Monday, May 10, 2010

Everyone Come Home to the Church


I just came across this amazing website called "Catholics Come Home." Despite the name, it is for more than just Catholics. I highly recommend going there and watching at least their 2-minute "Epic" commercial. Click on the title of this post to take yourself there.

This website is part of a media initiative started by Tom Peterson, a media executive and revert to the Catholic Church. Click here for the full story.

Amazingly, in the six dioceses where these infomercials have been run, there has been an 11% increase in mass attendance. Folks, that is truly astounding. I used to be, essentially, a professional evangelist, and was current on the missiological literature in the late 80's and early 90's. If a church grows by 1% a year, that's a healthy growth rate. An 11% average increase in Church attendance is enormous for an evangelistic endeavor! The commercials run by this initiative are really powerful. I was left wondering: Why has it taken us so long to put together the best message in the world into a TV commercial format?

7 comments:

Carson Weber said...

John,

This is old news.. (it broke ground in February of 2008) *smile* Catholics Come Home has actually run in 15 dioceses thus far.. we just ran over 4,000 ad spots within the Diocese of Sacramento between Dec. 18, 2009 and January 31, 2010 with an average attendance increase of ~15%.

Michael Barber said...

I have actually spoken about this on this blog before. The group has actually spoken to JP Catholic students. The media campaign first launched in Phoenix under Bishop Olmsted. I spoke of his connection with this enterprise and the amazing things it has done on a post about the good bishop, when I speculated about the possibility that he might be the "Anglo" candidate being considered for Los Angeles (of course, Archbishop Gomez ultimately ended up there).

You can watch the videos here: http://www.thesacredpage.com/2010/01/los-angeles-getting-new-archbishop-part_30.html

John Bergsma said...

Well, hey, I wasn't claiming to scoop anyone ... :) Zenit just ran an article about it last week and that's where I heard about it. More power to you, Carson ...

Bob MacDonald said...

Is there only one home? My place is in the one who died for me. Of course it is catholic, but it's not Roman. These are sweet commercials but there is an undercurrent that does not seem expansive enough for me. The Anointed is not a commodity even if the commercials 'work'. You cannot measure the success of the cross that way.

Sister Mary Agnes said...

Dr. Bergsma, thank you for posting this. I actually heard about catholicscomehome.org more than a year ago, but I never went to the site. Your click-through made it easy :) It is nice to have you posting on The Sacred Page. Now if we can get Dr. Pitre to do a post, it will be like a "Sacred Page Reunion!"

Carson Weber said...

Bob, yes, there is only one home, and that is Christ: specifically, his Body - and bodies are visible and unified, not invisible and disunited. :-)

Bob MacDonald said...

Carson - yes there is unity in Christ. Its visible manifestation is by faith in the one who gave his life for the life of the world. I used the term place rather than home deliberately. In this I reference the place where God has set his name, or in the NT the place where they laid him. This one home for me is contained in many metaphors - take one from Isaiah 63:5 וַחֲמָתִי הִיא סְמָכָתְנִי - (and my fury, it supported me). The last word begins with Samek, the round letter ס that mysteriously appears after Nun and before Ayin. And the root of the word is Samek meaning support. Our unity is in the unity of God and the unity of God's will with us. The unity is visible in the Shema also (Deut 6:4, Mark 12:29), the text that grounds Paul's Roman epistle on the inclusion of the gentiles in Israel (Romans 3.29). Church is a bigger thing than 'one' visible institution.