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Ten "Commandments" for Writing Better Letters

All Purpose Letter Writing Outline

Tips For Using This Book

Table of Contents

Chapter 1
Letters to Members of All Ages

Chapter 2
Letters to Other Members

Chapter 3
Letters to Nonmembers

Chapter 4
Letters to Church Staff

Chapter 5
Letters to the Community

Chapter 6
Letters to the Media

Chapter 7
Letters to Vendors

Chapter 8
Letters for Special Occasions

Chapter 9
Letters of Acceptance, Confirmation, Invitations, & Refusal

Chapter 10
Letters to Raise Funds

Chapter 11
Letters to Colleagues

Chapter 12
Letters of Policy & Doctrine

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Chapter 3 ē Letters to Nonmembers

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Every minister is concerned about evangelistic outreach and the social needs of the community. The letters in this chapter address the issues related to these areas, and are aimed at non-members.

Here are letters for those who are interested in becoming members, letters for following up contacts made through special events, letters greeting new residents to the community, and letters that help introduce the programs and special personality of the church to the individual.

This is an especially important area of ministry, requiring sensitivity and attention. A newcomer to a church often feels a bit awkward, and needs to be made welcome and given clear directions to classrooms, and other information on the church. Some newcomers may have had very little contact with any church, and need non-condescending care and help in becoming acclimated to church life. Others may have been members elsewhere, and because of a divorce or any number of other sensitive situations have found it necessary to find a new church home. These members need a great deal of love, acceptance, and patience.

The letters in this chapter will help the caring minister to effectively communicate in these kinds of situations.

3-1 / To Membership Applicants about Acceptance as a Member

Greetings in the Name of Jesus Christ!

Community Church takes great joy in informing you that your application for membership has been accepted. We are confident that having you and your family as a part of our fellowship will be a blessing both for you and for us. In welcoming you into the church, we are confirming that you share the vision of Community Church to reach out to the world while ministering to the needs of the Body of Christ here.

You will be informed when a date has been set to officially receive new members into the church. In the meantime, weíre glad you are with us. If there is any way that we can be of service to you, donít hesitate to call the office.

3-2 / To Membership Applicants about Doctrine: Request for Information

What does Community Church teach about baptism? How does Community Church feel about communion? Is tithing expected?

Though you have applied for membership at the church, you may still be unclear about exactly what we believe. To assist you, we are enclosing a brochure stating our denominationís position on these and a number of other doctrines.

Please look it over carefully, so that you understand the churchís position. We will be discussing many of these issues in membership class, but if you have any questions, feel free to contact my office.

3-3 / To Membership Applicants about Information

Just in case you didnít hear, plan on using the side (west) door or the door off the parking lot when you come to church next Sunday, MONTH XX. The main entrance is unusable due to the broken door locks.

We are assuming that the front door will again be functional by the following week, but if it is not, we will let you know.

Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience this causes.

3-4 / To Membership Applicants about Membership Information

Community Church is delighted to inform you that you will be officially received as members during the 10:30 AM worship service on Sunday, MONTH XX. Please contact the office if for any reason you will not be able to be present.

Though we have been privileged to have you in our fellowship for several months now, we are looking forward to your taking this public step of joining our fellowship. Together, we can make a difference in reaching our community for Jesus, as we grow to be more like Him.

3-5 / To Membership Applicants about Ministries & Programs: Request for Information

Enclosed you will find a brochure describing the various ministries and programs available at Community Church. Since you have been attending our fellowship for several months now, you are probably aware of many of them. But for your convenience, we wanted you to have the complete list.

We trust that you will avail yourself of any which catch your interest. If you have questions, please call the contact person listed for the particular program, or call the church office.

3-6 / To Membership Applicants about Refusing Membership

While most churches or synagogues do not often refuse membership to an individual, this does occasionally need to be done. In those cases, the tone of the refusal ought to be one of sincere regret and may include an invitation to apply again if circumstances should change.

