Does your church give first time visitors gifts? If so what do you give?

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Wondering what church do for first time guests to make them feel appreciated?  Do you give them gifts? Send them thank you cards for attending?

Posted in: Community Engagement; Q&A

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I have a story about this. My husband and I travel to see his family and often stop at a church to worship if we're traveling on Sunday. About two years ago, before we had kids, we attended a little church that acknowledged us as visitors during the service and presented us with two little teddy bears. Mine was bright pink and his was brown. They welcomed us warmly and mentioned that the bears had been with them in worship and had been prayed over. The result was that we were clear targets for friendly "hellos" after the service. We were two grown adults walking around carrying teddy bears!! It was very well intended and sweet, but a little over the top! My husband, especially, felt like everyone in the church was on a mission to greet him and learn his name. We felt a little guilty because we were just passing through that town, with no real potential of attending again or joining the church!!    

Wow teddy bearrs?  I have never heard of that one.  I was wondering if anyone does things more subtly than that.  Do you have a welcome table that they can stop by at and give a packet of information?  Do you give any other gift?  A book, a CD, etc.  I know of a couple of churches that used to give out coffee mugs.

Thinking back to when I was looking for a church, I did appreciate a card sent to me (or email nowadays I guess). I'm not big on gifts - maybe I'm too cheap but I would wonder why they are spending their money on chachkes.

Wendy: I appreciate the feedback.  

Right now, we offer a CD that introduces you to the worship music we sing.  It has some of our favorite songs and some that might be unfamiliar to them.  We make it ourselves from 11 x 17 Card stock.  The jacket is also informative and introduces them to how (normal order of worship, artists, band make up) and why we worship (why we chose the songs we do, etc).  You can see it at http://www.churchwebtoolkit.com/?p=161

The only other gift we have handed out in the past was a small book on Heaven when we did a series on that.  The book has been tied to a small group, so we hoped that it would encourage them to join it.

Would something like this make more sense?  It is something we are wrestling with.  We don't want to be gimmicky.

I LOVE this idea. Great suggestion and thanks so much for sharing!

We mail a note to thank visitors for worshipping with us. Our Communication Card also offers people the chance to request more information, so we send information about ministries, Life Groups (our small groups), serving, children's ministries, etc. as requested. I've thought about the gift idea, but haven't ever implemented anything, although now thanks to Brad's suggestion, that might change. I like that it's low-cost, yet can be personalized to our church, and has intrinsic value for both Christians and/or seekers.

Would be happy to send you a pdf of what we actually use rather than the generic template that i posted on the blog if that would help.

My home church use to have a guest book we passed, and people would put in contact info, and now we have a guest book when you come in but last I knew nothing gets done with that info..

That being said I would likd to say I went to a friends church (not CRC) to watch him in a Christmas program, and go there once a month to get to hang out with him at his church.   I took my brother back with me to introduce him to that church, because it's a newer congrigation (Meets in a school), and he's been a hit and miss at my church.  I took him there because of how from the minute you get in the door every one wants to meet you, and introduces there selves to you, and welcomes you.  Well this particular Sunday, an older gentleman came over and said to my brother, "Are you a new visitor?"   He makes "Welcome Bags"  It includes the following:  A devotional book, an ink pen with the church contact info on it, a mini folder with a brochere to summerize  each of the differnt ministry oppertunities, and a church over view CD in the other.  In addition to that there was also a stainless steal mug with the church name and info on, as well as a baggie with tea, hot coco, and mints in it.

I thought it was a unique idea to welcome a new visitor, who might have not been to a church.  I read through it, and I would say it was a summery of that church in the bag.  It was cool to see a small like maybe 50- 80 people congergation have that as a thing they do.

We have also posted this question on the CRCNA Facebook page.  Check it out to see what a few people have said what their church offers .

My church they give out seed packets. Very inexpensive but useful and not without meaning. They get them printed with their own design. I appreciate it because it's nice to receive a gift but this is not wasteful.

I'm a church planter in Chicago and I released a book that is designed specifically to be given to first time guests at church. It's great for believers and unbelievers alike and encourages people to take simple steps towards being a disciple of Jesus and becoming more involved in the life of the church.

The book came out of a real desire to see people connected quickly and discipled more effectively in the context on the local church. Of course, it's only one small piece of the puzzle, but as a church we've been giving this book out and it's had a profound impact.

Here is a link to the Kindle version: http://amzn.to/QNKSRg. People can also order discounted print copies at http://unforgettableness.com by using the promo code in red. Please check it out and I hope you find it helpful.

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