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First Time Guest Gifts: What Churches Need to Know

If you have a dedicated space with clear signage and volunteers present, first-time guests will be better able to identify where they need to go. But whatever you do, make sure this location is easy to find and not tucked away in a dark corner of your worship space.

One final point:

Don’t ask your guests to raise their hand or stand up during your worship service to get their gift.

For the vast majority of people, this is uncomfortable and making this request is arguably the number one way to drive away your guests. If you didn’t know, now consider yourself informed.

5 examples of first-time guest gifts

Not sure what your first-time gift should be? The ideas below will help you to get started.

Feel free to use these examples or come up with your own.

Regardless of what gift you give, remember that whatever you choose, it should help you do these three things:

  1. Show people you care
  2. Get contact information
  3. Follow up later

If the gifts you choose accomplish these goals, then go for it!

Whatever gift you give, make sure it’s also something you think your visitors will like and that it’s relevant. For example, providing a gift to first-time guests with children may look different than a gift you will give a single person or grandparent.

In the meantime, here are five first-time guest gift ideas for you to consider:

#1. Book

The sky’s the limit with the type of book you can give away.

Sharing copies of the Bible, The Jesus Storybook Bible for families, or seasonal books related to Christmas or Easter are all viable options.

With the book you give, keep this in mind:

Make sure it’s relevant and accessible.

Giving everyone a copy of a children’s book may cause some blowback, and giving someone a book fit for a seminary class isn’t the best idea, either.

#2. Gift card

Do you know what most people feel after your worship service?

Hungry or tired.

Not because your service is long or boring. Since 10:00 AM is the most popular start time for Sunday services, most people will be ready for a bite to eat or a little coffee afterward.

With this in mind, consider giving your visitors a gift card to a local restaurant or coffee shop.

#3. Coffee mug or tumbler

Did you know that 64 percent of Americans drink a cup of coffee every day?

Did you know that tea can be found in 80 percent of American households?

These stats may sound random, but here’s the point:

A coffee mug or tumbler is an excellent choice for a gift.

There’s a chance someone won’t appreciate this gesture, but we don’t talk to people who don’t drink coffee, so that’s OK (just kidding).

#4. Local item

Is there a small gift from a local business you can provide?

Not only will this gesture support local businesses in your community, but it’s also a way to share something heartfelt from your town that people will enjoy.

#5. Food

We’ll admit:

Giving away food can be tricky.

Since nearly 15 million Americans have food allergies, you’ll need to give away basic food, such as:

  • Desserts
  • Popcorn
  • Jams/Jellies
  • Coffee
  • Hot Chocolate
  • Tea

Speaking of popcorn, you can pair this treat with a gift card to Redbox, Amazon or iTunes to create a movie night experience for your visitors.

Giving gifts

If you’re just considering first-time guest gifts, then we encourage you to start small.

Don’t spend a ton of money at first.

Test out different ideas.

See what resonates with people.

Remember, whatever gift you give is not only about making your first-time guests feel comfortable, it’s also about leading them to get connected and ultimately about placing your church in a better position to share the gospel.

This article originally appeared here.