The Rev. Dan Reid, lead pastor of Journey Church in Brandon, said his Christian congregation is joining national movement of churches across America in reaching out and inviting their local community to “ReCONNECT to Church” on Sept. 21 for National Back to Church Sunday.
With students and families returning to school for the fall, the mindset is one of getting a fresh start.
“This is one of those times each year that people naturally think about getting the family back to church,” he said.
As part of the special day, greeters wearing blue shirts will welcome guests or visitors by providing breakfast sandwiches and Starbucks coffee at welcome stations at the church.
Reid, who lives in Valrico and launched the church seven years ago, said the church has a contemporary-style worship service that appeals to a wide range of people.
“We have a number of Millennials in our church,” he said. “I believe that we are able to draw them to church by word of mouth and social media. They enjoy the band, the Sunday message, and meeting with others in small groups throughout the week. For those who have young children we have a ministry for them and events throughout the year — for example, Fall Festival and Vacation Bible School.”
With online streaming, virtual or online churches, sermons that can be uploaded and church on YouTube, the younger generation might opt out of religious gatherings in real life.
“We have an online streaming capacity that allows people to watch when they can’t be with us,” he said. “However, there is nothing that can replace the human element of meeting. At Journey we want others to come and be able to walk together through life, encouraging each other through difficult times, and rejoicing through great times. We believe life is best lived in community, not isolation.”
Reid said elements of the service are designed to help people connect to God and his message.
“I believe the Bible is as practical today as when it was first written,” he said. “Therefore each Sunday I take a passage and explain the context of when it was written and how it applies to us today. On Back to Church Sunday I will be speaking in that same manner. Our band will be playing and everything will be much the same, so that people who are visiting will get a feel of what we are like every week.”
The Southern Baptist congregation meets Sundays at 9 a.m. at 1310 John Moore Road in Brandon. For more information, visit them at journey7.com.