How to Host the Most Successful Ministry Outreach Event of The Year: Back to Church Sunday

If you are looking to host one of the most successful ministry outreach events of the year, look no further than National Back to Church Sunday! Since 2009, this nationwide community outreach event has been inspiring church leadership, members and others to invite everyone in their community to visit a local church and get to know (or get reacquainted with) God and His Church. We’re sharing the why and how of hosting a successful Back to Church Sunday event in your church, so read on for some helpful insights and advice.

Why host Back to Church Sunday?

Before we get started on how to host a successful ministry outreach event that will motivate your members, we’re going to share why you should do it in the first place:

  1. It’s free. And in the world of ministry, where we all often have more needs than dollars, that’s pretty great. It doesn’t cost you a penny to get your name on the roster or to use the helpful web tools at
  2. It works for churches of all sizes. Are you just a small-town church in a rural area? You can still participate. Back to Church Sunday scales up or down depending on your needs. So country churches and city churches alike can make it work.
  3. It’s easy. This one-day event allows you to focus on the main message: Your church is a place to belong! Not only that, there are many tools to support you and helpful tips from churches with years of experience. 
  4. It’s the perfect time of year. New people have moved into the neighborhood over the summer and your regular members are getting back into their post-summer routine. And some people are simply feeling restless for change with the new season. People are looking for you—and now you have a way to help them find you.

  5. It works!  We’ve seen year after year that Back to Church Sunday gets people into church. It empowers your members to become inviters and encourages them to welcome their friends and families to a low-key service designed for unchurched people. Churches report that they have seen first-time commitments to Christ as well as re commitments by formerly “churched” people.  

  6. It helps you get to know your community. Church can be intimidating for many people. But if they know the invitation is to a friendly, no-pressure event where there are others just like them, they’re more likely to attend. Which means you are likely to get to know your neighbors better and show them you’re a welcoming place to visit.
  7. It’s collaborative. Maximize your ministry by teaming up with other churches to amplify your message. Pooling your resources with increase your ability to reach others with the Gospel and create important connections for future efforts.

Now that you know the best reasons, let’s look at how to make sure your Back to Church Sunday provides you with a successful ministry outreach event experience.

Making the Most of Back to Church Sunday

Want to hit this event out of the park? Here are some tips for making the most of this exciting opportunity to share God’s love with your community.

Pray: Ask God to help you use this campaign to make a difference in your community. Pray for your members, that they can be brave in asking their friends and families to attend. Ask for His guidance as you plan, so you can make this the most successful event ever.

Use the Support Tools: Back to Church Sunday creates multiple tools to support you in your successful ministry outreach. From the free website, Engagers and planning guide, to the affordable church kit and branded advertising tools, you have an entire campaign just waiting for you to put it to use.

Encourage Your Leadership: Mobilize your leadership and prepare them to be a positive and powerful inspiration to your members. Ask for their insights into hosting a successful event. Support them every day so they stay motivated.

Promote, promote, promote: The purpose of Back to Church Sunday is to welcome as many people as possible back to church and show them that you are offering them a place to belong. Share it on social media, outdoor banners, through word of mouth, through invite cards, on local radio—anywhere you can reach.

Equip Your Members to Be Your Best Advertising: Don’t forget to promote inside the church, too. After all, your members are your greatest asset. They will be able to encourage their closest friends and family to attend. When the inviter has a direct relationship to the church, the invitee is far more likely to come. It just feels more authentic than when receiving an invite from a stranger.

Share a Gentle Message: Many of your guests will be entering a church for the first time in their lives, or coming back after months or even years of lapsed attendance. When you compose your sermon, ensure it is a message of hope. Tell them all about God’s love. Tell them how your church can help them build a relationship with Christ that will sustain them in hard times and encourage them always. Back to Church Sunday is about showing people your church is a place to belong.

Follow Up: When you welcome your new guests, give them a card to share their information, and then follow up the next day with a “thank you” for attending. It’s important not to be too pushy. You want to let them know they are welcome back. It’s important for them to know that you are thinking of them. But, you don’t want them to feel so pressured they don’t return. Know your audience and read their social cues to ensure you don’t chase them away.

In conclusion, it’s easy to make Back to Church Sunday a successful ministry outreach event. Follow these simple tips to begin planning your Sunday now. Use the tools provided. Create a sense of excitement and work together with your leadership, members and fellow churches. Discover why Back to Church Sunday has been such a powerful event for churches year after year!