Deciding on the perfect first time guest gift for your church can be tough, especially if your congregation hasn't done it before. And then there's the budget component. Perhaps you're worried your church doesn't have the budget to cover church visitor gifts. Fortunately, giving gifts to first time guests doesn't have to be difficult or expensive. There are plenty of affordable church visitor gifts you can include in your church welcome packets that aren't expensive or difficult to create. We include a comprehensive list of church visitor gifts that welcome committees across the country have used to turn first time guests into long-term members.
Don't feel that you need to include a welcome packet complete with all these gifts. A few are enough to make the first time guest feel welcome.
Table of Contents
- Why It's Important to Give Church Visitor Gifts
- 1. Printed Church Materials
- 2. Gift Cards
- 3. Coffee Mugs
- 4. Food Items
- 5. Books
- 6. Scripture Cards
- 7. Movie Night Coupons
- 8. T-shirts
- 9. Drawstring Bags
- 10. Writing Materials and Stationery
- 11. Activities for Kids
- 12. A Sample Sermon
- 13. Stickers or Decals
- 14. Invitations
Why It's Important to Give Church Visitor Gifts
One of the best things you can do to make new church visitors feel welcome is to give them a gift.
Gifts are the first way you can build connections and community with your new audience. Don't think of church visitor gifts as bribery—they're an important way for your church to make new members feel welcomed and valued.
And when you create an environment where people know they're wanted, they'll want to return. This is great for church growth!
First time guest gifts from churches also show strong hospitality. When someone takes the time to visit your church, it's a clear sign they care about their spiritual growth. It's important to show them that you appreciate their efforts by giving them gifts.
Finally, church visitor gifts create new connections between the newcomer and your existing congregation.
In church, it can feel like everyone already knows each other. This is especially true if some of your new visitors attend alone.
So, church visitor gifts are a way of helping people make new connections with other members of the community.
For example, a gift card to a local coffee shop can encourage new members to grab a coffee or a bite to eat with other members after the service.
When your new visitors feel welcome, they're also more likely to fill out a church welcome survey. These can help you expand your church and make your welcome experience even better for future visitors.
1. Printed Church Materials
While these shouldn't be the only thing in your church welcome packet, they're still essential to include as part of your church visitor gifts.
Some ideas for printed church materials include:
- A welcome brochure.
- A coupon to a church or faith-based store.
- Information on ministry activities.
- A church schedule.
- A card detailing the next steps for new visitors to take.
- Church connection cards.
Make sure to include information for adults, teens, kids and seniors in your church welcome materials. Meeting someone in their age group will be a massive help in making new visitors feel welcome.
2. Gift Cards
Gift cards are an excellent gift for new visitors because they're often hungry or thirsty after your worship service ends. This is especially true of the most popular service times: between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m.
This way, you can also support local businesses. Plus, if your church visitors are new in town, you'll help them find some new coffee shops and restaurants they'll be sure to love.
When it comes to church visitors, gift cards can be used for various things. For example, you could give a gift card to a local restaurant so the church visitor can have dinner with others in the church community. Or, you could provide them with a gift card to a local store that supports a good cause.
If the church has its own store, you could also include a gift card for it in your welcome package.
Another gift card idea is to give new visitors a gas card. For some individuals and families, getting to church can be costly. Not only will a gas card help them feel taken care of, but they'll be able to come to church more often.
Don't forget to personalize the gift card by writing a message inside a church card or church envelope.
3. Coffee Mugs
Coffee mugs are among the most practical and treasured options for church visitor gifts.
These are also affordable to get custom branded with your church logo or the name of your church. One of the best things about this gift is that you can choose between so many colors and sizes. Because of this, you shouldn't have much trouble finding a mug that fits with your church's branding and colors.
If you don't want to get coffee mugs, you could also offer water bottles, stainless steel cups and tumblers.
Plus, whenever the person drinks from the mug, they'll think of your church and the good time they had when they visited. This will encourage them to come back and attend another service.
Mugs are also fun to package the other gifts in your welcome package. For example, you could put gift cards or food items like candy in the mug for a beautiful presentation.
4. Food Items
When it comes to church visitor gifts, food items are always a hit.
But not just any food item will do. You need to find food items that are free of common allergens.
Some great church visitor gift ideas that fit these criteria are:
- Fruit baskets.
- Baked goods.
- Coffee and tea.
- Jam and preserves.
This is also another great way to support local businesses. Plus, a gift of a few local items will help those new in town feel more welcome. To save money on these gifts, you could include church advertisements in your bulletin or newsletter. Local business are often more willing to give free product away in exchange for some sort of sponsorship or ad.
Giving access to your bulletin or church newsletter might be enough to entice them. An advertisement in the bulletin will cost you very little in effort or money.
And, a link from your church newsletter webpage could help the local business's SEO. Backlinks from other websites aren't easy to come by for businesses, yet they are the most important factor for improving their website's rankings on Google.
Books are great for first time church visitor gifts. While you have many options here, you want to remember two things: make the book relevant and accessible.