I deeply regret having to inform you that, at this point, Community Church is unable to accept your request for membership. Our denominational requirements for members are as follows:


According to the information you supplied to us, you do not meet the following criteria:


We have no desire to refuse the fellowship of the church to anyone, and you are certainly welcome to continue attending Community Church as frequently as you wish. This is by no means a personal rejection of you; as a part of the denomination, we have no choice but to follow their requirements for membership. Keep in mind that at any time we would be happy to reconsider your application, should changes in the aforementioned areas occur.

May God bless you.

3-7 / To Membership Applicants about Special Events

Because you are a part of the newly formed membership class, I would like to extend to you a personal invitation to attend Community Churchís annual meeting, to be held on DAY, MONTH XX.

It will take place at North LOCATION, ADDRESS, in the cafeteria, beginning at 5:00 PM with a carry in dinner. Beverages and rolls will be provided; please bring your own table service and two dishes to share.

Following the meal (approximately 6:30 PM), we will move to the auditorium for a presentation concerning the various programs of the church, including the TV ministry, cell groups, progress on the new building, the youth outreach, etc.

After these reports, we will adjourn for a time of fellowship, including use of the gym for any who wish. The evening will conclude about 9:00 PM.

We hope that you will be able to attend. It will prove to be informative as well as enjoy able.

3-8 / To Membership Applicants: On Completed Application

We were pleased to recently receive your completed membership application. It is currently under consideration by our board, which will notify you of a decision within the next two weeks.

Thank you for your interest in Community Church; we are glad that you want to become an official part of our congregation. I trust this indicates that here you have found opportunities to be ministered to as well as to serve others. If there is any way in which I can be of service to you, donít hesitate to contact my office.

3-9 / To Newcomers about Evangelistic Follow-up: Following New Commitment

I was delighted to receive your name from the follow-up Committee for the recent New Life concert. Your decision to commit your life to Christ is the most important step that can be taken. Not only does it have eternal consequences (youíll have a place with Jesus in Heaven), but you will discover it also means profound changes for the good in your life now.

As Iím certain you were told the night of the concert, itís important to begin reading the Bible and praying to God each day. You also need to share your newfound faith with others, as He gives you opportunities.

Getting involved in a Bible teaching church is also vital. You have already begun that process in choosing to attend Community Church. Might I suggest that you now plan on becoming a part of our Sunday school classes? There is one for every member of your family, beginning at 9:30 AM

We also have a number of midweek home Bible study groups which meet across the city. This would be an excellent source of teaching and fellowship, on a more personal basis than morning worship. For the name and address of the home Bible study group nearest you, call the church office.

Once again, let me congratulate you on your acceptance of Christ as Savior. You will never regret it! And if I might be of service to you in any way, donít hesitate to contact me.

3-10 / To Newcomers about Information

It has been a joy and a privilege to have you as part of our congregation on several occasions. With the Lenten season now upon us, Community Church has scheduled a number of special services. For your convenience, they are as follows:

  • Palm Sunday, MONTH XX, morning worship at 9:30 and 11:00 AM Special music by the childrenís choir. Message on ďTOPIC TITLE.Ē
  • Maundy Thursday, MONTH XX, communion service at 7:00 PM Special music by Barbara and John Gates. Message: ďTOPIC TITLEĒ.
  • Good Friday, MONTH XX, prayer service, noon, in chapel.
  • Easter Sunday, MONTH XX, worship services at 9:30 and 11:00 AM Special Easter Cantata by senior choir. Message: ďTOPIC TITLE.Ē

We hope that you will plan to make Community Church an important part of your Easter this year. If you have any questions or concerns about the church, please feel free to call my office.

3-11 / To Newcomers about Introduction & Greeting

A letter to newcomers about a place of worship should be kept brief, preferably one page or less. Note how this example still manages to convey the basic information of who, where, and when. It covers parking and nursery, two big concerns of many people, as well as mentioning the most important beliefs.

Greetings! We are pleased to have you recently become a part of our community. In the event that you are considering churches in the area, let us introduce ourselves.

Located at ADDRESS, one block west of the public library, Community Church is a nondenominational fellowship which was founded in 1932. It has over 300 members with an average attendance of 210 for morning worship and 120 for Sunday school.

