You may remember that years ago many towns had a Welcome Wagon program for their town. When someone moved into their town, they would receive a visit from Welcome Wagon. They were given a pie, information about city services, and coupons from businesses. I love finding ways to invite people to church, and I thought we could use the Welcome Wagon idea to reach new move-ins in our area. I contacted a company that sells address lists that include new move-ins and launched a new move-in ministry in our church.

We created a postcard that we sent to a new move-in as soon as we get the name and address. The postcard welcomes them to our community and tells them if they attend our church and present the postcard at our visitor’s center, we will give them a $5 gift card on us.

Within two weeks, we visit each new move-in and take a welcome bag to them. Each bag contains the following items.

  1. A letter from the church.
  2. Information about city services. We provide contact information on utilities, city services, and libraries.
  3. Business flyers. We contacted businesses in our area and asked them for flyers about their business that we put in the bags. The businesses were thrilled. They asked us how much it would cost them and we told them it was free. They could not believe that. Our goal was to create a relationship with the business that would turn into a friendship that would lead to an opportunity to share the Gospel with them
  4. Five homemade cookies. We asked people in the church to make cookies to put in the bags. We now have 49 women who want to do something for Christ. They are 70-80 year old women. They may have arthritis, they may not be able to knock on a door, but they are giving us “bait” as fishers of men to put in the bag. They all feel so good to get to do something for Christ. The “bait” they give us works. When we knock on a door and someone is a little grumpy and say, “I don’t want that today!” we say, “Oh, we’re just here from Lighthouse Baptist Church, and we just want to give you 5 delicious cookies.” They always take the bag. I have personally knocked on 1,300 doors, and I have had one rejection. This month we will need 4,000 cookies for the 775 homes we will visit.

The bags we use are eye-catching.  We have a print shop in town make them for us. We will have theme bags for special times like Easter and Christmas. 2,000 bags cost about $220.

We now have a team of about 75 people involved in our new move-in ministry. We have the women making the cookies, the people who assemble the bags, and the people who deliver the bags. These people were not doing anything for Christ to reach the lost and dying world around us before.

The next blog on our New Move-In Ministry will cover what we say when we make the visit.