On Sept. 16 millions of Americans are expected to return to church based on an invitation from a friend, family member, coworker or neighbor. National Back to Church Sunday, the largest collaborative outreach in the nation, provides the potential for people not only to find a church and deepen their relationship with God, but also to form lasting personal relationships.

Eternity Community Church, located at 901 N. McDonald St. in McKinney, will participate in National Back to Church Sunday with more than 12,000 churches nationwide. Service times are 11 a.m. on Sunday.

“Eternity Community Church is excited and honored to take part in National Back to Church Sunday on Sept. 16,” Bishop Kenneth Diggs said in a news release. “Our congregation has been preparing for this event for weeks, and we look forward to welcoming many new people this Sunday.”

To search for additional churches in McKinney that are participating in the event, please click here.

Research reported by Thom Rainer in “The Unchurched Next Door” shows that 82 percent of those who do not attend church are at least "somewhat likely" to respond positively to an invitation to attend church.

“Nothing can surpass the effect of the personal invitation,” said Ed Stetzer, president of LifeWay Research, a supporting partner of National Back to Church Sunday.

Congregations across America are customizing National Back to Church Sunday to their own communities to reach people who no longer attend. The movement is also spreading to Canada. 

“National Back to Church Sunday is not a quick-fix or one-time solution. It is an opportunity for Christians to share ongoing grace and acceptance,” said Philip Nation, director of adult ministry publishing at LifeWay Research and spokesperson for National Back to Church Sunday. “Sept. 16 can be the portal for people to find their way not only back to church, but into to a loving, accepting church family where real relationships are built.”

Last year, more than 7,600 congregations across America extended an estimated one million personal invitations for National Back to Church Sunday.

Participating churches reported on average an increase of 25 percent in attendance on that Sunday.  Since its inception, more than 5 million invitations from more than 12,000 churches have been given.

Resources to help churches equip their members to invite others to rediscover church are available at www.backtochurch.com. Social media, including “e-vites" at www.backtochurch.com/emailafriend and Facebook at www.facebook.com/backtochurch, make it possible to extend invitations until the last minute.

National Back to Church Sunday, www.backtochurch.com, 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 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 an easy way to find a welcoming church in their community.

LifeWay Christian Resources, www.lifeway.com, in operation since 1891, is one of the largest Christian resource organizations in the world. LifeWay Research exists for the purpose of equipping church leaders with insight that will lead to greater levels of ministry effectiveness through research-based books and reports based on statistically validated surveys.