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 see your bulletin as a place to doodle instead of as a helpful resource, it might be time to breathe new life into your design and content.
After all, your bulletins are a tangible way for members and guests to know what to expect from your church. They may miss announcements given during the service or want a reminder of upcoming events throughout the week. The church bulletin is a great reference point for them to return to!
Bulletins also help people know what to expect during church. Including a brief order of service helps people understand your church’s rhythm, which is especially helpful for newcomers (and even more so if they’re unfamiliar with church in general)!
Ready to create a church bulletin people will actually read? Follow these three easy steps to make your bulletin a resource that is packed with need-to-know information your congregation will value.
Step 1: Focus on the design
Good design is key if you want a church bulletin that is user-friendly and helpful to churchgoers. Clean, organized designs help guide readers to the right information. Poorly designed bulletins can frustrate readers and quickly discourage them from looking beyond the first page.
So, what makes for good bulletin design? Stick to these standards for bulletins that look great and are easy to read:
- Keep your cover simple. All you need is a photograph or graphic with your church name or a message of welcome. Leave the useful content for the inside!
- Choose fonts carefully. Two or three that complement each other is plenty.
- Use bold fonts for short headlines or sub-headlines.
- Mix serif type with sans-serif type. Use serif for body copy – it’s easier to read when there are multiple lines.
- Use white space, headlines, and sub-headlines to break up large chunks of text. This gives the eye a chance to rest.
- Choose graphics and images sparingly. Less is more, so make sure they create visual harmony and have a purpose within the bulletin.
Remember, simple and streamlined is best!
Step 2: Select your content carefully
You don’t need ten pages of content to make your bulletin interesting. Determine what information is most important to communicate each week, then stick to the same general format.
People have short attention spans and will be overwhelmed if there’s too much information. Make use of white space, break up large chunks of text, and have bold headlines that point readers to need-to-know information.
If you’re worried about not having enough space on the bulletin for all your communication, you can always refer readers to your church website for more details and updates.
So, what to actually include in your bulletin? Your basic church information is important:
- Phone number
- Email address
- Social media handles
Your bulletin is a physical reminder to attendees of all the basic ways to contact and connect with your church, both in person and online. From there, you can customize your content to suit your church. Here are some other standard options:
- Order of service
- Weekly updates
- A space for sermon notes
- A tear-out connection card
You know your church demographic best, so trust your instincts on the best information to include for them. Every church is different!
For example, if your church is new and bringing in lots of visitors, your bulletin should help attendees understand how your church operates. It should also help them see how they can connect beyond Sunday service. You could include updates on small groups, ministries, prayer groups, and other activities in your church.
If your church is well-established, you may benefit more from a bulletin that takes a news-style approach. You could include ministry news (financial updates, reports from missionaries, etc.), small group info, or upcoming church events.
Always remember to keep your audience in mind when writing (i.e. if you’re hoping to attract unchurched people, avoid using “church speak” they won’t understand).
Step 3: Be consistent, but creative
Keeping the same overall formatting for your church bulletin helps people know what they can expect from you each week. Consistency in design and content will help churchgoers know your bulletin is a reliable place to find information and updates about your church.
That’s not to say you can’t get creative, though. Updating the cover, changing the color scheme to match a sermon series, or switching up relevant graphics will keep people engaged.
Your church bulletin is also a great way to creatively engage your members and ask for helpful feedback. Searching for your next sermon series topic? Ask the congregation what they’d like to see. Wondering if there’s enough interest in a new Bible study? The bulletin is a great way to let people know their options. You can include a simple survey that can be dropped in the offering plate or collected after the service. Giving your church members the chance to contribute will help them feel valued and appreciated by you.
You can also let them know other ways they can interact with you. If you share information across platforms (think bulletins, email, website, social media, church signage), people will be much more likely to remember to connect and engage with you!
Overall, the key to success is creating a church bulletin designed for readability, filled with worthwhile content, and meant to consistently engage your congregation. This is a tool to keep everyone connected, informed, and enthusiastic about God, faith, and fellowship. Follow these simple steps for a bulletin people want to read and refer back to.
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