As the summer season comes to a close, it’s time to gear up to welcome back your church members who have been away on vacation and get ready for new guests!  This is an opportune time to refresh your church building to make a positive impression on those returning to your seats. 

In this article, we will explore several important steps you should take to create a warm and welcoming environment for visitors. 

  1. Assess and Beautify the Church: Before visitors arrive, take the time to assess the overall condition of your church. Check for any maintenance or repair needs, such as broken pews/seats, faulty lighting, dirty carpets and broken toys.  A well-maintained and visually appealing church creates a positive first impression and sets the stage for a welcoming atmosphere. Consider adding fresh flowers, updating the art on your walls, and ensuring a clean environment throughout the facility.
  2. Update Your Website and Social Media: In today’s digital age, many people turn to the internet for information about local churches. Make sure your church’s website and social media platforms are up to date. Provide accurate service times, details about ministries and programs, and clear directions to your church. Consider adding welcoming messages and testimonials from current members to provide a glimpse of the warm community awaiting visitors.
  3. Prepare Greeters and Ushers: Greeters and ushers play a crucial role in making visitors feel welcome. Train your greeters to provide a friendly smile, a warm handshake, or to hold a simple hand held greeting sign. Encourage them to be approachable and available to answer questions or provide guidance. Ushers should be well-prepared to assist with seating, distribute bulletins, and address any immediate needs.
  4. Create a Welcoming Atmosphere: Take the time to create an inviting atmosphere within your church. Update the banners and directional signage. Stock your Welcome Center with gift books and updated information so visitors can learn more about your church, its ministries, and upcoming events.
  5. Offer Special Events: To engage returning visitors and members alike, plan a few special events and programs that cater to a variety of interests. Host social gatherings, potlucks, and/or family activities that encourage fellowship and connection. Consider hosting a movie night, Harvest Festival or service day to provide additional avenues for involvement that can make visitors feel more included and valued.
  6. Encourage Small Group Participation: Small groups play a significant role in fostering connections within the church community. Emphasize the importance of small group participation to both visitors and members. Highlight the benefits of joining a small group, such as building relationships, finding support, and growing in faith. Provide information on various small groups available and encourage visitors to find one that aligns with their interests or needs.
  7. Follow-Up and Stay Connected: After visitors attend a service or event, it is crucial to follow up and stay connected. Collect contact information, such as email addresses or phone numbers, and send a personalized thank-you message expressing gratitude for their visit. Share relevant information about upcoming events or ministries that may be of interest to them. Consistent communication can help visitors feel valued and encourage them to return.

Conclusion: As the summer vacations come to an end, churches have a unique opportunity to welcome back their congregations and extend a warm invitation to visitors. By taking these steps churches can lay a strong foundation for an inclusive and vibrant community. Let us strive to create an environment that fosters fellowship, support and spiritual growth.