Want to improve your church bulletin so that your printed worship guide is not only user friendly but also in high demand? You have an uphill battle, but there are some things you can do to improve your newsletter and generate interest among church members.
The vast majority of the faithful who receive a bulletin do not read it. Most throw it away, and some churches conveniently provide recycling bins to save the planet from wrecked printed items. So why create them in the first place? It’s a good question.
Digital, done right, keeps people informed and saves money in the long run. However, some churches use bulletins for the order of service or liturgy. If that’s you, then the members probably need it – but you might want to drop the command, allowing freedom in your services. And if you have liturgy or lyrics in the bulletin, consider projecting them in a format that matches the style of your worship hall. It will attract attention so that others will hear their worship.
What can you do?
Still want a worship guide? Here are 5 tips to improve your church bulletin:
— Make it smaller. You (or your congregation) may not be ready to get rid of them. The older the congregation, the more it will rely on printed materials. So save money by downsizing. If you’re printing in-house, switch to the next smaller paper size, cut the page in half, or stop adding all those inserts. Receiving a smaller piece will encourage people to watch it.
— Improve your website. It sounds like a weird way to improve the church bulletin, but it’s essential. Improve the events/calendar area of your website so people can easily find what they’re looking for. Then direct print newsletter announcements to your website by displaying web links or QR codes for more details (and easy ways for people to add events to their digital calendar).
— Prioritize your events. It’s important that everything doesn’t have the same volume – or you’ll end up with a lot of promotional noise that gets ignored. Instead, create a hierarchy for churchwide events. Then calm the events of all ministries. You can even delete all other newsletter events within your reduced size (send them to the website, use the weekly emails or social media).
— Segment by demographics. Make it easy for members by creating a simple, obvious organization that’s consistent each week so they can quickly see what’s for adults, students, or kids. Make sure each event clearly identifies (by color, icon or caption) who it is for.
— To modify. To modify. To modify. Grab their attention with the benefits of attending the event. Do not add all the information as you receive it. Limit details to those that will generate interest. Then point to the website for more details.
Once you’ve removed anything unnecessary, you’ll have improved your church bulletin to be more user-friendly. And your members won’t have to remember where they left off.
EDITOR’S NOTE – MacDonald is a communications pastor, speaker, consultant, best-selling author, church brand strategist for BeKnownforSomething.com and executive director of the Center for Church Communication, empowering over 10,000 churches for something relevant (a communication thread) throughout their ministries, websites and social media. His book, “Be Known for Something”, is available on BeKnownBook.com.