3 Steps to Make Church Visitor Welcome Packets

Many churches choose to use a Church Welcome packet as a way of quickly communicating news and programming information to first time church visitors.

The First Time Visitor packet can be used to share

  • the breadth of your church’s ministry programming,
  • as well as include perhaps a little thank you gift.
  • Simple next steps towards making new friends.

Here are 3 steps on how to make Church Visitor Welcome Packets.

1.  Choose the Church Visitor Folder

Simple Pocket FolderThere are plenty of folder types to choose from.  The easiest form is to use a pocket folder such as the one pictured.

Many churches will choose to have them professionally printed with the church logo and contact information on it.

Pick a color that goes well with your marketing design.

You might want to make sure the folders are sturdy in construction so they will not dissolve in the rain, or feel cheap.

The pockets makes it easy to put your contents in it.

Personally, I like the ones with the business card cut out, such as the one pictured.

Instead of the pastor’s business card (which can be in a folder or attached to the visitor letter), stick in Business Cards that Church members can give away.

You could also put a refrigerator magnet with the church’s contact information on it, or maybe a phone number hot-line for prayer.

2.  Assemble or Prepare the Church Visitor Packet

The actual steps on how to create a Church Visitor packet are easy.

Gather your content and put it in.

Here are a few ideas of what to put in the welcome packet for visitors.  These are things that I have seen and appreciated.

You know your local ministry context so use what is appropriate.  All of these may not be useful.

  1. Letter of Greeting from the Pastor with an invitation to return the following week.
  2. A summary of the church’s vision and dream.
  3. Audio recording from the Pastor — a popular sermon, or a more in depth greeting.
  4. General information brochure on the church’s ministries.
  5. A brief history of the church, or the denomination if that is deemed important.
  6. Announcement flyers of public events such as fall festivals, Christmas Programming.  (Not notes from your Evangelism Committee meetings).
  7. Information on the membership process of your church.
  8. A coupon to turn in at the welcome center on next visit for a free token of appreciation like a book or mug or gas card.
  9. Marketing piece for current sermon series.
  10. Information on how to get sermon series via podcast or website.
  11. Invitation to an on-line follow up Survey for First Time Visitors about their experience of your church’s hospitality.
  12. A brochure that explains the gospel simply and clearly and points visitors to a page on your website that shares more information.
  13. For more ideas see: 10 Church Visitor Gift Ideas
  14. For more ideas as well: see More Church Visitor Folder Ideas

The quality of whatever goes in this packet is part of the first impressions that you will make on a church visitor.

Make sure your photocopies are clean, crisp, on decent weight paper (such as 24lb).  A fourth generation photocopy of a dot matrix letter in courier font is just not acceptable.  :)

Audio recordings in Visitor Packets

CassetteTapeWe recently received a cassette tape copy of the sermon preached that day.  We then discovered that we don’t have a cassette player any more.

Not in the car.

Not in our house.

We haven’t used a cassette is several years and forgot that we did not own a player.  All our stereo systems have gone to CD or MP3.

Consider a offering a choice: cassette, CD, DVD, or a link to a free MP3 download on the church’s website.

3. Distribute the Welcome Folders to Visitors

During our visits in different churches, these visitor packets have come to us in a variety of ways:

  • We have found them ourselves.
  • The members that have invited us will bring us one.
  • Greeters that recognize us as visitors give them to us.
  • Told to get one from the Welcome Center on the way out.
  • When prompted, we raised our hands and ushers gave one to us.

Your Turn:

In the comment field below, please answer this question:

What do you put into your church visitor packet?

Do you want to learn more about how to fix your hospitality work?  Read this tutorial on how to Fix Your Church Hospitality.

