Getting a shy child to visit your children’s ministry can take some coaxing but I don’t like forcing anyone to attend. I find that giving out welcome packs breaks the ice and provides me with the opportunity to introduce myself (and the rest of the gang.) Mostly my welcome packs go to kids that visit big church but are afraid to leave their parents but sometimes an unsure child will enter my doors and I find them to be a good icebreaker then too.
Over the past decade, I’ve used some cool presentation ideas for these nifty gifts. No matter what welcome pack I use, each contains fun items like a current kids’ church newsletter and some kids’ church bucks to redeem at the church store. (Crayons and a small prize are good to add too.)
Pizza boxes: A creative friend suggested I used pizza boxes and they worked great for as welcome gifts. I applied our logo sticker to the top of the box. I added coloring and sticker sheets then a box of crayons to the welcome pack. The pizza box makes a handy storage container for the child’s art work and a handy work desk too. They look great stacked together on the ushers’ table. You could probably pick up a pack of boxes from your local pizzeria for just a few dollars. A member of our church donated some to me from his restaurant. I loved this cool idea.
Paper bags: I’ve got some creative kids in my church! I bought a pack of 100 brown lunch bags and we got artistic. My kids created a welcome design for each bag and helped me fill them with treats. We couldn’t do it all in one day, so I split up the craft over a month. We added a note too saying “Hi!” and “Welcome!” These were fun for everyone, the kids who created them and the ones that received them.
Colored folders: When you don’t have time to fill boxes and bags, a colored folder makes a nice welcome package. The pockets make handy paper holders and you can clip a snack bag of crayons to the inside. I like putting labels on the folders too for a bit more flair. Ask kids to bring the folder back the following week to get more coloring pages. It’s a fun way to get to know your potential church members.
Canvas totes: Inexpensive tote bags make nice welcome packets too. I like buying them by the dozen from a party distributor. Little girls especially like the canvas totes but boys do too. Put a small toy, some balloons and candy in the tote. Mini coloring books and doodle pads fit snugly inside these bags.
Mini backpacks: In the fall, I use mini backpacks for my ministry welcome packets. These make a terrific back to school gift too. Stuff them with a pencil, a visitor’s information sheet and bouncing ball.
Welcome packs give timid kids a reason to check your church out and make them feel included. Take a few minutes each month to create welcome packs for your children’s church and watch your numbers grow.
Read more from Mimi by visiting her blog at Encouragement for Christians.