Churches are amazing organisations and, despite the fact that they should (in my opinion) be quite free of bureaucracy, they are organisations and they need structures involving lots of people in order to function.
One of the structures that we have at our church is the Church Meeting. This happens every other month, and we had one last night.
One item on the agenda was an initiative called ‘Back to Church Sunday’. This is a Sunday in September that has been picked out as a day to invite people that used to go to church back to church.
I’m not sure what I think of this. Surely every Sunday is potentially a “Back to Church” Sunday, or a “Go to Church for the First Time” Sunday. And I think I’d rather have ongoing encouragement to invite friends along than only be encouraged to do it on a specific day. Churches should ALWAYS be open for people to come back to.
Also, what will the service be like? I’m expecting it to be “special”, which doesn’t seem right because what if the people we invite come back the next Sunday and find it’s different?
It IS a good initiative – as you can see, it’s already got me thinking about how open our church is to newcomers, and what I can do to try get better at asking people along. I will support it and try to join in. And maybe doing a one off event like this will kick-start something bigger and ongoing.
But I think we need more than just one day for this…it should be an ongoing part of our Christian lives.