RELIGION NEWS SERVICE (RNS) / COLORADO SPRINGS, CO — Organizers of the international Back to Church Sunday® movement want to know: What’s your church story? How was your life blessed by your experiences at a church?
For millions of people, church is where they learn about God. They have stories to tell about lives changed, families rescued, marriages recaptured — because of what God has done in their lives through meeting Him and His people at church.
Now there’s an effort to share those stories on social media, inviting people to tweet or post on the Back to Church Sunday Facebook page, as well as their own pages, using the hashtag #MyChurchStory.
As more and more people share their stories, supporters hope it will increase awareness of Back to Church Sunday®, an annual movement which seeks to get millions of new people to attend church on the third Sunday of September, this year on September 21.
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“We all love a good story, and it’s especially heartwarming to hear stories of how churches have connected people to God and how their lives have changed,” said Scott Evans, founder and CEO of Outreach, Inc., the nation’s leading provider of church communications resources that helps support the Back to Church Sunday® movement.
The stories are beginning to come in:
“While my friends and coworkers often shared what they believed about Jesus, it was in the context of a Church service where I first became interested in the person of Jesus. Never underestimate the role and power of a Christian gathering.” — J. Warner Wallace, author of Cold Case Christianity.
“Back to Church Sunday generated a spark and forced our congregation to reach out in a way that I have not seen in many years.” — Southern Heights Christian Church, Anderson, IN.
“With #MyChurchStory we’re encouraging churches, pastors, and people everywhere to share on social media how their lives have been impacted by church,” Evans added.
Back to Church Sunday® is the largest annual community-based church outreach effort in the nation. The campaign empowers churches and their members with the tools they need to welcome their neighbors, friends and loved ones back to church, while providing an easy way for everyone in the community to find a welcoming church.
For 2014’s sixth annual Back to Church Sunday®, 30,000 churches are expected to participate across Christian denominations, holding special services that leaders estimate could involve more than 3.34 million people around the world. Leaders seek to reach every home with an invitation to attend a Bible-believing church for Back to Church Sunday®, and also seek to grow the roster of participating churches that will extend those invitations.
There is no cost to participate, and churches may sign up on the roster.
Every church listed on the roster this year will receive a free digital version of an expanded 2014 Back to Church Sunday Planning Guide that provides practical tips and ideas to help churches reach their communities and encourage members to actively extend an invitation.
“We encourage everyone to join in the #MyChurchStory conversation,” Evans said. “It’s easy to do – share your own story as momentum builds for this exciting new project. Just tweet using the hashtag #MyChurchStory, or go to www.facebook.com/backtochurch and post there using the hashtag.” – See more at here.