The Power of a Personal Invitation

By: Hubert Cisneros

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When I was in high school (boarding academy) one of the guys in the dorm had a prayer group happening in his room every night.  His name was Bill Keresoma.  Each night he would ask me, personally, to join the small group meeting to read the Bible and pray. I always said “no”.  

Until one night I gave in to Bill’s persistence. It had been a long time since I had prayed, but I found myself there, spitting out some half baked prayer. That prayer, simple as it may have been, affected me more than I knew at the time.

Not too long after, home-leave weekend came around, and I found myself in need of somewhere to go, as my family lived hundreds of miles away. I asked Bill if I could go home with him.  He called his parents to see if it was ok with them and they were thrilled to have me.  His mother even asked if I played an instrument and if I would be willing play for Sabbath School.  So I brought my trumpet along and played. There it was again - a personal invitation.  

Back at school I became a faithful attendant of Bill’s prayer group but hadn’t truly made a stand for my growing faith. On Friday night, during Week of Prayer, the speaker invited the young people to come forward and give their lives to God or share what they were grateful for.  I sat, glued to my seat, in the back, feeling unsure. Bill came up to me and said, "let's go down together."  Suddenly, I found myself walking down the side of the auditorium and saying something in the microphone.

As I walked back to the dorm that night it seemed that I was floating off the side walk.  I had publicly said “yes” to God and my life was headed in a different direction than before.  It marked a turning point in my life.  

Would that transition have happened without a personal invitation from another young person?  I don't think so.  The power of a personal invitation can not be measured.  I was a junior in high school then.  Now I am a youth director for 500 churches in the Mid-America Union of Seventh-day Adventists.  Bill is the Education Superintendent for the Northern California Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.  God is using our lives today like He promised on that day so many years ago.  The next time your church is doing something - think about inviting one of your friends.  It just may mean that both of you will find your future as you allow God to lead your life.

Thought Questions:

  1. Who has invited you to join in something that has affected your life positively? What was it?
  2. Think of someone you know that you can invite to a Christian event, or get-together. How might you go about inviting them?
  3. What is something that your church/Christian club is doing that would be a good event to bring a new person to? If there is nothing scheduled, take some time to brainstorm new activities.

About the Author

Hubert Cisneros was raised in Boulder, Colorado. He is married to Lucy Cisneros, PhD Candidate in Leadership from Andrews University. Hubert also has two adult daughters: Sylvia Watson, a nurse, and Cindy, a counselor. He has served as pastor and conference worker in several different locations in the United States, and now holds the office of Youth Director for the Mid-America Union of Seventh-day Adventists, head-quartered in Lincoln, Nebraska. Hubert’s favorite things to do are: talk about Jesus, play basketball, and ride his horses. 

"Uncle Hubert" says: Life as a follower of Jesus is the most exciting thing you could ever ask for. When I get to heaven I just want to look at Jesus for a long time. I am looking forward to seeing you there too. Do all you can to share your faith in Jesus with everyone at school. You'll never be sorry.

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