A church visitor's first impression can determine whether he becomes a lifelong member of the congregation or never steps foot in the building again. One way your church can make a good impression is to offer a welcome packet to each new visitor. A welcome packet is simply a small assortment of items that show visitors what your church believes and offers to its members.
Purchase small gift bags that have handles. You can place the welcome packet items in the gift bag for easy carrying. Using a gift bag to place welcome items, rather than a folder or ordinary envelope, also gives church visitors a feeling of being appreciated since the welcome package looks more like a gift.
Include contact information. One of the most vital pieces of information new church members need is the names, phone numbers and e-mail addresses of others in the church. While it may not be feasible to include every church member's information, give the contact information of the pastor and church staff, as well as Bible study leaders and anyone in charge of a specific ministry.
Ask your pastor to write a letter of welcome for the packet. Especially if you have a large congregation and the pastor is unable to personally meet each individual, a personal letter helps visitors feel appreciated and cared for. The pastor's letter may be short or long, but should essentially offer kind words, encouragement and appreciation for the visitor. The letter should also thank the visitor for taking the time to attend a service.
Include a small gift in the welcome packet. This can be a personalised coffee mug, a magnet, a Bible, a study guide, a pen or even a coupon to a religious bookstore or a local event.
Place an informative brochure about your church in the welcome packet. This can give an overview of current ministries and what each ministry offers, a brief history of the church or even notes about the current sermon series.