As you are counting down to Back to Church Sunday and making sure final preparations are in place for your church’s celebration, here are three important tasks that you do not want to overlook:
- Encouraging Your People to Take the Plunge
- Last Minute Prep for Guests
- Clarifying Your Gospel Presentation
Encouraging Your People to Take the Plunge
You have been casting the vision of Back to Church Sunday to your people for weeks now. You have challenged them to prayerfully consider who God is placing on their heart to invite. You have equipped them with invite cards and Engager invitations, encouraging them to share them with that person. You have shown videos helping them overcome any hesitations they might have when it comes to talking to their friends and inviting them to church. You have publicly prayer week after week for those who are far from God in your community and for boldness to reach out to them. Now, in this final week, you need to make one final push for your people to step up and take action.
Many people hear your challenges, watch the videos, take the invite cards and pray for that person, but they have not yet made the actual invite. They are committed to the idea of introducing their friend, neighbor or coworker to Jesus… to inviting them to experience the beauty of the local church and hear the gospel clearly presented. However, many need a gentle push to take action. Now is the time to come alongside of them and lead them to step out and put all that you have been championing into action.
Take time this week to send out a text, email or perhaps even have your ministry leaders make phone calls to your people. Let them know you are praying for them and for the person they are inviting. Tell them how excited you are to see how God is working through them to reach others. Let them know you are looking forward to meeting the person they invite and ask them to be sure to introduce them to you on Sunday. This may be just the added touch they need to make that invitation.
Last Minute Prep for Guests
Guests are arriving in just a few days and you have likely been working on preparing your church to welcome those newcomers. Make the time this week to walk through your church facilities, from the parking lot to the bathrooms, children’s areas to the lobby, and everywhere in between. Keep your eyes open for anything that might look out of place and clutter that has gone unnoticed. Do your children’s areas appear fresh, clean and safe? Is your entryway inviting? Would a new family feel as if you were expecting them to arrive, ready to welcome them?
Reach out to your hospitality/first impressions volunteers this week. Let them know how thankful you are to have them serving and remind them that their ministry to newcomers is so very important. Plan a time to gather with your hospitality/first impressions team early before your weekend worship gatherings to pray together. Take that prayer time to ask God’s blessing upon all of their conversations and to remember that every guest is an opportunity for Jesus to make an eternal impact.
Clarifying Your Gospel Presentation
There will be people walking through your church doors who find themselves in great brokenness. They may be sincerely searching for something, or they may just be appeasing a friend who invited them. Whatever brings them to your church, we all know God desires to bless their lives with wholeness and healing. This is an incredible opportunity to extend the hope and truth of Jesus in a way that connects with them and encourages them to respond.
Spend focused time in prayer and preparation on how you will present the gospel this week. Think through the fact that many of your guests may be unfamiliar with church, so be sure that you communicate clearly in a manner that will meet them where they are and help them to see the beauty of Christ’s forgiveness. Reach out and ask others to be praying for you as you preach and for those who will be listening this weekend.
We believe God is going to do a mighty work through your church, and churches across the country, as we celebrate National Back to Church Sunday together! Know that our team is lifting you up in prayer and we look forward to hearing and seeing the great reports from your church as God is glorified and lives are transformed by Jesus. Be sure to share photos and stories of your Back to Church Sunday in the Facebook group so we can all celebrate TOGETHER!
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.
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.