Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Back to Church Sunday - Missional or Not?

Looking for a fall outreach idea? Outreach is promoting a "Back to Church Sunday." Read the story here. Outreach says that churches that participated in this Sunday last year averaged a 20% higher attendance on this day. I'm considering this for our church (though not this particular flyer--I'll probably design our own). While we do not want to substitute direct mail for personal invitations, we must also remember that the Spirit has already been sent out into the world ahead of us, and he has already touched many people's hearts.

While it is probable that the "dechurched" and lapsed Christians are more likely to respond to this invitation than the totally unchurched, this group would be great to help them re-connect with God. This too is missional. What would not be missional would be just relying upon this approach, targeting Christians from other churches, failing to be involved in the community, failing to serve or help heal areas of brokenness, or failing to share the gospel. And the primary way that we invite is still by personal invitation. Direct mail can reach some, but personal connections are always the most effective.

So--what do you think about the "Back to Church" concept? Is it missional or not?