The church bulletin has been a mainstay over the years. Usually a church will have an usher or hospitality team member distribute the bulletins just prior to the worship service. While it has gone by many names the most common and recognizable one is “church bulletin”. That trend is changing in many churches. Some are doing away with bulletins altogether, while some are offering their congregants a “church bulletin” in a downloadable digital PDF format only. But, to be clear, your church’s choice in this matter is not a litmus test of its biblical orthodoxy or spiritually.
Are Church Bulletins Effective?
Much of the “to bulletin or not to bulletin” debate and what comprises its content really boils down to a matter of context. What works fine with one congregation, will not work with another. And, even within the confines of individual churches there are varied opinions. Some love it, some hate it. Church bulletins are often the focus of complaints in many congregations. Sometimes this seems to be the result of an entitlement attitude and consumerism on the church level. Everyone has their own likes, desires and wants. Putting together a church bulletin is often like walking through a mine field. Some folks are quick to complain about misspelled words, misinformation, poor graphics and sub-par work. While some never even read the church bulletin and leave it in the pew after services. If your church has opted to continue using church bulletins here’s two ideas on how to extend its “shelf life” beyond your Sunday morning service.
As A Conversation Starter
Consider using your church bulletin as a conversation starter. Give a copy to a friend or relative who has expressed interest in your church. Keep your bulletin visible and if the opportunity arises share something positive about your church and invite them to be your guest. Your church’s bulletin is really a representative of your congregation. While it gets read by members and visitors, it can often be seen by those who’ve never visited your congregation.
As A Devotional Tool
You can extend the benefits of the church bulletin beyond its primary function. Consider using it as a devotional to reflect on the services, the Scriptures, the music and review sermon notes from last Sunday. Encouraging your congregation to use the bulletin in this manner can help it to get more mileage and benefit your church spiritually. It makes the time and effort involved in creating a bulletin more of a ministry effort, rather than just “something we have to do”.
6 Simple Things To Remember
If your church has a bulletin here’s six things to remember.
- Proofread Your Bulletin – It’s helpful to get another set of eyes to read it before you print it.
- Use modern graphics – Don’t use tacky looking clip art from decades ago.
- Consider Sermon Notes – If you don’t have room consider inserting a page.
- Order of Service – Guests are more comfortable knowing what happens next.
- Statistics Are Optional – In some contexts people want to watch for trends in attendance and giving.
- Limit The Announcements – Only include announcements that effect the entire church. Email or Facebook your announcements to your congregation.