It’s important to know how to do a church welcome during a Sunday service. Welcoming visitors properly is the first step to creating longtime new church members. Church growth starts by making people welcome!
Based on the many churches I’ve visited as a “mystery visitor“, here are 5 tips for ensuring first-time guests feel welcome, and church members are informed and included. Welcoming people can be challenging! You don’t want it to be too long, but you want it to be genuine, friendly, and authentic.
Church visitors need these (and church members too):
- Greet potential visitors and introduce yourself. A warm welcome to greet visitors starts with saying “good morning”, who you are, and what you do. Church members need to be reminded of this information too! Consider a church service to be an introductory time or reminder time. If you can, use the screens to indicate church leadership names, or to offer a contact QR code to scan.
- Welcome to the church services for a reason. A first-time visitor wants to feel like they are special. Include the church name as part of your welcome speech, then tie their attendance to an important reason so the visitors feel they chose a great day to be present. Yes, your church members (who you’d like to attend weekly, but don’t) will feel like they would’ve missed out if they weren’t in this church service.
Church members need these (and church visitors certainly do too):
- Reinforce what you want them to experience. Church members (and first-time visitors) need a controlled message of how the church leadership wants them to feel by the time they leave. Be sure to work this into your welcome speeches naturally.
- Encourage visitors and church members to take the next steps. Often, church leaders understand what the next step is, but new church members and church visitors don’t know what to do. Options: complete a connect card, go to the website or church app, meet someone after service, email a Pastor, or visit a welcome center on the church campus. Or it may be to challenge them to try a Sunday School class!
- Mention an all-church event and your church website. Always respect time by mentioning only events that would interest them and very few others (if necessary). Then build trust in your website so it’s the first place people visit for church information.
Here are a couple of church welcome speech examples:
“Welcome to First Baptist, I’m Pastor Nick, I get to organize the welcome team and look after discipleship programs. Want to talk? I’m always by this door after service — I can introduce you to a great Sunday School class if you’d like. What a great day for you to attend! It’s a special Sunday that’ll challenge you about finances — but, don’t worry, you’ll leave encouraged by scripture because that’s what First Baptist is all about. Speaking of encouragement, we’d love for you to attend our Valentine’s banquet; and there are many other great events and ministry opportunities to discover on our website too (state URL).“
“Welcome to First Baptist, I’m Pastor Nick! You’re in for a special treat today as Pastor Ed gives encouragement from God’s Word. I get to welcome visitors today, but also oversee discipleship programs. Scan the QR code on the screen if you’d like to email me. We have free gift bags at the welcome center for anyone who’s not received one. Be sure to pick one up. When you leave today, you’ll be challenged by our new sermon series on finances. We want you to master your wallet the way God planned. If you haven’t been to our website recently, you’re missing out on all the events and opportunities. Click on the Events tab on (URL) and register for the Valentine’s Banquet or check out the other events for you and your family.”