3 Steps To Prepare for Back to Church Sunday

Written by Miranda Hendricks on Aug 18, 2020 in Church Management

In March, the world stopped. We are now six months into this new normal, and many churches, businesses, and schools have found ways to adapt to the changes brought by the pandemic.

I don't know the story of your church or the journey you have walked this year, but I do know that we are all searching for any sense of normalcy that we can get. The body of Christ is in desperate need of support and connection. Those who don't know Christ are wondering if there is any hope in the chaos. Your church can provide hope and the answers they need. 

Pastor, whether your church has already resumed regular services or you are making plans to do so in the future, I'd like to encourage you to consider participating in a special upcoming September event: Back to Church Sunday.

A national  Back to Church movement started by Outreach is championing churches to meet either in person or online on September 20, 2020. This particular Sunday event serves two purposes. First, it is an event that encourages believers who haven't been to church in a while to attend. Second, this event is a time for church members to engage in intentionally inviting members of the community to come to church. 

How can your church participate in this movement in a safe way that will uplift your congregants and reach your community? 

Today, I will give you three steps to join in on Back to Church Sunday.

1. Choose an Online or In-Person Service

The first step is to decide whether meeting in person or hosting an online gathering is the best option for your church. Take into account your church's regular attendance. If you're considering an in-person event, does your building allow for safe social distancing measures? On the other hand, if you're considering a live stream event, do you have the necessary technical features set up? How accessible is either option or your members?

You could also choose to have a hybrid service by simultaneously hosting both an online and in-person event. This way, those who wish to come in person can, but others can join from their homes.

Another element to consider when deciding the best option for your church is the number of people you want to reach. With an online service, the link to a live stream can be shared with anyone around the world. You may be able to reach a wider audience of those who need to know Christ. 

However, with an in-person service, you get to have a homecoming of sorts and see your regular church members. 

If your church is able, I recommend holding a hybrid service to experience the best of both worlds and accommodate the needs of the majority of your congregation.

If you're considering planting a church and holding your first service, now is the right time to get started! The StartCHURCH team has helped several pastors and ministry leaders launch a church with our StartRIGHT service during the pandemic. To find out more, give us a call right now at 877-494-4655!

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2. Plan Logistics

Once you have decided which service type is best, you will need to plan the logistics of that service. If you are meeting in-person, you will need to prepare to enforce social distancing and proper sanitizing. For example, you can consider setting up sanitizing stations and spreading out chairs and rows for social distancing. You might also consider enlisting the help of congregants to serve as a guest-services team for your in-person gathering to ensure that protocols are appropriately followed.

If you are hosting an online gathering, you will need to plan a system for streaming your service and choose a platform to host it. If you plan to host an online gathering, find someone who can assist you with the technology aspects of running the cameras and streaming your service. If you need help moving your church online, we have the right resource for you! We created a complete step-by-step guide to taking your ministry online with StartCHURCH Connect

Did you know you can hold an online service from your personal website? If your church does not already have a website, you can use our StartSITES service to create a beautiful website in just one hour to be able to host a hybrid or online service. 

If you need a church website but are overwhelmed by the creative process, we are here to help! Our StartSITES Creative service will provide you with a web design specialist to create your website for you—from start to finish. Give us a call today at 877-494-4655!

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3. Reflect and Keep the Ball Rolling

Once you've held your Back to Church Sunday service, take time to reflect on what God is doing through your church. Celebrate the wins and testimonies of this season, evaluate your goals moving forward, and pray for fresh vision for the future. 

Sundays look very different than they did at the beginning of this year, but God is still working. You can still serve and love your church and community, and they need it now more than ever before. 

Setting up a proper benevolence program is a meaningful and practical way to serve the needs of your community right now--that's why we created Called to Care. Most church leaders don't know the legal guidelines for benevolence, but we are happy to help! We will guide you step-by-step through the process of creating your benevolence program. 

Create a Benevolence Program!


Preparing for the Future

If you take these three steps, you'll be ready to join Back to Church Sunday in just a few weeks. Start planning now to be fully prepared to make an impact when September 20, 2020, arrives.

Moving forward, I encourage you to make sure your church is up-to-date with legal compliance. Give us a call today at 877-494-4655 to speak to one of our amazing specialists. Establishing a strong legal foundation will give you peace of mind and empower you to serve your community to the fullest extent.

Be encouraged in this time where hope seems sparse. God is still moving through these circumstances and furthering the call He has placed on your life to lead. The definition of "normal" may be different now, but you have the unique opportunity to step in and bring a sense of normalcy, hope, and peace to your church and community. 

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Please feel free to comment. We always appreciate good dialogue. However, we do moderate each comment to ensure that it is on topic and not derogatory to other participants. We ask that you keep your comments brief and pertinent to the topic so that others may benefit.

Raul Rivera

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