Launch Pad 18: The Welcome Pack (That Goes the Extra Mile!)

Imagine you arrive in your new home in your new town. You have moved there for work and you don’t yet know anybody. You don’t know your way around the town, nor where to get a take-away. On your to-do list are things such as ‘find out what clubs there are for the kids in this neighbourhood’, ‘find a decorator’ and ‘meet some people’.

Then imagine that through your letterbox arrives a “Welcome to the Area!” pack, put together by the church down the street. Attractively presented, it contains a map, a guide to all kinds of local services, such as the swimming pool and bus routes, and other helpful local info. It’s a lovely, timely and thoughtful gift.

Look more closely and the pack also contains information about the church’s ‘Parent and Toddlers’ group, the Marriage Course, community cafe, hillwalking group and counselling service. It also adds: ‘If you have questions about life but have never known where to ask them, or who to discuss them with, we hold an Alpha course in your street on Thursday evenings. Phone Dave and Pam to find out more, or join us at church on Sunday mornings at 10:30.’

A church welcome pack is not a new idea. For years many churches have offered something to new people as they move into the area. However, the traditional pack is aimed squarely at Christians, often telling them a bit about the church’s history, how to join a Bible study group, the process of becoming a church member, and how to volunteer for various projects, (one even had a direct debit form to support the church financially!!) All these things are useful.

But what about getting your church to extend that principle to focus instead on the needs of those who do not yet have faith or any contact with the church?

You’ll need someone to take responsibility for designing, printing and keeping the information up to date, and your church members to keep an eye out for the “For Sale” boards changing to “Sold” before dropping off a pack. If you live in a student town, you could work with your local Christian Union to have something ready every September for the annual wave of incomers too.

Pray: Lord, help us to find ways to connect with and welcome people from outside the church.

Previously: Launch Pad #17 Hold A Community Barbeque

Next: Launch Pad #19 Leaflet Your Community