Useful testimonies, quotes, statistics and endorsements relating to the Back to Church campaign for use in sermons or promotional materials. 

Success Stories:

  • “Our church almost broke the attendance record for the year, and we beat Easter service. Definitely worth doing and pursuing.”–Northgate Wesleyan Church
     
  •  “We broke all our previous attendance records with 145 people, including 20-30 first time visitors. That's an increase of 70 percent over our normal Sunday attendance. There were multiple commitments/renewals and several others who requested more information about the church. "Back to Church Sunday" is one of the most successful outreach events we have ever hosted.”–Victory Christian Church
     
  • "We participated in this event and saw our congregation grow about 40 percent that day."Mount Sterling First United Methodist Church
     
  • "Enabling people to extend a simple invitation to family/friends/coworkers has had a huge impact not only on our attendance, but on the sense of hope in our congregation. And being a smaller church, hope is sometimes in short supply when it comes to attendance. We will definitely be participating again next year. This was a great experience for us and has really sparked our evangelism efforts.”–Redeemer Lutheran Church
     
  • “We incorporated Back to Church Sunday with our annual Family & Friends Day, which happened to both fall on the same Sunday this year. We are happy to report that we had over 100 first-time guests, received 47 connection cards, and at least four people were saved as a result of this Big Day event! PTL!”–Community Harvest Church
  • "We will participate again because it was great event to invite people back to church. We had several that stated they wanted to give their life to Christ and would be back because they need a church home.” -Mt. Joy Holiness Church
     

From Pastors:

  • "Fifty percent of the current U.S. population would be candidates for a Back to Church campaign."Gary L. McIntosh, D.Min, Ph.D
     
  • “Back to Church Sunday has the potential to be a day that changes the future course of someone’s life!  In a world where so many people fall into the definition of “de-churched” this is a doable effort for any church that wants to reach more people for Christ!”–Chad McCallum, Compass Church, MI
     
  •  “This campaign will help you strategically reach out to those who have come and gone but might come back to your church.  Many de-churched people are a simple re-invitation away.”–Mark Batterson, National Community Church, Washington, DC
     
  •  “I enthusiastically support Back to Church Sunday because it is an opportunity to welcome home the prodigalswhich delights God.”–J. John, Philo Trust, UK
     
  •  "What a great tool for reaching those who have become disconnected from the local church. I pray that congregations all over the country take advantage of this campaign and reach those who know Christ but need a church home!"Pastor Kevin G. Harney, author of Organic Outreach for Ordinary People


From Articles and Researchers:

  • “The survey included more than 15,000 adults in December of 2008. We found that the effectiveness of the invitation was often tied to its form: the more personal, the more effective.” Philip Nation, Ministry Development Director, LifeWay Research 
     
  • “Prompting the formerly churched to visit a church with an eye toward attending regularly requires some work. Not surprisingly, the work of the Holy Spirit along with the efforts of church members, friends and family members is needed.” –Brad Waggoner, LifeWay Christian Resources
     
  • “Application of biblical teaching is important to those who return to the Church. Many within the de-churched camp affirmed that if they were to return, they'd seek a church that offered engaging and realistic dialogue about God and life. So the de-churched aren't concerned with ancillary items, but rather sound biblical teaching that applies to their lives.” –Thom Rainer & Sam Rainer, from Outreach magazine, "Features," July/August 2007
     
  • “The most common motivation of those who would consider returning comes straight from the soul: ‘to bring me closer to God' (46 percent). Not surprisingly, this desire for an improved relationship with God is expressed primarily by those who still consider themselves Christian.” –LifeWay Research
     
  • “Too often churches wait for people to be spiritually mature to engage them in service when many projects or tasks are ideal entry or reentry points for people on their faith journey.” –Scott McConnell, LifeWay Research
     
  • “Affinity will never happen at a significant level without the church fostering a culture of concern, fellowship and involvement, the openness of the majority of the formerly churched to rejoin the flock is reason enough for the church to seek them out. That means having an effective outreach strategy for identifying, praying for and contacting formerly churched adults to shepherd them back to the fold.” –Brad Waggoner, LifeWay Research

REAL-LIFE TESTIMONIALS

Inviting a de-churched person to return to church is a crucial step. But we want to encourage them to stay and become part of the church family. Want to know what makes visitors stick? The witness of the gospel’s power to change lives. Here are some real-life testimonials from people who came to church—and stayed.

Loving Acceptance

“As a brand-new Christian, I needed a loving, accepting, forgiving community. I needed open-mindedness like [my pastor’s]. (I would advise churches to) let non-believers speak to you about what they’re feeling, so you can relate to them. If you can’t relate to them, you cannot possibly bring them to God. You have to be able to see things on their level. It would be a good exercise for churches to put one or two unbelievers in a small group of 15 or less and really show them a community of forgiveness and acceptance.”—Amy, Austin, TX

Non-Churchy Environment

“Before my [church] experience, I had the typical negative connotations of church culture. I would tell (Back to Church Sunday) pastors to continue to wrestle with ways to do stuff that the culture at large would be drawn to—community work, meals, neighborhood nights, having church meetings in a bar or restaurant—anything where you’re not just in the ‘churchy’ church. Have some kind words for those who might be totally ‘I don’t know if this is for me’.”—Molly, Seattle, WA 

Pastoral Connection

“Having [my pastor live] three houses down from me helped me grow as a new believer. He gave me guidance on what he wanted me to do, and he laid out a plan for me until I got baptized. After I got baptized, I would meet with him periodically and go over things. I looked at him as a mentor to me. He was the only thing that broke down the barrier to where I wanted to establish a relationship with Jesus … [My pastor] was the number-one reason I came to faith.”—Bill, Barrington, IL