There is a reason it is called a Church Bulletin not a newsletter or journal or brochure. It is a Sunday Church Bulletin because it is a short form of providing information about immediate current events.
Since we have been publishing Church Bulletins for over 27 years, we can answer the question, “What makes for a better bulletin?”
5 Keys to a Well Read Church Bulletin
We did an unscientific research of the topic “What do people want in a Church Bulletin?” and here is what we found. Surprising there is a lot of posts and blogs on this topic. Since we have been publishing Church Bulletins for over 27 years we have also added comment to the subject from what we have learned.
1. Stewardship. Membership is very aware about giving and giving patterns especially when special appeals are made above tithing practices. They want to know giving patterns. If you are going to give them your financials then make sure you communicate it to them in a way they understand.
2. Announcements. It is not the number of announcements in the church bulletin that people dislike but the length of those announcements. A well-written, brief announcement simply stating the basic who, what, where, and how is far more engaging. Too much informative clutter defeats the main purpose of announcing an event. It takes away valuable space for an attention grabbing graphic or headline. If they need more information direct them to your website. If you want people to retain important announcements then don’t give them content overload. Highlight fewer items. Find a way to prioritize your announcements. If they are repeated then change the look each week. More is not better.
3. Ministries. People need to know what your community offers. Although each ministry has a lot to offer they should narrow their focus exclusively to current events in the bulletin. This is a discipline that all ministries should consider when placing an announcement. Knowing about the specifics of an event can draw more participation. Save the ministry explanation information for your website.
4. Quality. The church bulletin is a direct reflection upon the community and the way you present yourself is important. After all, it is your first impression. We increasingly live in a visual world. Adding images to well designed bulletin attracts attention. Creating space between announcements breaks up the unity of a page full of words.
5. Content Organization. How you layout the bulletin does matter. Try keeping information in certain spots this makes easy reference on a weekly basis. You don’t want readers searching for a ministry announcement. The front page probably gets read more than the last but that is where graphic elements will catch a person’s eye. Deciding where an announcement will go and how it is presented determines what gets the most attention.
In some churches the bulletin is one of those untouchable items and you might hear that you have to keep doing it this way because this is the way we have always done it. The challenge to you is to examine your church bulletin and decide how effective you are at communicating. Find a way to present information so it gets read.
Applying some or all of these ideas and you might find that your bulletin will get read more thoroughly.