Services consist of morning worship, 9:30 and 11:00 AM; Sunday school, 9:30 AM; evening praise service, 7:00 PM; and midweek home Bible study groups, various days and locations.

For your convenience, a nursery for children under the age of five is located just east of the sanctuary. It is staffed with qualified workers during all services.

A large parking lot is directly north of the church, and on-street parking is located on the west and south sides of the church.

We believe in the Trinity, the Bible as the revealed Word of God, and the necessity of the new birth for forgiveness of sins and a life of growth in commitment to Him. We welcome people of all ages, races, and backgrounds as we seek to minister in the name of Christ.

We would welcome the chance to serve you in any way. Please feel free to call my office if you have need. We would consider it a pleasure to see you in one of our services.

May God bless you richly!

3-12 / To Newcomers about Membership Information

Now that you have joined us for worship on several occasions, I would like to take this opportunity to let you know that a new member class will be forming in two weeks at Community Church. It will meet during the Sunday school hour for four weeks. Those completing the class who wish to then join the church will be publicly received on MONTH XX.

Perhaps you feel you are not yet ready to make a commitment to become part of a local congregation. Then I would especially encourage you to attend the class. You will have the opportunity to learn exactly what our denomination teaches. If upon completion of the class you believe that Community Church is not the place for you, fine. You are free to go elsewhere. But at least you can make a knowledgeable decision.

If, at this time, you are not interested in going to the class, that is also fine. But I wanted you to be aware of the option.

Thank you, and I look forward to seeing you again.

3-13 / To Newcomers about Ministries & Programs

We have been blessed to have you join us for morning worship for the past two weeks. Hopefully, the time you spent at Community Church proved to be spiritually uplifting.

Perhaps you would also be interested in one of our home Bible study groups. The purpose of them is to learn more about applying the teachings of the Word of God to our day to day lives, as well as to develop personal relationships of caring and commitment within the Body of Christ.

The home Bible study group which is located closest to your home is at the house of Joe and NAME, ADDRESS. It meets on DAY evenings from 7:00 until 9:00 PM. You would be more than welcome to attend at any time.

If another night might be more convenient for you, please call the church office for the locations of home Bible study groups which meet on other evenings.

Should you have questions about the program or about anything else at Community Church, donít hesitate to call me or NAME and NAME at 000-0000.

May God bless you richly!

3-14 / To Newcomers about Special Events

Looking for something to do on a DAY night? As a recent new resident of CITY, STATE you may be finding it difficult to locate decent entertainment. May I suggest to you the upcoming concert of the contemporary Christian musical group, New Life?

From CITY, STATE, New Life will be appearing at the high school auditorium, ADDRESS, on DAY, MONTH XX. The concert will begin at 8:00 PM and tickets are only $00.00 each. They may be purchased at the door or in the office of Community Church.

The group has been touring the country for the past four years, and it consists of four vocalists and six instrumentalists, including percussion and brass.

I am certain you would find the evening enjoyable. If you have any questions, feel free to call the church office. I hope to see you at the concert.

3-15 / To Newcomers about Welcome

We were privileged to have you as our guest last Sunday and are grateful you chose to worship with us. We trust that your visit here was spiritually enriching and that you were warmly received.

As a church, we are committed to the person of Jesus Christ, and we base our teaching upon Godís revealed word, the Bible. It is our desire that people come to place their trust in Christ to forgive and lead them, and that they grow in their relationship with Him.

We seek to provide regular teaching and preaching of the Bible, meaningful times of worship, opportunities for fellowship, prayer, outreach, and numerous other ministries for people of all ages. If there is any way we can be of service to you, please contact my office.

3-16 / To Relatives & Friends of Members about Evangelism Follow-up

From your sister NAME, I heard the good news that you recently committed your life to Christ. I share in NAMEís joy as you begin your walk of faith. Indeed, this decision is the most important one you will ever make; it will prove to be life changing.

