Happy 10th Anniversary! Can you believe National Back To Church Sunday is now in its tenth year as a nation-wide movement? Over the last decade, we’ve seen a lot of changes in our culture and how the church interacts with it. What hasn’t changed is the need for people to hear about Jesus, and the need for churches to share God’s love with their communities.

In some ways, the need is even greater now. Studies show there are more nones — people who have no religious background or have never been to church — than ever before, not to mention “de-churched” people who attended church but left for one reason or another. National Back To Church Sunday exists to create a day when churches can unite together to reach every home in the country with an invitation to give church a try.

How can we accomplish this? By engaging churchgoers in the invitation process. When National Back To Church Sunday started, research showed 80% of people would come to church if invited by a friend or neighbor, but only 2% of Christians ever invited someone to church! With statistics like that, it seemed natural to make it easier for churches to engage their members and empower them to invite others to church.

National Back To Church Sunday offers easy-to-use, compelling resources that help church members step out of their comfort zones to invite friends and neighbors to church. They can feel confident inviting people to a service tailored specifically to make newcomers feel welcome. As one pastor said:

“It is a superb way to get your congregation involved and excited about having friends and family come back to church. So much so, that it just doesn’t apply to only that one day, but for us will extend into the months to come.”

Making National Back To Church Sunday all about visitors helps keep the focus on making church a place of belonging. When newcomers have a great experience visiting church, current members will be more motivated to keep inviting their friends and neighbors throughout the year.

In 2018, we know that even if some members aren’t comfortable handing out invitations or going door to door, they’re probably willing to post something on social media. That’s why there are more digital graphics and videos created for Back To Church Sunday than ever. Churches can post a fun, inviting video that makes it easy for members to share with their friends across social media.

One thing we’ve learned over the years is that there’s no magic formula — no one invitation that appeals to everyone, no video or graphic that works for every church, and no secret behind the day when the event is held. Instead, National Back To Church Sunday is a catalyst for discussion to help churches evaluate everything from how to engage church members in outreach to the way a new guest experiences church.

There is still work to be done! We’ll continue to listen to feedback from church leaders so we can serve you with better resources to connect your church with your community. We hope the third Sunday in September will continue to be a special day in churches all across America for years to come. Thank you for being part of the movement!

Ten Year of Back To Church Sunday By the Numbers:

  • 5,296,234 – Invitations Sent for Back to Church Sunday
  • 13,399,472 people reached
  • 38 Videos created
  • Over 120 different denominations and affiliations have participated since its beginning in 2009
  • The average church sees a 25% increase in attendance on Back to Church Sunday – even small churches