A national weekend of invitation
The UK’s first 'National Weekend of Invitation', which encourages church members to step beyond the fear barrier to invite friends and family to church events, takes place later this year (15-17 June 2018)
The Weekend is an initiative of Back to Church Sunday pioneer Michael Harvey, who says research shows up to three million people in the UK are open to an invitation – but the vast majority of Christians are too fearful to invite.
The initiative offers churches 'an opportunity to do something – big or small, for young or old, for a special group or for all. They may choose to invite people to something that’s a regular activity, to a special guest event or guest service.’
The date for the Weekend has been set to follow the Thy Kingdom Come prayer initiative, which invites Christians around the world to pray between Ascension and Pentecost for more people to come to know Jesus Christ.
To help churches respond, The Weekend has a preparation programme to help churches see the process of invitation as an opportunity to develop the faith and spiritual growth of its members.
Organisers say the project is already underway in many UK churches - and is bearing fruit.
‘We are thrilled with the congregation’s reaction,’ said Lucy Brewster, Edgeley and Cheadle Heath Parishes. ‘Many members have been leaving their comfort zone and inviting. It is changing the mind-set of our church.’
‘In the past few months we’ve seen our largest number of visitors to events. Most recently 37 people come to an Alpha Course,’ said Jason Clark, Leader of Vineyard, London.
The Weekend has been endorsed by a number of denominations. The Revd David Shosanya, regional minister at the London Baptist Association, said, 'The simplicity of and power of the research and thinking behind The National Weekend of Invitation has the potential to revolutionise individuals and the way the church goes about executing the Great Commission.’
The National Weekend of Invitation’s website – weekendofinvitation.com – offers churches videos to use in their preparation and extensive resources to download.