National Back to Church Sunday (NBTCS) is coming up this weekend (September 17, 2017). It’s a national campaign that poses an interesting question: What if the church across America laid aside any particular agenda and just invited people to church?
“No matter what they’ve been through. No matter how far they feel from faith. No conditions. No judgment. Just love,” the video below prescribes.
The movement is tapping into a felt need pastors and church-goers across the country feel acutely: In the face of a culture that is increasingly moving away from organized religion, how do we go about inviting people to church?
The answer, according to NBTCS, is simply to ask. No strings attached, no agenda. Just ask. It sounds really simple to say, but harder in practice to actually do, which is why the campaign offers tips and tricks for churches to get started.
It seems as if church decline is a worry on every pastor’s mind these days. Even among pastors whose churches are growing. Often, we see, churches “grow” by members leaving one congregation to join another. It feels as if we’re just swapping sheep instead of witnessing people coming to faith in Christ through our churches. This is one reason the NBTCS campaign is unique. The campaign encourages church members to step outside their comfort zones to reach out to people they might not normally think to invite to church.
This might be the perfect opportunity to invite those “nones” who may have never had a positive experience with the church. It might be an opportunity to reach out to the widow, the orphan, the senior citizen and (yikes!) maybe even a millennial or two.
The strategy is simple. It’s what people used to do for centuries before we became so politically correct and entrenched in denominational lines and statements of faith. The question is what will your church have to offer when people take you up on your invitation?