You have been praying and preparing, and Back to Church Sunday is almost here! If you want to make the most out of your celebration this year, here are three helpful tips that you do not want to miss:

  • Invite Your People to Invite Their People
  • Be Ready to Welcome Your Guests
  • Easily Reach the Masses 

Invite Your People to Invite Their People
“But wait, we have been encouraging our people to invite someone…”  Of course you have! That is the heartbeat of Back to Church Sunday, to mobilize your people to make those invitations that they have been hesitant to make. The Back to Church Sunday movement was literally birthed out of research that revealed the vast majority of church attenders never invite a friend to church. The church kit and training we provide really hones in on challenging your people to prayerfully consider who God is placing on their heart to invite and making that invitation. You have likely been asking your people to pray and giving them tools and ideas to reach out to that person and make the invitation. Now is the time to really amplify the ask by encouraging your people to put their prayers into action, step up and make that invitation.

This is your opportunity to lead your people from the idea of introducing their friend, neighbor or coworker to Jesus to actually taking action and and making that invitation to experiencing church and hearing the Gospel. Some of your people will need that extra encouragement, that gentle nudge. Let them know you are with them by having your staff and key ministry leaders share about the invitations they are making. 

Lead by example and let your people know how excited you are to meet their guests, in person or online. Remind them that you are praying for them and for the people they are inviting.  Let them know that God is working through them.  As time is running down, think of what it might take to help your people move to action, and then reach out –via text, email, social media or a personal phone call– and provide that final bit of encouragement.

Be Ready to Welcome Your Guests

The time is here and guests will be joining you, perhaps in person, perhaps online… maybe both! Are you ready to welcome them?

First, connect with all of your hospitality team members and remind them of the importance of genuinely welcoming your new guests. Encourage them to be praying each day leading up to your Back to Church Sunday celebration for those new people that will be experiencing your church. Make sure they are ready to greet people who are joining you in person and be sure to have some digital greeters ready to engage with those who will be joining you online.

Second, consider your safety preparations for any in-person gatherings you are hosting. If you are able to meet in your church facilities, consider the following:

  • Hand sanitizer stations placed in key areas
  • Non-toxic fogging disinfectant to quickly and safely disinfect surfaces in nurseries, children’s areas, bathrooms, sanctuaries, auditoriums, etc
  • Masks for you ministry leaders and to offer guests who may not have one
  • Clear signage that lets newcomers understand safety precautions, social distancing, etc
  • Touchless communion elements to allow all to participate in the Lord’s Supper safely  

Third, provide a gift to offer all of you guests as a way to thank them for joining you. Think through how you will be able to deliver this gift to those who arrive in person and those who join you online. Consider a gift card to a local coffee shop or restaurant, a book that you can hand out or mail to your online guests, or another thoughtful item.

Fourth, this year you may need to think more deeply about follow up. In other words, as you welcome guests to your BTCS celebration, how are you going to capture their contact info so you can connect with them. This year will likely be unique in that you will have at least some guests joining you online. One thought ties back to the gift mentioned above: if you have a free gift you want to send to every guest, you can ask them for their contact information. You might also consider equipping your people who invite friends to join them online with a way to directly follow up with them.

Easily Reach the Masses
Even as we are getting closer to your BTCS celebration, there are opportunities to reach more people this year digitally. Encourage your people to share about your BTCS celebration on their social media accounts. 

Use the graphics in the church kit and ask them to post along with a link to your website to learn more information. Have a signup form on your website for people to register and be reminded of when you go live for your BTCS celebration. 

On September 20th when you do go live with your BTCS worship, encourage everyone to share on their social platforms and invite people to join in right then.  Leverage the power of social media to reach more people this year than ever before!

This year has been tough but we know God is at work. Keep trusting Him as you pray, plan and promote your Back to Church Sunday celebration. We are praying for each and every church as you live out the mission of the Kingdom, sharing the love of Jesus and His Church with as many people as possible. 

With 20 years of pastoral leadership experience, Jason Daye is passionate about helping ministry leaders discover how God is already working in their unique ministry contexts and uncover opportunities to build bridges into their neighborhoods to extend the hope of Christ.  Jason’s lead pastor roles have provided him experience in several contexts including church plant re-launch, multi-site church, multi-ethnic urban church, and established suburban churches.  He has also served in pioneering mission work and compassionate ministry projects in several countries.

The Daye

As Vice President of Mobilization, he dedicates his time to encouraging and equipping churches, denominations and ministry organizations to develop their Kingdom effectiveness as they embrace the mission of Jesus.  Jason provides oversight to key ministry initiatives at Outreach, equipping Christ-followers to share their faith and engaging churches to reach their communities. Jason also serves as the Executive Director of National Back to Church Sunday and as host of the Churchleaders podcast. 

Jason lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado, with his beautiful wife and six children. He enjoys hiking with his family, fighting rainbow trout, summiting 14ers and swapping stories with good friends. Connect with him on Twitter or Instagram @jasondaye.