That’s why it’s fundamentally important to have open lines of communication with your church members.
It all starts with your first impression: the church welcome letter. And it continues for as long as your members receive your weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annual newsletter.
How you communicate with your church members is vital for building and maintaining relationships.
Make sure you’re sending out the right letters at the right times!
From A-Z, here are the top nine types of church communication letter. Click on any of these links to learn all about each one:
Letters To START
Letters To CONTINUE and GROW
Letters for CERTAIN OCCASIONS
#1. Church welcome letter
Visiting a strange church for the first time can be awkward, maybe even a little intimidating for some.
To make sure that your potential new members feel as welcomed as possible, you should have a “Welcome to [Your Church Name]” letter on hand 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.
Welcome letters serve simply to welcome.
You can provide contact information for your church leadership so that they may reach out with any questions or concerns they may have.
THE BOTTOM LINE: Craft a meaningful welcome letter that you have on-hand for any newcomers to your church.
#2. Letter of invitation
Letters of invitation can be one of three things:
- A formal invitation to become an official member of the church
- An invitation to an event
- An informal invitation to come to church more often
A Formal Invitation to Become an Official Member of the Church
Obviously, a more formal invitation to join your church’s ministry will entail providing a significant amount of additional information to supplement the letter.
On the whole, however, your one-page invitation letter can be kept short and sweet.
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 it all about how they can benefit from joining your ministry.
A formal invitation to join the church is not the time or place to talk about donations or major projects. Communicate that you’d like them to be a part of your church’s warm and welcoming family.
An Invitation to an Event
Church invitation letters are also the perfect way to let existing church members know about upcoming events.
Everyone loves to feel like they’ve been invited to the party.
An Informal Invitation to Come to Church More Often
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.
THE BOTTOM LINE: There are three main letters of invitation, and each one will help your church grow and strengthen its relationships.
#3. Letter to inactive members
Unlike the quick letter of invitation you can send out after a few weeks, 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 re-ignite 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.
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 is sent when an important change has been made (or is about to be made).
The most common type of letter of announcement comes about when a church has a new pastor.
Your church may choose to send out a letter to announce that you’re about to have a major change, like a new pastor, or you may wait until after the pastor has come aboard.
In the second scenario, it’s common to have the new pastor (or new member of the leadership team) send out the letter themselves.Your church may also choose to send out announcement letters when:
- There is a baptism the following Sunday.
- There is a wedding between two of the church’s members.
- There are some changes being made to the structure of the service (time changes, new speakers, etc.).
- There are changes being made to the church itself (new building, new playground, etc.).
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 2-7 days to get where it’s going.
THE BOTTOM LINE: Letters of announcement help your congregation feel included in your church’s major events.
#5. Missionary letter
Okay, yes, we know. This was also mentioned in Types of Church Fundraising Letters.
But missionary letters are also 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 that their fellow worshippers are accomplishing abroad.
These messages not only might inspire more of your members to take up that challenge for themselves, they’re also just inspiring to read in and of themselves.
It can be easy to forget how amazing our lives here in the US are.
Missionary letters remind us of this truth and encourage us to give back within our own communities.
Of course, you won’t want to send out missionary letters too often.
THE BOTTOM LINE: Keep your church members informed about its missionaries to provide hope and perspective.
#6. Newsletter to members
A well-designed church newsletter can be a fantastic way to inform the congregation about current 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.Some fun ideas to include in your church’s newsletter are:
- Picking a verse of the month.
- Including pictures.
- Designing an inspiring template.
- Featuring a letter from a different church leader each month.
The best church newsletters are short and to the point, but they also include enough engaging material to keep the readership interested.
As long as you keep a certain amount of your newsletter’s content consistent, you can feel free to experiment and spice your newsletters up with fresh ideas.
Your churchgoers will soon come to expect (and anticipate) certain columns that you write each month. Perhaps you’ll feature a piece written by a different youth group member each issue, and that will be your mainstay.
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.
#7. Church Letter of Recommendation
A church letter of recommendation can help your church’s members:
- Get into the college of their dreams.
- Snag that promotion they’ve been after.
- Obtain admittance to a particular program.
- And more!
So how do you help them out?Here’s a step-by-step recipe for the perfect recommendation letter:
- Determine the purpose of the letter. Is it for work, for school, or for some extracurricular activity?
- Compile a list of the person’s positive skills and personality traits.
- Highlight the traits that make the most sense for the purpose of the letter.
- Include specific stories that exemplify these traits.
THE BOTTOM LINE: Crafting the perfect letter of recommendation is easy and intuitive when you follow the steps (and add your own flavors to the mix!).
#8. Letter of Transfer
Life is completely unpredictable.
Sometimes, unforeseen circumstances force congregation members to change jobs, move, what-have-you.
In those cases, 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.
#9. Church Letter of Resignation
Once again, life has twists and turns that no one can see coming.
Sadly, some 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:
- Be sincere and honest.
- Express your gratitude for the opportunity you’ve been afforded.
- Offer to help in any way you can until you officially resign.
- Thank your pastor once again for his or her time.
If you need a little help planning out your transition, make 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!
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