ARTICLE – Welcoming Church Guests and Visitors: Dos and Don’ts

A fundamental aspect of evangelization is welcoming visitors and guests into the parish. This first impression sets the tone for the rest of their time in the church and will usually not be forgotten. The art of greeting is more than just a customary gesture; it embodies the values of hospitality, acceptance, and love. When this gesture is extended genuinely and with warmth, the parish not only makes newcomers feel valued but also ignites within them a desire to return, fostering a sense of belonging and connection.


  1. Make sure greeters look for visitors and are friendly, welcoming, and helpful to them in particular.
  2. Install clear signage throughout the church premises to help visitors navigate and find their way around.
  3. Provide a comprehensive visitor’s packet containing information about the parish, its programs, and its core beliefs.
  4. Establish a welcoming center or information desk where visitors can freely seek assistance and answers to their questions.
  5. Follow up with visitors after their first visit with a phone call or letter thanking them for coming and inviting them to return.
  6. Actively encourage parish members to introduce themselves to visitors and invite them to join them during the service.
  7. Maintain a clean and comfortable environment that fosters a conducive atmosphere for worship and prayer.


  1. Don’t ignore visitors or make them feel unwelcome.
  2. Don’t assume that visitors know what to do or where to go.
  3. Don’t use insider language or assume that visitors understand church culture.
  4. Don’t pressure visitors to make a commitment or join the church.
  5. Don’t make visitors feel uncomfortable or embarrassed.
  6. Don’t neglect to follow up with visitors after their first visit.
  7. Don’t forget to thank visitors for coming and invite them to return.

By implementing these practices, parishes can create a great welcoming environment that makes visitors feel valued and want to return.

Pierre-Alain Giffard

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