Thursday, October 14, 2010

Back to Church Sunday

This November 21 (the Sunday before Thanksgiving), WBC will be holding its first-ever Back to Church Sunday. We’re encouraging all Westbury members to invite someone to church on that day. Here are a few answers to questions you may have about this event:

I’ve tried inviting friends to church before, and it didn’t work. Why should I try now? Tom Rainer of Lifeway Resources found that in a given year, only 2 percent of church members invited someone to church, so plenty of Christians have given up. But he also found that 82 percent of non-churched individuals would be likely to attend church if invited by a friend or relative! It’s certainly worth trying again.

Is this like the “High Attendance Day” I’ve seen in other churches? It’s similar, except that in High Attendance Days (at least in the churches I have attended), the focus was on inviting people to Sunday School. Here, we’re challenging people to invite friends to worship, since that is the simplest “gateway” into the life of our church.

Who should I invite? Anyone you know who doesn’t currently have a church home. If friends or relatives from other churches happen to attend that day, they are welcome, as always. But we are more interested in building God’s Kingdom than in reaching some arbitrary attendance goal. If one new person attends that day and connects with God in a new way, it will all be worth it.

Why November 21? Many churches nationwide celebrated Back to Church Sunday this past September. We were busy working on Faith in Action Day, and so we decided to push our Back to Church day to the Sunday before the Advent Season begins. We know that people are thinking more about spiritual issues at this time of year, and thought it would be a good time to invite them to church.

Will you give me anything to help make inviting my friends more effective? We will make sure you have access to some great-looking printed materials that you can hand to your friends, as well as E-invitations on our website that you can email to others, and a Facebook event page that you can use to invite your friends.

Will the worship service that day be different from our usual service? No. We won’t do a dog-and-pony show, with special effects, giveaways, or other out-of-the-ordinary things. We want people to experience what worship is like at Westbury. The focus that day will be on praising God and hearing His Word, as always. Please begin praying now for Back to Church Sunday. Ask God to bring new people into His family. Pray that He would let you know who He wants you to invite. Begin praying for those people even now, so that the Spirit would prepare them for an invitation. It’s going to be a great day at Westbury…but then, every Sunday is!

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