My church celebrated homecoming this week. This event is known by other names but in essence it is designed as a big church event to boost attendance numbers and/or raise money through offering for a special project.
I’m of two minds on these such events and waffle back and forth depending on what mood I am in. Some churches act as if these events are evangelism because people come that don’t normally attend their church. At least with the name homecoming, it is implied that it is more like a reunion for people who have moved away or attend other churches. The truth of homecoming (and most other special events) is that it generally adds attendance at the expense of other churches.
On the other hand, homecoming is always a good excuse to invite back people who used to attend the church but no longer do for any number of reasons. It is good to make an effort at winning people back who have stopped attending church regularly. If anybody returns to church because they attended homecoming, then it is a win not just for the church but for the kingdom of God.
So, at least for today I’ll say that homecoming is a good thing in the right context. We shouldn’t be out to get people from other churches but if we draw back anybody who had fallen away, then it is a good week. I suppose it all depends on the intent of what homecoming is about for the church.