Caryn Haller

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September 13, 2012
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Valley churches in national campaign

More than 12,000 congregations are participating in National Back to Church Sunday this weekend.

In the Carson Valley area, three churches have registered to participate, however, the invitation is open to attend any church.

Back to Church Sunday is the third Sunday of September when people who do not regularly attend church are invited and welcomed to a church near them.

"It's time Christians made a stand. There are too many people on the fence or indifferent about coming to church," Living Word Fellowship Pastor Gene Holman said. "Any motivation to get people to move out and make a decision about being faithful is good."

Recent surveys by LifeWay Research show that 48 percent of church members have not invited an unchurched person to attend a worship service or other program at their church in the past six months.

"Statistics show almost 50 percent of people come when they are invited, and almost nobody comes if they're not invited," Holman said. "If you don't make an effort to reach out and make people feel welcomed and loved, they are not very likely to just walk in out of curiosity."

Back to Church Sunday started in 2009, and has encouraged churchgoers to invite more than 2.6 million family members, friends, neighbors and co-workers to their churches. Last year, 3,800 churches participated, reporting an average of 26 percent increase in weekly attendance.

"Sometimes we get satisfied with our own congregation and we don't emphasize enough that other people need the gospel. We all get inward and it's not a good thing," Holman said. "Any event you can get your church behind that's good for the community is a good thing. For me, the growth is not the big thing."

Participating Valley churches are Living Word Fellowship, Topaz Community Open Bible Church and Valley Christian Fellowship.

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The Record Courier Updated Sep 13, 2012 05:41PM Published Sep 13, 2012 05:40PM Copyright 2012 The Record Courier. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.