The Art of Invitation: Creating a Sense of Belonging and Connection

Debbie Teike has always had a passion for helping people. As a licensed clinical social worker and a pastor’s wife, Debbie started a support group for single parents at her church. There, she saw firsthand how individuals could feel like outsiders at church, leading her to develop a science-meets-spirituality-based program, The Art of the Invitation.

The Art of the Invitation gives participants helpful tools to build meaningful relationships in their community. Although Debbie truly believes in her methods, she recognizes that some of her colleagues might think her program comes across as too counterculture. However, Debbie has never let her insecurities stop her as she continues to follow her passion for helping people feel less alone. 

Tune into this week’s episode of the Move Forward Anyways podcast for a compassionate conversation with Jeff and Debbie on helping outsiders feel like insiders. Learn how Debbie works past her insecurities, develops the Art of the Invitation, and trusts God to help the world become a more unified place.



• “I felt like there was this missing piece of helping outsiders feel like insiders within church culture. And that was really the genesis of the problem in the initial stages that I wanted to try to solve.”  (08:28 – 08:42 | Debbie) 

• “Unity is the goal that we can all fit in, that we all have a play at the communion table. Everybody not only can be present together, but we want to be, and we feel a sense of togetherness.” (10:58 – 11:13 | Debbie) 

• “I wrestled with the excitement of the possibility and then the insecurity of my own self. I wrestle a lot of times with many insecurities because I think, well, this surely can’t be. But I’m kind of odd in that they won’t stop me.” (14:58 – 15:24 | Debbie)

• “I’m working on this relationship-building approach that is an intersection of science and spirituality. And I believe in it, and I’m pretty sure I’ve been piling it for a long time so that I know I have something. But it sounds very counterculture. And actually, it is very counterculture.” (34:58 – 35:16 | Debbie)

• “Some people follow a pattern. They want to read a book to follow a pattern. I really don’t need to do that. That isn’t part of who I am. So not everybody is going to have that. But this calling of God, you know, everybody’s got a calling of God.” (37:56 – 38:14 | Debbie)

• “I think a lot of things in scripture that we think are commands are more of an invitation to just trust, to realize that he’s got it. And so it’s an invitation, you’re being invited, if you’re listening to this, and you’re listening to a number of these, and you’re listening to these guests, and you’re going, “I got this idea, I really want to go for it.” I just say, listen to the invitation.” (41:53 – 42:20 | Jeff)



Get in touch with Debbie Teike:

• Website:

• Email:

• Phone: ‪(812) 390-4764‬


Get in touch with host Jeff Meyer:

• Schedule a Discovery Call with Jeff:


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