Jump directly to the Content

Few days draw a crowd like Christmas and Easter, but GracePoint Church of the Nazarene in Shawnee, Kansas, aims to change that.

Dave Thornhill and his congregation are trying to recreate the holiday experience on a monthly basis.

"The Big Sunday Principle" developed as Thornhill noticed that people attended the church in cycles.

GracePoint, formed in 2001, was made up of people who attended only a couple of times a year, those who came monthly and for special events, and regular attenders who missed very few Sundays. Thornhill decided to plan one Sunday each month that would cause all the attendance cycles to hit simultaneously.

This day was dubbed "Big Sunday."

At the beginning of each month, Thornhill tells the congregation when Big Sunday will be so they can start planning. Big Sunday often falls on traditional holidays, such as Thanksgiving weekend. But GracePoint also makes use of more unusual days.

In fact, last February 29, Big Sunday commemorated Leap Year with a sermon called "Leap ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

January/February
Support Our Work

Subscribe to CT for less than $4.25/month

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

From the Magazine
The Poet Who Prepared the Ground for the Sexual Revolution
The Poet Who Prepared the Ground for the Sexual Revolution
Percy Shelley’s 19th-century attacks on marriage, monogamy, and Christianity foreshadowed progressive attitudes today.
Editor's Pick
9 in 10 Evangelicals Don’t Think Sermons Are Too Long
9 in 10 Evangelicals Don’t Think Sermons Are Too Long
Even with recent divides in congregations, survey finds high levels of satisfaction among churchgoers.
close