National 'Back To Church Sunday' Campaign Surpasses 1.2 Million Invitations
August 25, 2010
VISTA, Calif., (christiansunite.com) -- Already more than one million people have been invited to attend church on Sunday, Sept. 12, as part of the national "Back To Church Sunday" campaign to reach unchurched people.
Churches and church members involved in the campaign can send invitations to friends and family by using resources found on the "Back To Church" website ( www.backtochurch.com). By mid-August, the total number of print and electronic invitations neared 1.2 million.
"Seeing the number of invitations eclipse one million encourages me to believe that God is actively using Christians to impact their communities," said Philip Nation, director of ministry development for LifeWay Research and national spokesperson for "Back to Church Sunday," which conducts studies to assist and equip church leaders with insights that lead to greater church health and effectiveness.
"Each invitation is an opportunity for someone far from God to discover a relationship with him," said Nation, "We will surely see a great response from these efforts on 'Back To Church Sunday' and beyond."
The "Back To Church Sunday" movement aims to reverse declining church attendance in America and encourage those who once attended to revisit congregational life. The first observance in 2009 generated more than 700,000 member invitations to friends and family. The hundreds of churches participating saw an average 19 percent increase in weekend attendance. This year, 3,000-plus churches have signed up, close to double the number that had enlisted by mid-July last year.
"Surpassing the 1 million mark in invitations and the rapid increase in church participation are encouraging signs," said Eric Abel, vice president of marketing for Outreach. "A church's members are its most effective outreach tools. That message is penetrating the pews, generating both interest and excitement in this event."
Although 83 percent of American adults identify themselves as Christians, only about 20 percent attend church on any given Sunday. Yet, a study by LifeWay Research and the North American Mission Board found that 67 percent of Americans say a personal invitation from a family member would be effective in getting them to visit a church. 63 percent say an invitation from a friend or neighbor would likely get them to respond.
Outreach, Inc. and LifeWay Research are supporting the campaign by providing a variety of invitations, resources, statistics and research.
In addition, an interactive Facebook page is available at www.facebook.com/backtochurch and a list of participating churches is available at www.backtochhurch.com/roster. When churches go to the website and register their participation, their names and locations are added to the roster, allowing unchurched people to easily find a church to attend on that special Sunday.
Outreach Inc. is the largest provider of outreach products and services in North America, including "Outreach" magazine, a leading publication for church leaders worldwide. The company was launched in 1996 with the mission of empowering Christian churches to reach their communities for Jesus Christ. Outreach, Inc., endeavors to create a network of churches and ministries working together to invite and connect every person in America to a Bible-believing church, and ultimately, into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.