How do you communicate, "Welcome"?

For over 30 years in the local church I think I’ve seen almost every thing imaginable to communicate, “Welcome” to someone. But the question that comes to mind is do the things we “do” really “say”, welcome.

Here are a few things I’ve seen that span the gamut: (this list doesn’t mean I agree with them, only that I’ve seen them.)

  • Name tags for greeters w/ ribbons that read, “welcome”.
  • Lady greeters wearing mums w/ ribbons that read, “welcome”.
  • Stick-on name tags that read, “welcome”.
  • Magnetic name tags for greeters.
  • Lanyards for greeters that read, “welcome”.
  • Bulletin wording on the inside cover, “welcome to ______”.
  • Signs along the roadway onto a church campus
  • Banners hung around a campus
  • Billboards in the community that read, “You are welcome at _____ Church.”
  • Painted murals on church facility that have a welcome message.
  • Guest tags to be worn by visitors (red rose sticker for ones lapel…)
  • Having guests stand and be recognized in a service.
  • Having guests raise their hands in a service.
  • Having a member introduce a guest in a service.
  • Holding a reception for guests following the service time.
  • Electronic kiosks with maps of the campus.
  • Welcome Center with “Welcome Packets”
  • Website video directionals of how to get around the campus.
  • Plasma screens hung throughout the facility with upcoming events/schedules/ongoing services, etc…
  • Website, “welcomes from the pastor” (text, video, pod cast, etc…)
  • Response Cards used in the service for free CD of the days service.
  • Hospitality Room where guests can speak to a Pastor or Lay Leader following the service.

This is not an exhaustive list by any means. In fact, I’d love to hear from you on things you’ve seen, done, are doing, or think we need to do.

Let me submit this question to our “coaching network”.

“What is your perception of what makes someone feel welcome on the church campus?”

Click “comments” below to share your insight with the network.

© Kerry R. Mackey, All Rights Reserved


  1. Your question to the coaches seems to be focussed on those faith communities who have a “church campus”. We have been a mobile church for the last 13 years, since inception. I think our challenges for welcoming newcomers are heightened than for those who have their own physical plant. E.g. Rick Warren wrote a great article Six Physical Factors that affect your Worship Service . One factor is lighting. We are not able to open up the windows of the gymnasium in which we meet – no windows. So we have to figure out ways to welcome people in our mobile setting – as do thousands of other churches who roll all their paraphanalia in every week and then roll it out.
    Germane to your question, my opinion and experience from talking to people, is that visitors, particularly unchurches ones, do not like having the spotlight on them. A private welcome, preferably from someone who is not doing it because it’s their “job” will increase a sense of comfort and welcome among visitors.

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