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The tradition of offering a time of invitation and response following worship, mission, or spiritual formation events dates back centuries. The practice offers structure for the shepherd and the follower to experience the reconciliation, connection, or healing God intends for all creation through a life-transforming relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

Bishop Richard Looney, Episcopal Director Emeritus, compiled this sampling of the art of invitation as a resource for The Foundation for Evangelism. I enjoy these stories and examples that embrace the richness of Bishop Looney’s personal approach to storytelling, revisit relationships with pastors whose heart for sharing the Good News of Jesus inspire us, and, for folks like me who are deeply connected to the Foundation’s history, it brings a smile of remembrance.

Invitation Resource Download

Providing an Opportunity for People to Follow Jesus is for anyone who desires to reach others with the message of hope and salvation found in Christ. We hope that this book will inspire and equip you to share the Good News and extend a life-transforming invitation to those around you.

This resource is being made available for personal and group-based use and may be copied or distributed with the title and back pages included. It may not be altered or edited in any way without the express permission of The Foundation for Evangelism.

About Bishop Richard Looney

Bishop Richard Looney is a retired Bishop of The United Methodist Church, having served from 1988-2000.

Born in the Methodist parsonage at Hillsville, Virginia, Looney graduated from Emory and Henry College and Candler School of Theology, with additional study in the University of Edinburgh, Scotland and Union Theological Seminary, Richmond, Virginia.

A member of the Holston Conference, Richard was ordained deacon and elder by Bishop Roy H. Short. Appointments included: the Rising Fawn Circuit, Rising Fawn, Georgia; Baker’s Chapel – Wyndale, Abingdon, Virginia; Pleasant View (formerly Baker’s Chapel), Abingdon, Virginia; White Oak, Chattanooga, Tennessee; Broad Street, Cleveland, Tennessee; The Chattanooga District; Munsey Memorial, Johnson City, Tennessee and Church Street, Knoxville.

General Church responsibilities included the General Council on Finance and Administration; the General Board of Church and Society and the General Council on Ministry. Pulpit exchanges have been enjoyed in England and Australia and work missions shared in Peru, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.

The Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference elected Richard Looney to the episcopacy in 1988. He was assigned to the newly-created South Georgia Area, where he served until his retirement in 2000.

Bishop Looney has been involved with The Foundation for Evangelism since 1989, currently serving as Episcopal Director Emeritus.

Carolyn Adele McKeithen and Richard were married on September 3, 1957. They have three children: Teresa Carolyn, David William, and Jonathan Carl, one granddaughter, Maria, and three grandsons, Logan, Joseph and Ian. Carolyn passed away in 2009.

More Invitational Resources

Transforming Evangelism

Learn on your own or as a congregational group from this practical study on living an evangelistic life that demonstrates the transforming power of loving God and neighbor. Includes discussion questions.

Transforming Evangelism Video Series

This video series includes multiple discussion topics related to the book Transforming Evangelism: The Wesleyan Way of Sharing Faith . Recommended for use as discussion starter for groups using the book study.

Evangelism for Non-Evangelists

Explore what evangelism is (and isn't), and how you can articulate the Good News of the gospel in a manner true to what you believe, authentic to who you are, attractive and even compelling to others.

Participating in Abundant Live

Connecting biblical perspectives of holistic salvation to contemporary concepts of well-being, Teasdale shows how Christians can better communicate in secular settings and partner with all people to seek the common good. Includes helpful tools for evaluation.

La Evangelización Transformadora

Los autores, Powe and Knight, describen la profunda conexión entre los pensamientos de John Wesley, los himnos de Charles Wesley, el pensamiento erudito sobre la evangelización y la comprensión bíblica del evangelio, todo ello en relación con las necesidades, preocupaciones y esperanzas de «la gente de a pie». Este estudio práctico incluye preguntas de discusión para estudio individual o grupal.

Transforming Community

This companion to Transforming Evangelism by the same authors, looks at how churches can form missional communities and congregations.

Models of Evangelism

Move beyond the caricatures of evangelism to consider how you can engage in one of eight models of evangelism, whether through one-on-one conversations, social media, social justice, or the liturgy of worship services.

Missional Evangelism

This study guide brings the often separated practices of mission and evangelism into relationship with one another. This is a free resource