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Prepare for National Back to Church Sunday 2021

By Chaston Asbury

Read time: 4 minutes

In March of 2020, the world stopped. It has seemed to start again, but life certainly looks much different for many individuals, churches, businesses, and schools. We have all found ways to adapt to the changes brought by the pandemic. 

Matthew 18:20 states, "For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them." I don't know about many of you, but for me, the opportunities to gather in Jesus' name have been few and far between over the last year and a half.

The body of Christ is in desperate need of support and connection. Your church can provide that connection. Those who don't know Christ are wondering if there is anything to place their hope in. Your church can provide the hope and answers their soul longs for. 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 19, 2021. This event serves to re-ignite togetherness, re-engage local communities, and reach people with the hope that Jesus offers. Today, we will be talking about how your church can participate in this movement to uplift your congregants and reach your community.

Step 1: Choose how to participate

The first step is to decide whether meeting in person or hosting an online gathering is the best option for your church. You may 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 are welcome to attend, and those who wish to stay home can still participate.

When deciding, take into account your church's regular attendance and already established online presence. If you're considering an in-person event, does your building allow for state-regulated COVID-19 restrictions? If you're considering a live stream event, do you have the necessary technical features to do so?

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 fellowship with your regular church members. 

Step 2: Logistics planning

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 consider social distancing and proper sanitization. For example, you can consider setting up sanitizing stations and spreading out chairs and rows for social distancing. If you are hosting an online gathering, you will need to plan out streaming your service and choose a hosting platform. Find someone who can assist you with the technical aspects of running the cameras, managing sound, and streaming your service. 

Did you know that you can hold an online service from your church's 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! Please call us at 877-494-4655 to learn more about StartSITES!

Step 3: Continue running the race

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, minister to those who are experiencing hurt in this time, evaluate your goals moving forward, and pray for a fresh vision for the future. 

Church services may look very different from those at the beginning of 2020, but God is still working. You can still serve and love your church and community, and they need it now more than ever before. 

As Back to Church Sunday draws more newcomers to your church, creating a benevolence program can help you meet the needs of your community with practical help. Our Called to Care suite will guide you step-by-step through the process of creating a legal benevolence program that will help you put the gospel into action!


Be a beacon of light

Back to Church Sunday can bring us all together again to connect, whether in person or virtually. If you follow the above steps, your church will be prepared to make an impact when September 19, 2021, arrives.

"For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another." Romans 12:4-5.

It's time to worship together again, serve together again, and hope together again. 

If you are ready to grow your reach in your community or your congregation, please call our team at 877-494-4655. Our church specialists would love to speak with you and give you specialized strategies and next steps for your ministry.


And receive Book 1 of our Grow Trilogy FREE today! This series gives you the strategies you need to get started growing your church plant today!