Visitor Gifts: Give Them More Than A Logo Pen
There are lots of opinions today about gifts for church visitors: Do you hand them out at the welcome center or deliver them afterwards? Do you wait till the second visit? And what should you give church visitors, after all no one needs more trinkets. Here are some reasons your church should take a closer look at visitors gifts.
Why Give Visitor Gifts?
We all know that “you never get a second chance to make a good first impression.” As a church, we want visitors to return a second, third and fourth time until they are regular attenders - visitor gifts are a kind gesture that can help you make the best first impression
- Makes guests feel welcome and appreciated
For someone who doesn’t normally attend church, getting up and coming on a Sunday morning is a big step - it takes work and it’s a little scary. A nice gift bag is a good “Thank You” and can make someone feel like you appreciate their effort and are glad they came.
- Reinforces a positive view of your church -so the visitor will return
If everything else has gone right that morning, your visitor gift can be a final reinforcement of a great first impression, something that will remind them of your church and that they felt comfortable there. Or if there were a few minor missteps, sometimes a gift can help sooth over any small issues: “Gosh it’s too bad we couldn’t find a seat in the main room and had to watch on the TV in overflow, but hey that insulated water bottle sure is cool, I guess next time we had better get there earlier!”
- Provides a spiritual touch
We all know that not every visitor will return - some are just not quite ready spiritually or maybe your service style isn’t their cup of tea. But your visitor gift can be something that gets taken home and looked at, so if you include something like a CD of worship music or a sermon or a devotional book, there is a chance that your gift can help someone in their spiritual journey.
So What Should You Give?
Very few churches have the budget for elaborate visitor gifts, so a combination of helpful information about your church and it’s programs including how to contact church staff and how to get involved along with a small gift they may find useful.
- Worship or sermon CDs
- Inexpensive gift books
- Coffee gift cards
- Chocolate & Candy
- Freshly baked bread, cookies, etc.
- Branded gifts like t-shirts, coffee mugs, water bottles
And remember, presentation matters, your gift should look nice and feel, well, like a gift.
Finally, the most important thing part of your visitor gift is the follow up - which should include a handwritten note from the pastor thanking them for their visit, providing a little information about the church and inviting the visitor to come back or attend a special visitors lunch.