Communication is key.
That’s why it’s fundamentally important to have open lines of communication with your church members. How you communicate with your congregation is vital for building and maintaining relationships.
The following church letters are for common scenarios that your church is likely to come across. From new-member welcome letters to announcements to your congregation, your church letters say a great deal about your church itself. It’s important to get the message right.
Use this guide whenever your church is communicating through the written word—which is probably pretty often!
Regardless of the reason for your church letter, here are some best practices to follow.
Church Management Tips: First, Have the Basics in Place.
Church letters are all about connecting with your congregation and community. Before you begin sending them out, lay a strong foundation for those connections.
A great place to start is with software that will help you grow support for your church. Church donations software provides a free way for you to accept donations and tithes through the most popular giving method there is: online donations.
It takes just a few minutes to set up online donations at your church through a platform like the one we offer here at Snowball Fundraising. Once you have it in place, your congregants will have an easy way to tithe, either once or on a recurring basis. They’ll connect with your church, as well as with other congregants through your online donation page’s comments section and social media sharing buttons. (Here’s what we mean.)
There are plenty of free technologies out there, but we recommend looking for one with the following features:
There are a few reasons why it’s good to have your church software in place before you start sending out the following letters. First, you’ll probably want to include your church’s website somewhere on the letter, such as in the header or footer. If you already have your online donation page featured on your website, letter recipients will know exactly where they can go to support your church.
Additionally, all church communications letters share something in common: They’re fundamentally about engaging with church members and friends. But engagement should not end as soon as the letter does. Readers should have the option to continue the relationship. Online donations are a wonderful way to build long-term relationships that will help your church continue to do good things for the community.
If your church doesn’t have free online donation software yet, take a couple of minutes to set it up.
Once you have the basics in place, it’s time to start typing! As you do, remember these writing tips:
Here are the top nine types of church communication letter. Click on any of these links to learn all about each one:
Are you ready to get started? We are!
Visiting a strange church for the first time can be awkward, and maybe even a little intimidating for some.
To make sure that your potential new members feel as welcome as possible, you should have a “Welcome to [Your Church Name]” letter onhand to send out.
If your visitors are willing to write down their address on the comment card and toss it into the collection plate, you can bet that they’ll appreciate a nice, timely, personalized letter signed by your pastor.
The key to writing a meaningful welcome letter is to start off by acknowledging their bravery or adventurousness in coming to this past Sunday’s service.
Next, you’ll want to thank them for choosing to worship with you, and tell them that you hope they’ll return.
A church welcome letter is not the time to ask them to formally join your church. Nor is it the proper place for a fundraising mention. Church fundraising letters come later.
Welcome letters serve simply to welcome.
Provide contact information for your church leadership, so visitors can reach out with any questions or concerns. Be sure to wrap up your welcome letter with a warm and sincere “thank you.”
THE BOTTOM LINE: Craft a meaningful welcome letter to have onhand for any newcomers to your church.
Letters of invitation can be one of three things:
When you send out a formal invitation to join your church, you want to make sure that you don’t overwhelm your potential new member. The best way to accomplish this is by making your letter all about how they can benefit from joining your ministry.
Your one-page invitation letter should be short and sweet. Communicate that you’d like the new member to be a part of your church’s warm and welcoming family.
Church invitation letters are also the perfect way to let existing church members know about upcoming events. After all, everyone loves to feel as though they’ve been invited to the party!
Before sending out an event invitation, make sure your church’s events software is set up to take RSVPs and sell tickets (if applicable). Some online donation systems also have ticketing as an available feature, so you don’t have to install or manage a separate system.
The final type of invitation letter is just a gentle reminder to come to church more frequently. Slightly different from the letter to inactive members, the letter of invitation to come to church can be sent out after a shorter amount of time.
It’s basically a friendly, “Hope to see you again soon!”
THE BOTTOM LINE: There are three main letters of invitation, and each one will help your church grow and strengthen its relationships.
A letter to an inactive member usually signals that a member hasn’t been to church in a few months.
Having to send out a letter to an inactive member is not a cause for concern by any means. In fact, it’s an opportunity to engage in a new way.
Think of it as a chance to reach out to an old friend with whom you’ve lost contact.
You were close once; you can reignite that fire. All it takes is a spark. Your kind and inspiring words could very well be that spark.
We all walk different paths in life, and you never know what causes someone to wander off. Perhaps your inactive members are experiencing tough times, and they’re just not sure if the church would understand their trials.
