How to make new church members feel welcome
Attracting new members is a focus for most churches. It takes time, effort and dedication. When your numbers begin to grow, it's time to celebrate, but you can't stop there. You need to make those new members feel welcome.
New member assimilation can make the difference between a periodic visitor and an engaged, active member who comes to church regularly and participates in various activities. Those initial visits make that important first impression. Use them to your advantage by making them feel valued, accepted and wanted.
Consider these ideas for making new members feel welcome all year long:
Have a welcoming committee
The first time you visit a church, it's normal to feel a bit out of place. When someone greets you kindly, asks if you have questions and clearly makes you feel welcome, that anxiousness disappears. Form a group dedicated to these activities and post greeters in the parking lot or at the entrance doors. Provide name tags or hold signs so it's clear they are the church staff who can help direct the new members.
New member check-in booth
During services, set up a table or booth for new members to check in and get all the answers they need. This provides a valuable opportunity to connect with people and offer grace and goodwill. Plus, you can help them find a seat, take kids to youth areas and point out other important spaces they may need to know about. Remember to take down their name and contact information for follow-up after the service.
Greeting members during services
It's important to specifically welcome new members during church services. Let them know you are happy they are there and hope to see them frequently! Place "connection cards" in pews and at the check-in booth that people can fill out to get more information. Then follow up with visitors by sending a handwritten thank-you card or an email conveying gratitude for the visit. If they offered their phone number, call them a few days later to see if you can answer any questions they may have or provide them with additional new member information.
New member events
Whether it's a class, special service or dinner hosted at church, plan events specifically for new members to help them feel welcome and let them know the next steps for getting involved in the community. It's a wonderful opportunity for fellowship, while also providing essential outreach about what your church offers and how people can immerse themselves in activities that suit their personalities.
To learn more about how a directory can connect your new and existing members, contact Lifetouch today.