Thousands of congregations across the country are committing to take part in a nationwide event meant to reach out to the unchurched.
"National Back to Church Sunday," slated for Sept. 16, has over 10,000 churches officially listed as participating in the event.
"It is the single largest annual community outreach in the nation, sharing the simple message and mission of inviting everyone in America Back to Church," the event's website says.
"The campaign empowers churches and church members with the tools they need to welcome their neighbors, friends and loved ones back to church, while providing the unchurched with an easy way to find a welcoming church in their community."
"National Back to Church Sunday" is organized in part by Outreach, Inc., an organization formed in 1996 that seeks to provide churches with outreach products.
Kim Flynn, marketing project manager for the Products Division of Outreach, Inc., noted that the event is "based on the simple principle that 82 percent of people will come to church if invited by a friend, and yet only 2 percent of church members invite unchurched friends to church."
"Since 2009, National Back to Church Sunday has inspired churchgoers to invite more than 2.6 million family members, friends, neighbors and co-workers to their churches. Last year, 7,600 churches participated. As of this year more than 10,000 congregations have participated in the event."
Organizers of the Back to Church event have been using social media as a means of getting the word out. This has included the usage of "e-vites," a Facebook page that at present has over 9,700 likes, and a YouTube video of the "Pastor Rap" which was posted in June and has since gained over 76,000 views.
The National Back to Church organizers hope that even after Sept. 16 has come and gone, the message of their event will continue to grow.
"In a culture where 'church' has lost significant meaning to many we hope people will discover how they can reach their God-given potential and how they can transform their lives and community," said the organizers in a statement.
"We have developed the 30-Day Church Challenge and it is drawing thousands of churches to examine their foundational purposes. In a concentrated focus through a variety of media on scriptures in Acts, congregations will repurpose to reach their biblical potential and transform their communities."