Be our guest for the National Weekend of Invitation
Published on 7 May 2018
A new event taking place this June is aiming to encourage and empower church members worldwide to invite new people to church.
During the National Weekend of Invitation, from Friday 15-Sunday 17 June, churches across the UK are encouraged to host an event to which members will feel they can invite friends.
The weekend is being held in partnership between churches, including the Church of Scotland, and Michael Harvey, founder of Back to Church Sunday in the UK. Mr Harvey came up to Scotland in October for a series of roadshows to promote the National Weekend of Invitation and to share ideas and tips on how congregations could hold their events. Through running these events, Michael is currently involved in pilot projects with 11 congregations within the Church of Scotland.
Building a culture of invitation
The concept for the event was created in response to figures that show most churchgoers have someone in mind they would like to invite to church, but that most don’t feel confident enough to do so.
Robbie Morrison, a mission development worker with the Church of Scotland’s Mission and Discipleship Council, is a member of the advisory council behind the event.
He said: “We’re trying to create a culture of invitation, where people are always looking for an opportunity to invite friends along to church.”
Unlike Back to Church Sunday, which was about inviting people to Sunday worship, the events over the Weekend of Invitation can take place any time over the weekend. Robbie said: “It’s something that can be on the Friday night, or Saturday. Some churches are planning on doing barbecues outside, or meals at members’ houses. It doesn’t have to be church related at all.
“We are hoping this will be something churches can just do a few weekends every year, to make it a normal part of people’s lives to invite friends to church.”
Here, a variety of ministers and support staff from across the Church of Scotland, including Rev Andrea Boyes, minister at Durness and Kinlochbervie Parish Church, explain what excites them most about the upcoming events:
In addition to the 11 congregations running pilot events, Robbie says at least another 10-12 churches are currently planning something, and is hoping that more will get involved in the run-up to 15 June.