Sign the Dotted Line
The president of a large sales company said to the pastor as he was walking out of the service, "I would hire you in a minute. You made your product, salvation, attractive; you told how to get it, but above all you gave us a chance to sign on the dotted line; you gave an invitation."
We must preach for a decision. We should demand a verdict. We have to give an invitation for we know if the devil has one minute he will snatch away the seed that was sown in the heart of everyone who hears you. (Mt. 13:19)
The world and the church has so stereotyped invitations that many are afraid of them. This ought not to be. An invitation does not have to include "coming down the aisle" or "coming forward." The invitation should be to "receive the Lord Jesus as your Savior" (John 1:12).
The simple and effective way top do this is to have everyone bow their heads at the conclusion of the message. Invite anyone not sure they are going to heaven and now understands that the Lord Jesus suffered and died on the cross for his sins and who want to receive Him, to pray right then and invite the Lord Jesus to come into his heart and save him. So you will know who did and can follow up, get them to look up and catch your eye.
Years ago I did this in a church in the Chicago area. Eight years later I was back in Chicago and preached one Sunday. After the service a lady came to me and said, "Eight years ago you preached in a church an hour from here. I had to come and tell you what happened to me. You asked us to pray in our hearts to receive the Lord Jesus. I did that and looked up at you. I was not used to a church giving invitations and did not confess Christ that day. I was truly saved and my life was changed. For years I have wanted to thank you and let you know how God saved me that day." Well Glory. That is what it is all about. Don't let the devil talk you out of trying to get folks saved at every occasion.
At my father's funeral I preached and gave an invitation like that and over 30 people prayed and looked up at me indicating they had received the Lord Jesus that day. A funeral is a vital place to preach the gospel and give an invitation and then follow up on those who look up at you.
At wedding rehearsals I have seen as many as three people pray to receive the Lord Jesus. At many banquets, socials, events of all kinds, I have done this and seen many respond. Not once have I had a back lash from doing this.
If you are gracious and let them know you will not embarrass them or point them out and do not betray their confidence, people will not object or get offended.
As I was looking at some new cars, a salesman approached me and began his sales pitch. When he finished I said, "I have a better deal that that to offer you." Rather surprised he said, "What's that?" Graciously I told him I wanted to offer him a trip to heaven and the good thing about it was the enormous price had already been paid in full. Carefully, I gave him the gospel and said he could invite the Lord Jesus into his heart right then. It was obvious he was listening intently. In a few minutes I asked if he wanted to pray to receive the Lord Jesus. He said, "I already have." As usual my response was "tell me about it". He said, "While you were talking to me I was so convicted, I knew I had to do it right then and I did"! He gave every evidence he understood it and was saved.
Give people a chance to sign on the dotted line.