Sacred Heart of Jesus

Parish Blog

Southern Hospitality

One of the hallmarks of Southern Culture (especially in South Louisiana) is our sense of spontaneity. At a moments notice, we will change plans, rearrange our day, or even cancel meetings at the chance to get together with people. If we have friends that we haven’t seen in ages we will go all out to make sure that we have a great time, eat great food, and have plenty of time to catch up.
When was the last time you invited someone to join you at Mass?  Studies show that a personal invitation has the most impact.  Asking someone to join you for Mass sends a message of personal care towards others. It doesn’t have to be anything but an invitation. It might be an old friend, a relative, a coworker; it could be anybody the Lord puts on your heart.
What if we started looking at the health of Sacred Heart by the number of people we invited every week instead of how many people were in the pews?

How do I invite people?

  1. Keep it simple: An invitation is merely asking someone to join you. It could be mass or a rosary group or an Encounter Night. We extend an invite and pray for the best.
  2. Keep it low pressure: “It would be great if you could join me!” No need to coerce. People love to come to events where they feel welcomed and respected.
  3. Communicate ahead of time: If someone accepts an invitation, be clear and concise with time and location. “I’ll meet you in the narthex at 10:45 so we can go to 11 o’clock Mass together” is more precise than “Let’s meet for 11 o’clock Mass.”
  4. Be early: It’s scary for a new person to show up as it is. If they wait too long for someone to join them, they may leave before we show up.
  5. Introduce your visitors to others: People stay in churches because of connection to others. Faith is meant to be lived out in the community. People will keep coming back if they feel loved and supported.

Who will you invite next weekend?

Paul Hood