LifeWay Research and the North American Mission Board want to see a great revival begin on September 16, the date set for the annual "National Back to Church Sunday" event.
Although 83 percent of American adults identify themselves as Christians, only about 20 percent attend church on any given Sunday, the groups admit in a press release, explaining,
Some people have tried church, had a falling out, and never came back. Other people went to church in the past, moved or had a change in life circumstances. While others went to church in their youth, they drifted away. Some have just never been to church.
Regardless of the reasons, research shows about two-thirds of people would attend church if someone simply invited them. 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.
The nationwide effort to get people to return to church has been growing. In 2011, more than 7,600 churches – double the number of the prior year and representing 34 denominations – participated in the nationwide effort to reach out to their communities, inviting millions of people to attend. This year, more than 14,000 churches are expected to participate.
The National Back to Church Sunday organizers have produced a rap music video for this year's event, hoping it will go viral. As of this writing, "Pastor Rap – Back To Church Sunday" has been viewed almost 49,000 times on YouTube. It was published on June 19. Watch: