07 Sep 2019

Are You Ready for Back to Church Sunday?

David Newkirk

The summer months can take a toll on churches. During this season, we often see families traveling a lot. Children and youth usually attend summer camps, and churches tend to host vacation Bible schools. Not to mention, I hope, many pastors have summer travel plans, too! 

With this hectic summer schedule, it is not uncommon to see a temporary fall in church attendance. And naturally, we tend to see income from offerings be sporadic at best during these summer months.

The start of a new school year, though, brings with it the end of the busy days of summer. For a church and its pastor, this transition most often brings a welcome change and usually has the potential for new visitors. But how do you attract these new visitors? Let’s take a look.

Going back to school

I still remember being nine years old, walking out to the bus stop about this time of year. A fresh hair cut, school supplies in my backpack, and a bounce in my step as it was the first day of school! 

As I stood there on that warm late-summer morning waiting for the bus to arrive, a myriad of thoughts ran through my mind. Thoughts like, did I miss the bus? Is this actually the first day of school, or is it tomorrow? What if I get a mean teacher? Will the kids make fun of my new, rad hot pink shorts? (Trust me; they were cool in the 90s.) 

There was unspoken, nervous excitement for me when it came to the first day of school. I was so excited to see my friends and make new ones, but I was also nervous about what this new year of school was going to bring. 

As these thoughts and questions swirled around in my head, though I could no see evidence of it yet, I then heard the distant sounds of the school bus coming.

It was time time to go back to school! And it was an exciting time!

Your church has probably already had a “Back to School Sunday” gathering, or something like it. But now I’m going to suggest you celebrate something new with this transition of seasons, and celebrate “Back to Church Sunday” at your church! 

Inviting others to come back to church

There is no better time to have an event like “Back to Church Sunday” than this time of the year. It’s the start of a new season, an important time of ministering, that happens to fall right between the busy days of summer and the busy season of the holidays. Let’s redeem this time! 

Next Sunday, September 15, 2019, is national “Back to Church Sunday.” Why not use this day as an opportunity to encourage people in your community to join you at church?

Maybe it’s as simple as inviting a neighbor who may have gotten out of the routine of church attendance due to the summer months. Or it could look like inviting those who once were faithful to coming every Sunday, but for one reason or another, haven’t been to church in quite some time. Whatever their reason is, people in your community are waiting to be asked to go to church.

With a little encouragement and a push in the right direction, this could be a great challenge for your congregation to get out into the community and invite people to come to church.

Join the movement

According to Outreach, out of all the unchurched people they surveyed, 82% said they would be interested in going to church if a friend invited them. However, on average, only 2% of church members actually invite someone to church. 

Just as I talked about my nervousness and excitement about going back to school, one thing we may forget is the emotions and thoughts that swirl in the minds and hearts of those who are considering going “back to church.” Often times, we do not know the history or story that these individuals carry. All they may really need is to have one person who cares enough about them to invite them to come back to church. That may be the very thing they need to soothe their hearts and mind. 

Just as the sound of the school bus in the distance reminds us that it’s time for students to go back to school, our kind voices can remind others that it’s time to come back to church. Will you and your congregation be that voice to members of your community? Will you invite someone back to church? 

As you think about your church calendar, consider incorporating “Back to Church Sunday” in your schedule for next Sunday, September 15, 2019. 

Join National Back to Church Sunday!

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Redeem the time

And, may I also challenge you to redeem this time that you have now before the busyness of the holidays and new year hits. This is a great time to stop and check to make sure your church has all of its administrative aspects in order. Consider the following checklist:

  • Have you completed your church’s annual report to the state?
  • Does your state require an annual charity registration?
  • Did you file your Form 990 to the IRS? (Churches are exempt from this task.)
  • Does your state require you to do a sales tax exemption renewal?
  • Do you have policies in place for facility use?
  • Does the church maintain proper bookkeeping practices compliant with nonprofit organizations?
  • Does the church have proper insurance coverage that would cover them in the event of a claim?
  • Is the paid ministry staff properly set up to receive the largest tax breaks available to them?
  • Does the paid staff have a compensation agreement set up that outlines their duties and total compensation with benefits described?

*Please note this list is not intended to be all-inclusive, and it will vary from state to state as not all states will require all of these items.

A resource of help

If any of these items make you pause or scratch your head, don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and give us a call at 877-494-4655. God has called and equipped you with everything you need to fulfill His calling on your life. He has even provided you with a resource like StartCHURCH that can help you take care of many of the legal and administrative burdens that your church or ministry may face. 

Don’t wait! Call us at 877-494-4655 or schedule an appointment with one of our specialists today!  

Schedule A Call Today!

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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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