Part of showing the love of Jesus to those who walk through the doors of our churches is to welcome them. If they don’t feel welcomed, are we really showing our love adequately enough? Unfortunately, despite this importance, giving a church welcome speech is neither easier said nor done.
After all, church welcome speeches can come off as awkward, forgettable, or even forced. They don’t always make good on their intended purpose and I’ve seen this in the past at churches I attended. That said, church welcome speeches are nonetheless necessary for turning new members into regulars. To help you with this, I’ve come up with some simple but effective examples in this guide.
- What Is A Church Welcome Speech?
- What Should A Church Welcome Speech Include?
- Church Welcome Speech Examples
- Church Welcome Ideas
- What Is A Good Closing For A Welcome Speech?
What Is A Church Welcome Speech?
A church welcome speech is the greeting you give onstage at every church service you do. Most churches I’ve ever been to have this welcome speech in some form or another, so it is possible that you already have one at your church.
Regardless, a good welcome speech is exactly what it sounds like: a moment during your service in which you greet the congregation. The key here is introducing your church to any newcomers that day and making them feel, well, welcome. It is a flexible feature of your service, being as elaborate or simple as you want it to be.
Some churches have major speeches that go over quite a lot while others just say hello and good morning to the first-time guests and the existing members and leave it at that. This range, of course, can be confusing and daunting for some.
Why Is It Important To Have A Welcome Speech?
Without a church welcome speech, you are essentially leaving your prospective new church members hanging without any introduction to your Christian community. They will know nothing about your church, who the pastor is, and what to expect from the service.
But even more important than that, a warm welcome speech is necessary for showing the love of the Lord Jesus Christ. At its core, a church should be the spiritual home of everyone (see the bible verse Ephesians 2:19-22). Would you ever let someone enter your home, especially someone you don’t know well, without saying hi, greeting them, and getting to know them?
I sure hope you wouldn’t and the spiritual home known as the church should be the same. The welcome speech is exactly how you start out your service on the right foot and show the loving, Holy Spirit-led environment that your church is.
This loving welcome speech is there to not only greet the special guests but to, hopefully, show that this is the new home church for them. If they don’t feel the love or passion from your church through a proper welcome segment, chances are the church visitors won’t return to hear it again.
When Should You Give a Church Welcome Speech?
Now, this may seem rather odd but the timing of your church welcome speech is actually more crucial than you realize. This is a welcome message so it should come, understandably, near the beginning of the service.
Though most churches get this, I have been in a lengthy Sunday service before where it was unnecessarily done more than half an hour into the service. This is a huge chunk into the schedule to the point where it is hard to clarify it as a welcome greeting. Other than that, though, it’s rather flexible on when you should give the welcome address.
Some churches will do it the moment that church starts and kick off with that, which is fine, especially if you want a shorter speech. Others will play a song or two in worship before giving a welcome speech and then kicking it back to the worship team. This is what I prefer, personally, as it strikes the right balance and ebb and flow of the service without being too long.
Still, others will wait until after worship is completely finished, but this runs the risk of waiting too long to greet everyone. But as long as the speech is effective, loving, God-filled, and unique, the timing is ultimately up to whatever works best for your church. Feel free to test out different methods, too.
What Is The Best Way To Welcome Someone To Church?
Before you can ever greet your guests on the stage, there is the actual act of welcoming your guests into the service in the first place. There are a few ways to do this, but, in general, the more, the merrier. One thing to note, though, is that new guests are likely to be anxious and concerned about this new environment, so always practice restraint and flexibility when necessary.
For instance, it’s awesome to have special designated parking spaces for new visitors to your church close to the doors. Then at those doors, have friendly and passionate greeters who will lovingly welcome them to church. Also, have a welcome desk for visitors to answer any questions about the kids ministry, where the restrooms are, and so on.
Just make sure not to be forceful in any of these. Offer your services and help, but know when to lay off if the person seems apprehensive or closed off. If they are receptive, though, feel free to have your volunteers and deacons show them to some great seats in the sanctuary. All of these will compound and transition nicely to the later welcome speech.
What Should A Church Welcome Speech Include?
The scariest part about a church welcome speech is how much it can include or exclude, depending on your preferences and needs. At the very bare minimum, it’s a simple hello and greeting for everyone who came to church today with a quick note for newcomers.
