes of faith rather than the eyes of fear. Don’t invite just one person. Keep inviting until your table is full.
If we have unchurched people at a high percentage of our tables the night of the Valentines Extravaganza, we will have accomplished the primary purpose God has given us for that evening. I pray that evening to draw those who don’t know Him closer to that day when they surrender their lives to Christ.