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By Jonathan Howe

As we’ve seen churches become more intentional about guest assimilation, many give away a small gift to guests to make an impression and to convey appreciation for their visit. If your church decides to do this (and I would recommend that you do), the gifts don’t have to be overly expensive. But they should convey that you care about the guests.
Here are four popular gifts churches give to guests and some tips for how you can maximize their usefulness:

  1. Coffee mugs or tumblers. This is probably the most common gift given to church guests. Churches typically print their logo or other information on the mug as well. If you do this, consider including the name of the church (if the logo doesn’t include it) and website on the mug to provide future reference for the guest.
  2. Gift cards. Churches typically include these in thank you notes or welcome letters to the guest. The most common amounts on the gift card are either $5 or $10. Since they arrive with the letter, the guest is more likely to read the letter to find out why they got a gift card than if it’s just a letter in an envelope.
  3. Books. These are often given out at a welcome center or guest information desk (as with coffee mugs) in exchange for a connection card. If you are going to give away a book, go with something that has a wide appeal but is focused on what you want the next step for the guest to be. I Am a Church Member has been used by several churches because it outlines the biblical basics of church membership.
  4. Cookies or bread. Baked goods are another popular guest gift because they signify caring and a personal touch. I know many churches that have teams of volunteers who collect guest cards and have goodie baskets waiting on the front doorstep of guests when they get home after Sunday service. If your church does this, be sure to include information about the church with the baked goods that are delivered. Also, be mindful of common allergies. For example, cookies with peanut butter should probably be avoided.

Does your church provide any of these to guests? Have you tried something else? What has worked best for you?

Jonathan Howe serves as Director of Strategic Initiatives at LifeWay Christian Resources as well as the host and producer of Rainer on Leadership and SBC This Week. Jonathan writes weekly at on topics ranging from social media to websites and church communications. Connect with Jonathan on Twitter at @Jonathan_Howe.

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