The holidays—Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the new year—are a special time in ministry. Not only do we celebrate the birth of Jesus but we also get the chance to welcome visitors in our churches—many of whom will be attending for the first time.
It’s important to create an environment in your church that welcomes everyone who visits.
One simple way to care for guests is to create a holiday church welcome kit. It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate or a burden on your budget. It’s more about the thought behind the gift. It shows that you expected new visitors and cared enough to provide a small gift to make them feel included and invited back to church.
Here are five ideas you can include in your holiday church welcome kit.
1. Note or card from your pastor
Your pastor may not be able to meet every new guest that attends, so including a note from them is a great way to help people feel connected to the church. You could even use a Christmas card that the pastor can sign for a personal touch.
2. Warm/cold travel mug
I’m writing this post and sipping coffee out of a stainless steel travel mug from my church. I got it as a gift for volunteering and use it almost daily. It’s a great reminder that my church cares for me—and it’s practical, too, which I love.
It’s easy to order these in bulk, branded with your church logo.
Pro tip: Put any cards, business cards, or other information inside the travel mug. That makes it easy for people to carry, and it’s less packaging for you.
3. Gift card
Several churches I asked about church welcome kits like to include a small ($5) gift card for a coffee shop or a local restaurant. One church gets coupons from their local Chick-Fil-A (for a free sandwich) to put in their welcome kit.
Depending on the size of your church, a gift card may not be the right investment for you. However, you can include a travel mug, like the one I mentioned above, or a coffee mug with a packet of hot chocolate for a fun treat.
4. Holiday-themed sweets
Candy is a cost-effective way to spread some Christmas cheer. You can include candy canes, peppermint bark, or chocolate for a sweet touch to your gift bag.
Pro tip: It’s extra special when you can include something made by a local vendor and packaged nicely. It doesn’t have to be perfect, or even professional—just showing that you put some thought into it matters a lot to a guest.
5. A way to connect
If someone takes the step to attend a service in person, they are interested in learning more about your church. Make sure your holiday church welcome kits have a printed handout (similar to a church bulletin) that gives visitors an overview of your church.
Some things to consider listing on your handout:
- How to get involved or visit a small group
- What you believe
- Your ministry on-ramps, like women’s, men’s, or student ministries
- Your church website and contact info
- Your church’s Faithlife group
If you use digital bulletins, include a printed card in your welcome kit that includes a link to find out more about your church.
Pro tip: Don’t forget to add the most basic (but important) information—things like service times and location.
No matter what you decide to do for holiday church welcome kits, people will recognize you made an effort and that their visit mattered to you.