More Than 7,600 Congregations Report Record Response on National Back To Church Sunday

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Attendance Up More Than 25 percent during Sept. 18 Event
Although 83 percent of American adults identify themselves as Christians, only about 20 percent attend church on any given Sunday. Only 2 percent of church members invite others on a regular basis.

Yet, a study by LifeWay Research and the North American Mission Board of more than 15,000 Americans found 67 percent say a personal invitation from a family member would be effective in getting them to visit a church. Sixty-three percent say an invitation from a friend or neighbor would likely move them to respond.
More than 7,600 churches from 34 denominations opened their doors to an estimated 250,000 visitors during National Back to Church Sunday (  ), held Sept. 18.
Twice as many churches as last year participated in what has become the single, largest cross-denominational outreach initiative in America. Churches responding to a post-event survey welcomed an average of 34 new visitors, an increase of 25.4 percent in weekly attendance.
Almost 95 percent of pastors surveyed said they would participate again in National Back To Church Sunday, which will be held next on Sept. 16, 2012.
“The enthusiasm for National Back To Church Sunday has grown along with the number of churches participating,” said spokesman Philip Nation of LifeWay Research, whose organization’s research helped birth the nationwide event three years ago.
“We’re excited about the response to this initiative, not only from the churches, but from those friends and neighbors who have told our participants how much they appreciated the welcome – and, in many cases, the welcome back.”
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Michael Ireland

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