Parish Growth: Do’s and Don’ts

Posted on January 09, 2019

Here is a short list of some time-tested best practices (and actions to avoid) to help reach out to your community and achieve maximum growth for your ministry.

The List of Do’s

DO have clear, prominent, welcoming signage.

DO strategically place greeters throughout your building, parking area and walkways.

DO personally greet every visitor.

DO make sure greeters are friendly and knowledgeable about the faith community, the building and ministries offered.

DO follow-up with visitors within 2-3 days.

DO have a welcome packet for visitors with information on groups/ministries, volunteer opportunities, next steps etc.

DO collect contact information including information about interests and preferred method of communication.

DO have well-identified ushers who know where classrooms and restrooms are located.

DO learn people’s names and remember them.

DO make a good impression – make sure the parish website is up-to-date and the facilities are clean.

DO learn more about visitors’ interests and where they are in their spiritual journey.

DO personalize event/group recommendations: match visitor interests with what your faith community offers.

DO help visitors make new connections: introduce visitors to regular members.

The List of Don’ts

DON’T be pushy – Let visitors join at their pace, not yours. Remember, in most cases, visitors initiated a relationship with you and your parish.

DON’T introduce first-time visitors during mass. This may be intimidating to some, and many people don’t enjoy being “in the spotlight.”

DON’T assume that one welcoming or communication method fits every visitor

DON’T automatically join visitors to your parishioner mailings, emails or call lists.

DON’T use “insider language” when talking to visitors. This creates unnecessary barriers.

DON’T be sloppy: make sure that mass and all event lighting are well planned and organized.


Want to learn more about creating a ministry success plan? ParishSOFT can help! Reach out at 866-930-4774 x6 or email

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