For example, you don't want to give single people a copy of a children's book. This is why it's a good idea to have a few different church welcome packets: one for adults, one for kids and maybe one for teens.
A thoughtful gift for families is to give them children's Christian storybooks or picture books. For adults, you can gift popular Christian books like How Good Is Good Enough by Andy Stanley. Meanwhile, devotionals make great gifts for teens and young adults alike.
You can also gift new members a copy of the Bible in the translation that the pastor uses. This will help them with Bible study as they continue to attend your church.
6. Scripture Cards
Scripture cards make great church visitor gifts because they are personal and can be used for encouragement.
When visitors receive scripture cards of Bible verses, they know that they are loved and supported by the church community.
There are many different options to choose from when it comes to scripture cards. For example, you could give a church visitor a card with a Bible verse on it. Or, you could provide a church visitor with a card that has a short prayer on it.
7. Movie Night Coupons
Gifting popcorn and movie night to new visitors is a caring way to help them have fun while making them feel like they belong to your church community.
This is also a fun church visitor gifts for families, as going out to the movies can get expensive with families larger than four.
You can gift them coupons for popcorn and a movie at the local theater. A more affordable alternative is to buy some movie rental codes from Redbox, Amazon, iTunes or Google Play.
All these platforms let you rent movies, and families can watch them from the comfort of their own homes.
Like coffee mugs, t-shirts are another practical gift that every family member can use. There are many affordable custom printing shops that will let you choose the color, fabric and design of your shirt.
You can design the t-shirts with your church logo on them. On the back of the shirt, you could include your church's motto or some wise words from your pastor.
If you don't want to brand the t-shirt with your church logo, you can put a Bible verse or short prayer on the shirt.
Remember that custom t-shirts are often much cheaper if you order in bulk and still make excellent church visitor gifts. To save on your budget, pick a gender-neutral color like red and try to estimate how many shirts you'll need for your first order!
9. Drawstring Bags
Large backpacks can get pricey, but custom drawstring bags are affordable and practical.
These are perfect for kids as the bags are easy to wash and adjust to different heights. Drawstring bags are also an excellent lightweight option for adults who only need to put an extra sweater and keys in a bag.
Plus, you can put all your church welcome materials in the drawstring bag. This makes it easy for people to take them home when they leave.
You can design the drawstring bag with your church's logo, a picture or a Bible verse. When making your design, keep in mind that it should be small enough to be visible after the bag is filled and closed.
10. Writing Materials and Stationery
Church visitors will love receiving writing materials and stationery as gifts. They can use these items every day to write down their thoughts and prayers.
There are many different types of writing materials and stationery that you could give as church visitor gifts. For example, you could give new visitors a journal, a notepad, pens or a box of stationery.
Add your church letterhead to stationery like journals and notepads for a more professional look.
Writing materials and stationery make for a thoughtful and personal welcome gift no matter which option you choose.
11. Activities for Kids
Aside from picture books, there are a few items you can give to families with kids that come to your church for the first time. This is another reason you want to create at least two types of welcome packets—one for kids and one for adults.
When selecting church activities for kids, it's important to choose fun and engaging activities. You also want to select activities that will help kids learn more about God.
For a budget-friendly option, you could include a package of crayons or markers. Combine these with printable Christian Kids' Activities or coloring pages for fun church visitor gifts. Other ideas include coloring books and maybe even a tiny toy.
12. A Sample Sermon
When new visitors come to your church, they might not know what a church service is like. This can be especially true if they are visiting from another church.
Including a sample sermon on a CD or USB flash drive is a great way to help church visitors understand your church's culture and services. You could also give them a card with a link to an online recording of a church sermon.
The sample sermon can introduce first time guest church visitors to the service format. It also shows them the type of music that will be sung and help them see if they'll connect to your church's sermons.
Sample sermons can also be a great way to introduce church visitors to different Bible passages.
13. Stickers or Decals
Stickers and decals are among the most cost-effective church marketing strategies. They also make valuable church visitor gifts.
The great thing about stickers is that you can design them yourself and print them for an affordable price. You can also personalize one set of stickers for kids and one for adults.
Like t-shirts and printed bags, you can choose to make stickers with your church logo. Or, you can design bigger stickers with Bible verses printed on them. Car stickers and window decals are excellent choices for this option.
Stickers and decals are also great for helping new members feel like they're already a part of your church community.
One of the best ways to welcome new members into your church is to help them meet new people.
In your church welcome bag, you could give new members an invitation to come to a small church breakfast or brunch, or any other church event.
This would be an excellent opportunity for a new member to meet the pastor, meet other church members and ask questions.
For families, you could include invitations to youth church groups and children's programs. These will help every family member connect with other church members and join the community naturally.
Get All the Materials You Need to Welcome Church Visitors
We’ve built a complete kit of templates to help you get started on building a comprehensive welcome packet for newcomers. Download our free church welcome kit to get...
- 8 church connection card templates.
- Church verse & quote cards for your welcome packets.
- 40 amazing welcome quotes to use in your printed material.
- Free welcome message templates for visitors and new members.