Genuine religious welcoming speeches serve three distinct purposes: to acknowledge newcomers, to introduce newcomers to the congregation's general beliefs and practices, and to sincerely invite newcomers to participate in the organization. Welcome speeches should be concise, easily understood and heartfelt. Often, speeches begin with an acknowledgement of a visitor's presence, follow up by addressing a common fear that a visitor might have, and conclude with a suggestion of how a visitor might learn more about the organization.
Religious welcome speeches should recognize that each church is unique, as are the guests, service and congregation. Consequently, there is no magic formula that meets the needs of every religious institution. An effective welcome speech takes into consideration a lot of variables, such as the occasion for the gathering and the purpose for the visitor to attend. A welcome speech at a funeral or wedding is very different than a speech given at an ordinary worship service.
To make a successful welcome speech, consider a newcomer's perspective and answer one or two questions he might have. It is helpful to give information so that a person can gauge whether he fits in at that location, whether it is a place that he can grow in his spiritual understanding, and whether values that are important to him align with the church's values.