Let me encourage you to spend time each day in prayer and reading of the Bible. As you communicate with God, you will grow in Him. Itís also vital to regularly attend a Bible-believing church. While we at Community Church certainly donít presume to be the only local congregation to help you in your walk with Jesus, we would be more than happy to have you join us on any occasion. NAME has found the church to meet her needs, and we would welcome the opportunity to minister also to you and your family. If you choose another church, that is fine too; the important thing is to get involved in a fellowship somewhere.

If I may be of any service to you, please call. And best wishes as you pursue the excitement and fulfillment of a life centered around Christ!

3-17 / To Relatives & Friends of Members about Information

Since NAME informs us that you are at home with young children. You may be interested to know that Community Church operates a program for mothers of preschoolers. Called Motherís Time Out, it consists of planned activities for the youngsters while the moms gather in another part of the church. There will be time for a dealing with concerns of parents of young children, discussion, a craft, and informal sharing over refreshments.

The program is every DAY morning from 9:00 to 11:30 AM and itís free.

We believe there is no higher calling than the raising of our next generation, but we realize that day after day with the clamor of preschoolers can be extremely taxing. Motherís Time Out offers you the chance to get away from your child(ren) for a period of adult conversation with others who understand your needs. We hope that you will give it a try.

3-18 / To Relatives & Friends of Members about Introduction & Greeting

Welcome to CITY, STATE! We recently learned from NAME OF FRIEND OR RELATIVE that you have relocated in the area. Hopefully you are finding our community to be one of warmth.

For many people, adjusting to a new area also means finding a church. We at Community Church would like to invite you to visit us. The Sunday schedule includes church school, 9:15 AM; worship service, 10:30 AM; and Bible study, 7:00 PM In addition, we have a number of programs for every age and interest, such as youth, singles, and women.

Community Church is committed to the person of Jesus Christ, and bases its teaching upon Godís revealed Word, the Bible. Our vision is to see individuals dedicate their lives to Him and grow in that relationship. We would consider it a privilege to have you attend one of our services. In the meantime, please feel free to call my office if I can be of help to you in any way.

3-19 / To Relatives & Friends of Members about Membership Information

It has been a joy for us to have you attend worship services with your aunt and uncle for the past few weeks. We trust that you are finding your time at Community Church meaningful.

Next month we will be starting a class for potential new members. Perhaps you would be interested in attending. In it, we will specify the denominational requirements or membership as well as the doctrines and beliefs of Community Church. Even if you do not know at this time whether or not you wish to formally join the church, you might find it helpful to attend this class. It will make clear to you what your aunt and uncle believe as members here and assist you in deciding if Community Church should also be your spiritual home.

If you are at all considering coming to the new member class, please contact me for details about when and where it will meet. We would be pleased to have you become a part of it.

3-20 / To Relatives & Friends of Members about Ministries & Programs

Over the past several weeks now, we have been pleased to have you joining FRIEND OR RELATIVEíS NAME for Sunday morning worship at Community Church. We trust the services have been meaningful to you.

For your convenience, we are enclosing a complete list of our various ministries and pro grams. Please feel free to attend any of them which interest you, with or without RELATIVE OR FRIENDíS NAME. If you have questions concerning them, call the church office or the chairperson listed under each program.

Again, itís been a joy for us to have you at Community Church, and we hope to continue to see you on a regular basis.

3-21 / To Relatives & Friends of Members about Special Events

We are delighted to have your child attending Community Churchís Vacation Bible School this week with NAME OF MEMBER. Hopefully the experiences that he/she is having will stay with him/her for a long time.

The children at VBS will be presenting a special program on Sunday, MONTH XX, at the 11:00 AM service. We would very much welcome your attendance, and we hope that your son/ daughter will be able to be a part of the program. If so, he/she should be at the back of the church by 10:45, in order to walk in and sit with the other children in his/her class.

Again, we are glad that you chose to accept the invitation of NAME OF MEMBER for your child. If we can assist you in any way, please contact my office. I hope to meet you at the program.

3-22 / To Relatives & Friends of Members about Welcome

We were privileged to have you attend Community Church last Sunday with NAME. Hopefully your visit was spiritually uplifting.

We at Community Church desire to meet the needs of the congregation, as well as the community, by pointing people to Jesus Christ, the answer to every problem. We preach the Bible as the word of God for today.

