What will it take to get worshipers back to church? It might require some creative pastoring, like maybe a “pastor rap” video.
Social media could help — who isn’t on Facebook and/or Twitter? How about good old-fashioned grass-roots door visits and door hangers?
All are suggestions by the National Back to Church Sunday movement. The nationwide event is scheduled for Sept. 16.
More than 14,000 churches are expected to invite people to come back to church on National Back to Church Sunday.
National Back to Church Sunday is based on the simple principle that 82 percent of people will come to church if invited by a friend, yet only 2 percent of church members invite their unchurched friends.
The exodus from church continues to be a problem, one felt here in York County. Just yesterday, I visited a downtown church and was privately told that attendance is a serious problem.
This is from a story I did in June about declining attendance:
More than 22,000 York County residents cut ties with religious affiliations in the past 10 years, according to a national survey.
The survey, released last month by the Association of Religion Data Archives, showed the 14-percent drop was seven times greater than the nationwide decline of 2 percent.
The Catholic Church and mainline Protestant churches suffered the biggest losses — all higher than the national averages in York County. At the same time, many evangelical Protestant churches saw explosive growth, although their congregations account for a very small part of the population.
From the link above, here are six ways churches can encourage their members to get ready for Back to Church Sunday:
Churches are praying for their communities, that God will prompt members to invite people to church and that hearts will be moved to accept.
Congregations are viewing and sharing the “Pastor Rap – Back to Church Sunday” video. Already viewed more than 64,000 times, the video is part of the Back to Church 2012 Church Kit, available at www.BacktoChurch.com/store. The kit also includes six other promotional videos, more than 60 digital resources, an e-book, e-vites, social media links, sermons and other materials.
Church members are using social media content for Facebook and Twitter. Organizers can exchange ideas on the National Back to Church Sunday Facebook page (www.facebook.com/backtochurch), while the event’s website (www.BacktoChurch.com) gives individuals an opportunity to extend electronic invitations to friends, relatives and colleagues.
Invitations, door hangers and other resources are helping church members reach out to family, friends, neighbors and co-workers. These items can be ordered at www.BacktoChurch.com/store, or churches can order customized promotional items by calling 1-800-991-6011.
Back to Church Sunday School curriculum is also available for children to help provide a positive experience on Sept. 16 for every age group.
Churches are registering their names and locations on the National Back to Church Sunday roster, making it easy for people to find a church to attend on Sept. 16. Registration is free and simple. A list of participating churches is available at www.BacktoChurch.com/roster.
Churches are encouraged to sign up at www.BacktoChurch.com and begin taking steps now to equip members to invite people to church on Sept. 16.