The website (http://backtochurch.com) read:
"National Back to Church Sunday is a special day set aside each year on the second Sunday of September. On that day, thousands of churches will open their doors and welcome anyone who would like to rediscover church.National surveys indicate that there are many reasons people stop attending church. In fact, the top two reasons people stop coming to church are that they feel that they are “too busy” and others feel the burden of family & home responsibilities. We understand that. Those are very real reasons, but those are probably the top two reasons why you need to be in church. Wherever you’re at, a local church community is there to support you. Maybe this is the invitation you have been waiting for. Get connected with a group of people who are making a difference. Grow in your faith; give your children a Christian foundation; learn to be a better parent; get marriage help; and reconnect with your community and with a God who loves you."
I'm not so sure that "too busy" is the chief reason folks aren't going to church. I think it might be that what the church in America is offering just isn't very attractive.
I haven't invited a friend to church in a long time, and that's not just because I've jumped to and from several churches over the last 5 years. It's because as much as I want my friends to discover what I have found in Jesus Christ, I have no idea where to send them that will help them follow Jesus in a meaningful way. A lot of my friends that don't go to church aren't interested in the mess we've made, the arguments we're having, or the cheapened subculture we've created.
I grew up bringing friends to church. I even did it in my early twenties, and remember feeling deeply embarrassed at that point by what was coming from the pulpit, and the pews. It wasn't arrogance that made me want to differentiate myself from the altar calls, salvation prayers, tithe-pushes and culture-attacks. It was the look on my friends' faces. Fish out of water? More like civilians ducking artillery fire. I don't want to put them through that, and whatever I have to offer in the Way of Jesus, I still don't have a great way to direct them after they've met Jesus.
I recently found out that an old friend had become a "Born Again Christian." For the first time in my life, I realized I was internally cringing at the subject of salvation. Because I know what kind of church she's now going to. And I know what that means...
In celebration of National Back to Church Sunday, I didn't go to church. Or maybe it was because I was just tired.
Look, I don't think church is bad. I still love THE Church. But church can't save America (if, indeed, American needs to be saved). Church attendance isn't the problem, but it certainly isn't the solution. I pray instead that we can discover a solution to saving the entire world. I believe that inevitably must involve the Body of Christ, but I'm not convinced we've properly made a distinction between being a member of that Body, and simply getting "back to church" - back into pews to consume (weakly) a weekly message...