But on the other end of the spectrum, there can be interactive questions, activities, announcements about what’s coming up, teases for the sermon, prayer, offering, next steps, and so on. A church welcome speech can be jam-packed with information and features, so it is up to you to figure out what works best for your church.
Church Welcome Speech Examples
Given how varied welcome speeches can be, I thought I’d give you a few different examples that I really appreciate, plus my own personal speech that I use at my local church.
First off, I adore this welcome speech that comes from Miracle Temple Baptist Church. I apologize for the low video quality, but I adore the heartfelt greeting here. It is so lovely, loving, and professional. You get a little bit of personality from the greeter plus some useful information about the church in a succinct manner.
Secondly, there is this speech from Pastor Matthew Barnett at my previous church, Angelus Temple. It starts around the 18:05 mark and goes for a few minutes after worship. What I love here is the referencing back to the worship songs that were just sung and the testimony from a church member whose life was changed. It gives a nice introduction to the lead pastor and a glimpse of what the church is all about.
For the third example, there is this example of a welcome speech from Bethel Church for the first couple of minutes of this live-streamed worship service video.
It’s impactful with a quick testimony from what happened with a church member’s recent healing, it gives some quick details about announcements about baptism, and gives the opportunity to greet your neighbor to get to know them. Altogether, a pretty standard look at a welcome speech.
My Personal Welcome Speech Example and Tips
Lastly, there is my own speech that I use. To be clear, I work primarily in kids and youth ministries, so I am all about energy and having fun. That said, this is crucial to adult church services, too, as they want to feel engaged and interested in what you have to say. You could use this as a template of sorts for creating your own speech.
Usually, I will start out by saying hello to everyone at church and encouraging them to stand up if they feel comfortable for worship. After the first lively worship song, I will come back and do the proper speech. This is where I will ask how everyone’s week was, say that I hope they are excited for church, etc.
During the speech, don’t forget to always use eye contact with everyone in the crowd (the stage lights can make that tough, but try at least) during this speech, too.
I will then throw in a special welcome for our new visitors. I’ll give them a quick rundown of our church, maybe what’s coming up next, and some next steps. This could be a welcome desk we have that they can visit after church if they’d like for a free small gift like a shirt or gift card, and include a form in their church bulletin that they can fill out with their information if they want.
Then at this point, there will be a small fun activity that we’ll do like maybe some trivia, a random giveaway of a shirt, prayer for some needs in the church, and then some announcements. The key here is to end it nicely and then transition to either more worship songs or someone else to lead the offering and the sermon. This may sound like a lot but it should be no more than three or four minutes in length.
Church Welcome Ideas
The entire experience of welcoming a new church member starts from the moment they see the church name on the sign and pull into your church grounds. Everything from the signs that they see to the parking spots that are available to the greeters at the entrances should be tailored to show love and passion.
There are so many different ideas you could use from the hype level you give off to which church leaders actually give the welcome speech in the first place. There are a lot of possible ideas, which is why I previously covered 15 main church welcome ideas and tips that I think can help to elevate the church service experience for newcomers, whether it’s Easter or a normal Sunday morning.
What Is A Good Closing For A Welcome Speech?
It’s not just about how well you start but how well you finish, too. There are a few different ways to end your welcome speech, and it comes down to how your church is set up. Here is a short list of a few conclusion ideas I have for you:
- End your church welcome speech by leading into worship songs
- Have a prayer, possibly for the service as a whole or any needs with the congregation
- Offer next steps for newcomers, such as a provided lunch after service, free gift, or meeting with the lead pastor
- Transition to the next person to come on stage, perhaps for the sermon or tithing
- Tease the theme for today’s sermon
- Provide announcements about what’s coming up in the next few weeks like an exciting church event or special church program
- Encourage first-time guests to fill out one of the connect cards
Communication Is Always Key
Communication is at the heart of everything that we do as a church body. The church speech for first-time visitors is a clearer example of communication at work in the church service, but there is so much more to it than just that. Communication is both a verbal and non-verbal area you should focus heavily on.
For instance, there is the aforementioned church bulletin that you pass out or sermon notes for what the pastor is preaching on. These areas need to swiftly communicate ideas and what’s happening in the church in effective ways. Find out more info about how to do just that with Alexandria Schmidt’s free church communication plan template.