National Back to Church Sunday Invitation to Join Its Video Team: Introducing the Back to Church Video Contest

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The creators of the viral Pastor Rep video want to see what others can do.

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Know anyone whose iPhone camera is always set on video? Do people at church tell them the last video they did should win an award?

Well, how about the next one they shoot winning an award instead?

The team behind National Back to Church Sunday® is inviting everyone to help their efforts to get America back to church by adding to their video collection. Compelling and engaging videos to help churches communicate have been central to the Back to Church effort since it started five years ago. Now the team wants to give people a chance to share their creative abilities, help the Back to Church movement, and also win prizes.

Individuals or churches may enter videos of 1-3 minutes to invite others to church or to encourage folks at church to personally invite their friends and neighbors.

One $3,000 cash prize (or $5,000 in Outreach resources) will be awarded in each category – the inspirational video, and the invitational. View samples of inspirational and invitational videos at Winning videos may be used in the Back to Church Sunday Church Kit for the 2014 event or made available for purchase individually.

Videos are due by October 1, 2013, and winners will be notified by January 15, 2014.

Complete details are available at

“Video is one of the most powerful tools we have to communicate to our communities and to church members,” said Eric Abel, vice president of marketing for Outreach, Inc., the nation’s leading provider of church communications resources that helped launch the initiative.

“We love how people have responded to the videos we’ve already created for Back to Church Sunday and we know there are wonderfully creative videographers out there who can add their voice to the message of inviting people Back to Church to hear about God’s love for them.”

Among the collection of a dozen videos produced for the day are several lighthearted ones aimed at encouraging church members to invite others to attend, as well as more thoughtful ones on the gospel and the church.

Perhaps the favorite video, judging by the viral status it achieved last year with more than a quarter of a million views, is the playful Pastor Rap that features four very different style churches and pastors. The pastors include the uber-hip megachurch pastor in a plaid shirt and jeans preaching from his iPad and the handsome Black gospel-style pastor in a suit, as well as a distinguished-looking pastor in robes with a tall-steepled church behind him who is announced by organ chords, and finally, the well-fed small church pastor in an open-neck shirt and sport coat who invites you to the church picnic.

They all share the fast-paced and fun message, “Back to church, we’re goin’ back to church. Put the fam in the van, man, back to church! Everybody in the nation, find a location.”

The Pastor Rap video’s popularity may be indicated by the fact that the musical score and lyrics are available so churches can to actually perform it themselves.

After that lighthearted success, perhaps it is natural that organizers of the day this year produced a dramatic spoken-word presentation on the meaning of the gospel, and an impactful video called Welcome to Church that highlights the stunning contributions over centuries to help people around the world.

Those contributions include founding the first hospital (in 289 AD), the first orphanages, most of the first universities in the United States, and serving today on the front lines of feeding and providing water for millions worldwide, fighting to free slaves around the world, and continuing to make major contributions as first responders in times of disasters.

Whether light-hearted or serious, the videos support the goal of the annual Back to Church Sunday initiative: to encourage the millions of Americans who don’t now attend church to give it a try. An important corollary message is to encourage church members to invite their family and friends since 80% of non-church attenders say they would come if someone they knew invited them.

National Back to Church Sunday this year will be Sunday, September 15. Nearly 20,000 churches have already joined the effort, and churches may still sign up on the free, online roster available at

National Back to Church Sunday is the largest annual community-based church outreach effort in the nation, when thousands of churches share the simple message and mission of inviting everyone in America Back to Church. The campaign empowers churches and church members with the tools they need to welcome their neighbors, friends and loved ones back to church, while providing an easy way for everyone in the community to find a welcoming church.

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For more information or interviews, contact Joni Sullivan Baker, Buoyancy Public Relations, at jbaker(at)buoyancypr(dot)com, or 513/319.3231.

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Joni Sullivan Baker

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