We are always happy to have guests at our services, and you are more than welcome to come at any time, with or without NAME. If there is any way that we can be of service to you, donít hesitate to call the church office.

3-23 / To Visitors about Evangelism Follow-up


It was our pleasure to have you with us at the recent Christian music concert. Your response at the concert was an important one. You now need to become a part of a caring Christian family.

We at Community Church want to extend ourselves to you. If you are not presently attending a Bible-believing church, it would be our joy to have you join us this Sunday.

Our Bible class begins at 9:30 AM, morning worship is at 10:35 AM, and our evening worship is at 7:00 PM

If you are not from this area, may we recommend that you attend Community Church or any other Bible-believing church near you.

3-24 / To Visitors about Information: On Change of Service Times

Visitors who have come more than once would need to receive a letter such as this, announcing a change in the time of worship. In addition to keeping the visitor updated with something likely to affect him or her, it shows that the individual has not been forgotten, and encourages another visit.

We have been pleased to have you join us for worship on several Occasions now while you are in CITY, STATE to visit your grandmother. You are more than welcome to come any Sunday you are here.

However, we did want you to know that the times of our services have recently changed. The Sunday school hour is now at 9:15 AM instead of at 9:30. From 10:15 until 10:45 AM is a time of fellowship over coffee in the lounge. Worship will begin at 10:45 AM instead of at 10:30 as it was before. These shifts began last Sunday. We are confident that they will better serve the needs of our congregation.

We look forward to having you with us again at some point in the future, and when you do come, donít forget the different times for our services.

3-25 / To Visitors about Membership Information

During the past several months, you have frequently chosen to worship at Community Church on Sunday mornings. Your presence has been a blessing to us, and we trust that our fellowship has ministered to you.

Because of your interest, we would like to invite you to attend a meeting for potential members on DAY, MONTH XX, at 7:00 PM. To be held in the library, the meeting will explain membership requirements, answer questions, and set up a time for membership classes which is convenient for all who want to attend.

Even if at the present you are uncertain as to whether or not you are willing to take this step toward formal ties to the church, we would very much like to have you at this meeting.

In the meantime, please feel free to contact me at any time if you have questions or concerns.

3-26 / To Visitors about Ministries & Programs

During the past few weeks, it has been our privilege to have you as a guest during Sunday morning worship at Community Church. We are pleased to have had these opportunities to minister to you.

For your convenience, we are enclosing a schedule of all our services as well as programs for various groups such as youth, singles, and women. Please feel free to attend any of the functions listed. If you would like more information about them, call the chairperson listed in the brochure or call the church office.

We would like to be of service to you, and we hope to continue to see you on Sunday mornings.

3-27 / To Visitors about Special Events

When hosting special events, a church can check its records to see what visitors attended similar events in the past. Then, a special letter such as the following can be sent to those people who have a better than average chance of wanting to come again.


Since you recently attended the Joyful Sounds concert at Community Church, we wanted to in form you that the contemporary Christian musical duo of NAME and NAME are coming here on Sunday, MONTH XX. The service is at 7:00 PM, and a freewill offering will be taken.

Having recorded two albums, this husband and wife team have been ministering across the state for the past five years. They have appeared on several Christian TV and radio programs, and their greatest desire is to call the Body of Christ into a deeper walk with the Lord. Come expecting to receive from Him!

We trust that the Joyful Sounds concert was a blessing to you, and we want to extend a personal invitation for you to also hear the NAMEs.

3-28 / To Visitors about Welcome

Please accept this expression of appreciation for your visit to Community Church last Sunday. It was kind of you to include our church in your plans for the day, and I sincerely hope you received spiritual inspiration and blessing from our time together in the presence of the Lord.

We understand that you will be unable to attend Community Church regularly, since you live outside our city. Nevertheless, we want you to know that the doors of our church are always open to you. If you have occasion to be in CITY, STATE again, please be assured that a welcome will await you at Community Church.

Again, thanks for worshipping with us last Sunday.

Copyright © by Stephen R. Clark. All rights reserved.