Imagine an annual event involving millions of people at locations around the world on the same day—a fast-growing event that consistently breaks attendance records and grew 63% percent in 2013 over the prior year.
Now imagine that event is centered in churches around the world and it’s happening again on September 21, 2014. The event is National Back to Church Sunday®, a movement that in 2013 involved more than 21,000 churches from all 50 states, over 120 denominations and over 90 countries worldwide.
During this year’s sixth annual National Back to Church Sunday®, 30,000 churches including the First Baptist Church in Amsterdam, New York are expected to participate across Christian denominations, holding special services that leaders estimate could involve more than 3.34 million people around the world.
Back to Church Sunday is the largest annual community-based church outreach effort in the nation. Church members at the First Baptist Church at 479 Guy Park Avenue in Amsterdam, New York invite their neighbors, friends and loved ones back to church for a special worship service and coffee fellowship time on Sunday, September 21st starting at 10:00 a.m. Each guest will receive a free book just for attending.
In a survey of participants in 2013, 96% of responding churches said they’d participate in Back to Church Sunday again. Participating churches also reported an average 31% increase in their attendance on Back to Church Sunday.
Back to Church Sunday began in 2009 in response to survey research that indicated 82% of people said they would attend church if someone they knew invited them, but only 2% of church members were inviting people to come with them to their church.
“Every year research shows that people are willing to try church if they are invited by a friend or family member, yet very few Christians ever invite others to come to church with them,” said Scott Evans, founder and CEO of Outreach, Inc., the nation’s leading provider of church communications resources that helps support the initiative. “We are excited to see that so many churches, denominations and individuals are participating in this movement and finding that it’s easy to invite people when you have an event that encourages people to reach out.”