San Diego-based Outreach, Inc. is leading a national program to make Sunday, Sept. 13th “Back to Church Sunday.” The ministry is trying to start a national movement for regular churchgoers to invite unchurched or dechurched (people who have attended church before, but not for a long time) friends and neighbors to attend a service on that particular Sunday.
Organizers quote a recent study by LifeWay Research stating that 82 percent of unchurched people would be open to attending if specifically invited by a friend or family member. The same research showed that 98 percent of regular churchgoers never make such an invitation.
“When people come to church for the first time, or come back after a long absence, they notice everything,” says Nelson Searcy, lead pastor of The Journey in New York City. “In fact, most of them form innate judgments about the environment within seven seconds of walking through the door.”
Online guides for pastors and laity are available on the Back to Church Sunday Website. “Back to Church Sunday has the potential to be a day that changes the future course of someone’s life,” says Chad McCallum, lead pastor of Compass Church in Byron Center, Mich. “In a world where so many people fall into the definition of ‘de-churched,’ this is a doable effort for any church that wants to reach more people for Christ.”
Links: Back to Church Sunday