Reassure them in your letter that you’re there for whatever guidance they may need at this point in their journey. Remind them that your church community is there to care for and support its members. You may wish to include examples of some of the amazing work your church has done lately.
BOTTOM LINE: Writing a letter to your inactive members is just another way to show your church’s members that you genuinely care about them.#4. Letter of Announcement
Typically, a letter of announcement lets congregants know about a major change at your church.
Typically, a letter of announcement lets congregants know about a major change at your church.
You may choose to send out a letter to announce that you’re about to have a major change, or you may wait until after the change has been made.
The most common type of letter of announcement occurs when a church has a new pastor. If the letter goes out after the new pastor has joined your church, it’s common to have them send out the letter themselves.
Your church may also choose to send out announcement letters when:
When you’re planning to send out your letters of announcement, make sure you give your letters enough time to reach everyone. Mail can take anywhere from two to seven days to get where it’s going.
For urgent announcements, you may want to send out an email, in addition to paper correspondence.
Do you have text-based tithing at your church? If so—and we definitely recommend it!—you can include your text-to-tithe phone number in the letterhead of your mailed letter, or in the footer of your email. Although announcement letters are not the place for fundraising, it’s perfectly appropriate to remind congregants that your church accepts tithes sent via online donations and text messages.
THE BOTTOM LINE: Letters of announcement help your congregation feel included in your church’s major events.
Missionary letters are vital forms of communication for your church. When they’re not seeking charitable donations to keep their projects afloat, your church’s missionaries should be crafting letters with updates for your other members to read.
It’s important that you keep your church’s members informed about the work their fellow worshippers are accomplishing abroad.
These messages not only might inspire your members to take up that challenge, they’re also inspiring to read in and of themselves.
It can be easy to forget how our lives here in the US compare with the rest of the world. Missionary letters remind us of this and encourage us to give back within our own communities.
Of course, you won’t want to send out missionary letters too often. To keep their effectiveness high, only send out missionary letters when there are major updates to share.
THE BOTTOM LINE: Keep your church members informed about its missionaries to provide hope and perspective.
A well-designed church newsletter can be a fantastic way to inform the congregation about church events.
Not only is it a great place to showcase what’s already happened, but it’s also a perfect platform for displaying upcoming exciting events. You can send out print newsletters, email newsletters, or both!
Some fun ideas to include in your church’s newsletter are:
Your newsletter is also an excellent way to spread the word about church events and fundraisers.
The best church newsletters are short and to the point, but they also include enough engaging material to keep the readership interested.
Your churchgoers will soon come to expect (and anticipate) certain features each month. For instance, you might include a piece written by a different youth group member each issue, and that will be your mainstay.
As long as you keep a certain amount of your newsletter’s content consistent, feel free to experiment and spice up your newsletters with fresh ideas. Two things that should always be included are your church’s contact information and text-to-tithe phone number.
However you choose to format your church’s newsletter, your congregation will be sure to appreciate being in the know.
THE BOTTOM LINE: In order to maintain a solid line of communication with your church members, you should be sending out newsletters on a consistent basis.
A church letter of recommendation can help your church’s members:
So how do you help them out?
Here’s a step-by-step recipe for the perfect recommendation letter:
THE BOTTOM LINE: Crafting the perfect letter of recommendation is easy and intuitive when you follow the above steps (and add your own flavors to the mix!).
Life is completely unpredictable.
Sometimes, unforeseen circumstances force congregation members to change jobs, move, what-have-you.
In those instances, many churchgoers will put in a request to transfer their membership to another branch of the same church (or an entirely different church, depending).
When a request like that comes through, a church must be prepared to send out a letter of transfer.
If the transfer is within the same denomination, the process should be quite simple. Transfers between denominations are slightly more complicated.
THE BOTTOM LINE: Have a letter of transfer template prepared for the eventuality of one of your members needing to change churches.
Once again, life has twists and turns that no one can see coming.
Sadly, sometimes extenuating circumstances force church leadership to resign their positions.
When this happens, your church leadership will likely hand in a letter of resignation.
If you’re in need of a few tips for writing your own letter of resignation, keep these in mind:
If you need a little help planning out your transition, be sure to check out our guide on church management.
THE BOTTOM LINE: Resignation letters are difficult to write, but you can make them more painless with the help of these four tips.
Keeping in contact with your church is one of the most important things you can do for your congregation. We hope this article has given you some good ideas for maintaining those relationships!
Here at Snowball, we’ve helped thousands of churches grow their online and text-based donations. And we’ve learned from each and every one of them. Below are some resources we’ve put together to help your church grow too.
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