Every Spring, as the weather warms, trees bud and flowers pop up I get in the mood to garden. I think about how great it would be to plant a few tomatoes, some peppers, some herbs, maybe an onion – I would love to have fresh salsa from my own garden. Yet each year, I fail to properly plan, I get overwhelmed and I give up before I even start. I sigh and say…maybe next year.
This might be how you look at planning ahead for a big fall outreach event like National Back to Church Sunday. You see the promotions begin, you look at your ministry calendar and think “I should plan for this” – but somehow you just don’t take action so, like my garden, you miss your chance for a harvest in the fall!
So, let’s decide that we are going to be more proactive this year! The new 2023 Back to Church Sunday church kit and invitation tools just premiered and there are still four months before the National event date, it’s time to take action. And instead of being overwhelmed, I’m going to show you how easy planning a big event on September 17 can be:
GET FREE STUFF
Yes you read that correctly. By visiting BacktoChurch.com you can score some digital resources to help get you moving. These free items include a planning guide, a free video that will inspire your congregation to invite their friends, a handful of social media images for FB and IG, and coupons. In addition to the free items, once you complete the form your church will get listed on FindAChurchNow.com so potential visitors can find you!
MAKE A PLAN THE EASY WAY
National Back to Church Sunday is in it’s 14th year and statistics show that churches that order and use the Church Kit see better results! So open the Church Kit coupon you got with your free stuff and spend $59 for the kit and use it!
This year the digital Church Kit includes six videos, four customizable sermons and presentation slide graphics, 40 social/web graphics and a children’s lesson plan with videos. Plus additional helpful tools like a press release, a social media guide, and PSA recordings. You get four weeks of content so you have margin to think about other event details!
INVITE, PROMOTE AND INVITE SOME MORE
Part of what makes Back to Church Sunday so powerful is that it unites your congregation for a single purpose of planning and inviting people to church on a single day. The best way to make this happen is by clearly talking about your plans and goals and then honestly inviting your regular church attenders to be a key part of the event – to act as ambassadors for your church in the community, to be a part of the action by volunteering, wearing the t-shirts and sharing the invitations on social media and in person!
Once everyone is onboard, begin promoting to the outside community. Use all the methods you can afford – from social media ads, to small, personal invite cards, to outdoor banners, and direct mail. One and done will not do it here – it takes up to seven touches for a promotional message to really hit home so go as big as you can!
Finally, as the event date gets closer, remind your members to extend their final invitations (there is even a special sermon & video in the kit to help with this) by talking to their families, friends and neighbors.
JOIN THE COMMUNITY
In addition to a welcoming service, many churches like to add on to their worship services by offering other invite-able activities like Food Truck or BBQ Lunches, a service project, or fall festival. To get and share ideas, tips and camaraderie, join the special Back to Church Sunday Pastors FB Group. This group can help provide feedback and encouragement – plus it’s just fun to see what other churches are doing!
By taking these steps, you will have begun preparing the soil so you can plant seeds and reap a harvest this fall! Now, I guess I had better go buy some mulch.