Attending a church for the first time can be an emotional time for a person. Whether he has been out of church for a long time or is simply looking for a new church to call home, the first visit can be a little nerve wracking. The idea of meeting new people and trusting others with his personal faith requires sensitivity and patience on the part of current church members. When sending a follow-up letter to church visitors, there are few important things to keep in mind.
Refrain from using words that are over-used in church life because many newcomers will have no idea what you're talking about. You could come across in a negative light without meaning to. These words can include "blessed," "fellowship," "sanctified," and "washed by the blood." Instead, use cliche-free, commonly used phrases. Say, for example, "We are excited that you chose to visit our congregation and hope to see you again," instead of, "It is always a joy to open our doors to those who wish to worship with us."
Keep the tone conversational rather than formal or official. Besides overly used phrases, there are other words that will put people off rather than making them them comfortable. Avoid words such as "greetings" and "honor." Aim for a casual tone that makes a person feel as if a new friend is writing to her, not an organization. Similarly, avoid preaching in your follow-up letter. For example, do not use Biblical verses to support why the visitor should attend church. You don't want to pressure a person into returning to your church.
Include a short list of activities your church offers. Include activities for men, women, children and teens. Many people looking for a church home want their entire family to feel comfortable there, and she will appreciate knowing what the activities in which the family can be involved. Mention a few upcoming special events as well as opportunities for your visitor to become involved, such as choir, praise band and volunteering.
Include a list of contact information and church service times. Send it out within 48 hours or the visit, or consider hand delivering the letter along with a loaf of banana bread or small basket of fruit. Dropping by with a gift will make you memorable. It will show that you are a caring congregation and not just looking to increase your membership.
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