National Back to Church Sunday
We are approaching National Back to Church Sunday this weekend.
As of this morning, there are 12,752 churches that are participating in a nation-wide effort to invite people to church worship services on September 16. And, there is still time to get your church signed up on the roster. It has been my privilege to participate in the movement over the last three years as their national spokesman. We’ve watched as the number of churches has moved from 3,500 a few years ago to approaching 13,000 this year. Last year, we saw well over one million invitations go out into our communities as a part of this movement.
And, really, it’s very simple. We just want to help churches reengage believers with the idea that the most effective invitation is the most personal invitation.
Here’s an idea of what we hope will be the fun tone that churches will take for September 16.
Earlier this year, LifeWay Research did a survey about the frequency with which believers are sharing their faith. It revealed a serious gap between our beliefs and our actions. The study found that 80 percent of those who attend church one or more times a month, believe they have a personal responsibility to share their faith, but 61 percent have not told another person about how to become a Christian in the previous six months.
The survey also asked how many times they have personally, “invited an unchurched person to attend a church service or some other program at your church?” Nearly half (48 percent) of church attendees responded, “zero.” Thirty-three percent of people say they’ve personally invited someone one or two times, and 19 percent say they’ve done so on three or more occasions in the last six months.
It’s time for a change! If you are a church member, I want you to be encouraged. Don’t give in to the “Chicken Little syndrome” that the sky is falling and no one wants to attend your church. The reality is that many of your friends would gladly hear about your church and attend if you were to offer an invitation. If you are a leader, do these two simple things:
- Encourage the people in your congregation to do the simplest and most effective thing: have a conversation about their church and their faith.
- Lead by example and invite one of your friends to church this Sunday as well.
I’m looking forward to hearing all of the great results from this year’s National Back to Church Sunday!