It is natural for us to want visitors to become members of our churches.
Why is it that some of these individuals don’t get to come back after their first visit? It is probably because they didn’t like something about your church or didn’t feel welcome.
Of course, adjusting your doctrine to suit visitors is impossible but you can change how you welcome your guests. In this post, we will show you a few heartfelt ideas on how to say “welcome to church.”
Why Visitors Feel Unwelcome
Before we discuss how to say “welcome to church,” let’s show you why visitors may feel unwelcome.
No church is perfect so different visitors are likely to come across certain things that make them feel unwelcome. Because of this, you must find out the possible reasons why visitors at your church don’t return after their first visit. Below are a few reasons:
- The greeting was mediocre or completely absent.
- Absence of proper hospitality and welfare.
- The pastor or any of your church leaders didn’t meet with them after your service.
- No one reached them after your service to invite them for other services.
- They felt ignored by your church members.
These are just a few reasons why visitors may feel unwelcome at your church, there are several others. You should dig deep to find the reasons peculiar to your congregation.
Heartfelt Ideas to Say ‘Welcome to Church’
A church is a place where people should feel welcome. We have shown you a few reasons why visitors may feel otherwise above. In this section, we will show you seven ideas to say “welcome to church.”
Assume that visitors have no prior information about you
When planning your services, you should plan for first-timers. Don’t prepare for your services like everyone that comes already knows about your church. A visitor may only have a vague idea about your church so relating to your service might be difficult.
You should ensure that each department prepares for visitors like they don’t know anything about you. As such, you should have the lyrics of your songs and scripture verses on the projector. Also, have signs around your church premises to show visitors the way. In a nutshell, make your services as user-friendly as possible.
Think like a visitor
One of the best ways to welcome guests to your church is to put yourself in their shoes. Ask yourself if your services will make sense to you if you were visiting for the first time. Check the service flow to see whether it will be appealing to a visitor. How easy is it to navigate your church premises? Do you have clear labels for your restrooms?
Many times, we take these simple questions for granted not knowing that they are what matter the most. Provide honest answers to your questions and make adjustments where necessary.
Teach congregants to be welcoming
Your church members may be hesitant about inviting their friends to church. A major reason for this is that they are not sure what to expect. No one wants to invite a friend to church and the person has a horrible experience. If such happens it could change the person’s mind about Christ and affect their friendship negatively.
Because of this, you need to teach your congregants to be welcoming. Tell them about their role in making guests feel welcome during and after services. Once they understand their responsibility, they will find it easier to invite their friends knowing that they are in safe hands.
Lead by example
While teaching your congregation to be more welcoming is important, leading by example is vital. Once you show them their role, they’ll be watching you see how to welcome others so that they can follow suit. Lead in love, show concern, and reach out to newcomers as much as possible. Setting the example makes it easier to create and establish a culture of kindness in your church.
Plan for kids
Proper congregation management requires you to plan for kids the same way you prepare for adults. The comfort of children in your church will determine whether their parents will come back or not. Think about children’s check-in, the comfort of their class, the children’s teachers, etc. Ensure that your children’s church has the necessary pieces of equipment for kids to enjoy their services.
Set up a welcoming committee
This idea may come across as outdated but it is still very effective. The pastor and other church leaders might get caught with other responsibilities after the service. Setting up a welcoming committee ensures that your guests get the attention they need at this time. Their job is to communicate with the guests about the church, collect their data, and hand them the guests’ packages. They should also follow up with guests during the week to show some care.
Respect your guest’s privacy
Not every guest that comes to church wants to stand up when you ask first-timers to do so. They prefer to be discreet. Also, some of them prefer that you call them instead of visiting them in their homes or offices. Make your guest welcoming policy flexible enough to accommodate such individuals. For example, instead of asking guests to stand up during the service, you can welcome them in general. You can then ask visitors to wait in a special room after the service for a proper welcome.
You don’t have two opportunities to make a first impression so you must do your best to welcome guests. We have shown you seven heartfelt ideas to say “welcome to church” in this post. If you have any questions or other methods, kindly drop them in the comments section. Please check ChurchPad for other articles about church administration.