With six weeks left before the nationwide event, already more than 6,000 churches have extended a half million invitations to National Back to Church Sunday (NBTCS), set for Sept. 18. Churches are utilizing tools, such as the “reDiscover Church” booklet and the assistance of more than a hundred communitywide coordinators, to draw their friends and neighbors to attend.
“It is the privilege of every Christian to invite someone to church,” said Philip Nation, LifeWay Research’s director of ministry development. “By taking part in National Back To Church Sunday, believers can introduce the hope of the gospel to their communities by welcoming people into their local congregations.”
Using the “reDiscover Church” booklet, church members can give others at least 10 reasons why they should return to church. The 37-page evangelistic booklet from Outreach also discusses the top 10 reasons why people leave the church in the first place. The booklet can be customized with the contact information of the local church and a personal letter from its pastor.
Outreach is also offering a new online assessment tool to aid churches in developing their individual strategies and gauging their readiness for NBTCS. Churches may take the questionnaire here and download free resources that specifically fit their needs. In addition, a church kit including a campaign planning guide, sermons ideas, graphics and widgets for church websites or social media, promotional materials and much more is available at http://backtochurch.com/store.
Some 10,000 churches are expected to take part this year in NBTCS. Coordinators will facilitate cooperation among churches and denominations for greater impact on communities. A citywide coordinator guide and a NBTCS specialist are available to give direction and support to these leaders at http://backtochurch.com/participate/city_groups.
NBTCS was launched three years ago in response to a survey of 15,000 adults in the United States. LifeWay Research found that 82 percent of the unchurched are likely to attend church if invited by a family member, friend, co-worker or neighbor, yet only 2 percent of church members ever extend personal invitations.
Since its inception, NBTCS participants have invited more than 3 million family members, friends and neighbors to their churches. Last year, 3,800 churches signed up and reported an average 26 percent increase in attendance.
Churches that would like to take part in NBTCS may register on a free online roster at http://backtochurch.com/roster. Visit the NBTCS Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/backtochurch.
NBTCS gives believers the tools and opportunity to engage those around them. “It is an initiative with a simple premise that has eternal implications,” Nation said.