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Comments

  1. says

    (Posted on Facebook when I posted a link to your article.)
    At Life Church of Athens we give every first-time guest a nice ceramic coffee mug with our church logo on it. In the mug, we put a church logo pen, a guest info card, a brochure about the programs in the church, a map and descriptions of our Lifegroups, and a printed card with our office hours, phone numbers, website and other info listed. Then, all of this is gift wrapped in clear cellophane and tied with a ribbon so that it really looks like a nice gift.

    Tim Vaughn, Lead Pastor

  2. says

    Hi! At our church, we have a multi-pronged approach for reaching out to guests. During the Sunday service, guests who raise their hand receive a welcome packet of information about our church, its ministries, and our affiliations. Included in this packet is a gift certificate to our book store and also a professionally produced music sampler of some of our worship songs. After the service, guests are invited to a brief reception to eat a light lunch and meet one of our pastors and some of our small group leaders.

    We also make use of the guest response cards that guests may turn in at the time we collect offering. During the week, our church secretary mails out a letter to guests who left their mailing address. For guests who left a phone number or email address, a member of our follow-up ministry contacts the guest to thank them for their visit, answer questions, and typically invite them to a small group meeting or other upcoming event.

    All of this requires quite a bit of coordination, and we use a helpful software tool called GuestView to keep things running smoothly and to help keep guests from slipping through the cracks.

  3. Nancy Young says

    Please sign me up for the free evangelism newsletter and anything else that I might use as membership care chairperson. I am in charge of getting greeters, welcoming visitors, follow up with visitors and also contacting members through writing cards who have not attended church for awhile. Anything you can help me with would be appreciated.
    Thanks so much and God Bless!
    Nancy

  4. Leo says

    Please sign me up for the free evangelism newsletter and anything else that I might use as membership care chairperson. I am in charge of getting greeters, welcoming visitors, follow up with visitors and also contacting members through writing cards who have not attended church for awhile. Anything you can help me with would be appreciated.
    Thanks so much and God Bless!

  5. says

    This is a very resourceful site. We do not have any welcome packets in our church yet and were looking for examples and pointers. These are great starting ideas (though we aren’t at the cd/dvd/cassette level yet). Do you have any other inexpensive gift ideas for visitors?

  6. says

    Some seasonal giveaways are also great ideas.

    Since its snowy and wintry in the US, one church is giving away scrapers and gloves as a gift (bought from the dollar store).

    During the rainy spring time, another might have umbrella bags.

    Creativity and practicality is the key.

  7. says

    We are continually looking for new things for our visitor packets. We use the Welcome folder to put a letter from each of our pastors, the childrens and students is a tri-fold sheet to make it something different. We also include a copy of our floor plan for our church, which also includes the age appropriate Sunday School locations in the church. I also include a current copy of our monthly newsletter (being sure to change it for the first Sunday of each month. We also include a bag of popcorn, with a label on it saying, “Thanks For Popping In At (name of our church) on it. I then put the folder inside of a bag with our church logo and name on it. We found that everything was falling out of the folder when they tried to carry it, but with it being in the bag with a handle it is much easier to carry. These bags are about the size of a car trash bag. I then staple the visitor card on the outside of the carrying bag, so, that way they have to see the card before they can get into the bag. More success with the bag stapled with the card, in getting the visitor card filled out and turned back in to us now. Thanks for all the info, it is great!

  8. Michelle Hartman says

    i just signed up for your Friday newsletters. I just accepted the possition of Coordinator of Guest Services. So the 7 Secrets to Great Hospitality, Church Greeter Training Videos, and 4 Free Hospitality Videos would be much appreciated. Can you please provide the links.
    I’m excited to serve God and my church in this capacity. Thank you for your service.
    Michelle

  9. Denise jenkins says

    Just been selected to do the ministry for welcoming visitors. I need help in getting ideas together for the rest of my committee. Any gift ideas would be helpful as well as any encouraging words I could give them.

  10. says

    Thanks for stopping by. This article has consistently been in the top 10 since I wrote it. It is intentionally a beginner’s guide to getting started with a church visitor packet.

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