Quick Steps for Keeping Your Church Bulletin Out of the Recycling Bin
Does your church bulletin last about as long as your Sunday service before finding its way into the recycling bin? If your congregation is more likely to use your bulletin as a fan than a helpful resource, then it’s time to breathe new life into your design and content. When done well, church bulletins are an extremely effective communication tool that can connect members to the ministries in your church. With these easy steps, we’ll help you make it a resource that is packed with need-to-know and need-to-grow information that your congregation will treasure.
Step 1 — Focus on the Church Bulletin Look & Feel First
The design of your church bulletin is key in creating a piece that is user-friendly, readable, and helpful to your audience. Poorly organized bulletins are frustrating to the reader and can quickly discourage them from moving past the first page.
Outreach, Inc. offers church bulletin shells that have been created by professionals who understand the art of powerful design. They come in 50+ styles and three sizes so that creating your church bulletin is as easy as adding text and graphics.
Here are some quick tips for creating great-looking, easily readable church bulletins:
- Pick fonts carefully and don’t use too many! Choose two or three that complement each other.
- Mix serif type, (those with small lines on the end of letters, like Times Roman), with sans serif type (those with no small lines, such as Helvetica or Arial).
- Always use the serif type for body copy, as it is easier to read when there are many words.
- Save the more elaborate artsy typefaces for short headlines or subheads—and remember, use two to three at most.
- Avoid walls of text by using graphics and images in your church bulletin Be careful to exercise moderation and choose graphics that create visual harmony and not chaos.
Step 2 — Select Your Content Carefully
This isn’t the Bible, it’s a church bulletin! Don’t feel like you need 20+ pages of copy to make it worthwhile to the reader. Use only the most important information for your content. Your members are super busy, so treat this like a bulletin board, with big, easy-to-follow headlines and your need-to-know information. Keep it brief, and refer readers to your website for more information.
Create a church bulletin that helps members understand how your church operates, including updates on small groups, ministries, prayer groups and other activities that define your church. Remember to keep your audience in mind when writing. If you’re targeting unchurched people, make your worship folder graphically exciting and avoid using “church speak.”
Other items new churches can share:
- Song lyrics
- Corporate prayers
- Sermon topics
- Order of events
Established churches benefit most from a news-style approach in creating their church bulletins. Include information that is important for your congregation to get through the week ahead such as
- Ministry news
- Small group meeting information
- Upcoming church events and outside events like concerts or trips to local amusement parks
- A recap of the past week’s important events
- Excerpts from books or periodicals that relate to real life issues, such as parenting, relationships, finance and other topics that will provide spiritual growth
- Use names! People love to see their name in print.
- Use pictures, if possible. As much as people like to see their names, they like to see their pictures even more.
Step 3 — Get Feedback from Your Church Members
Your church bulletin is also a great way to engage with your members for helpful feedback! Searching for your next sermon series topic? Ask the congregation what they’d like to see. Wondering if you have enough interest in a new Bible study? Want to find out what information your congregation would like to see next? Your church bulletin is the perfect tool to communicate with your members using a simple survey you can collect after service. They’ll feel included and appreciated!
The key to longevity is creating a church bulletin that is designed for readability, filled with worthwhile content, and meant to constantly engage your congregation. Remember, this is a tool to keep everyone connected, informed and enthusiastic about God, faith and fellowship. With these simple steps, you’ll have a bulletin that gets read and kept long after service has ended.