This post is co-authored by Kip Williams and was additionally contributed to by Jake White. Kip is Media Director at Faith Baptist Church in Canoga Park, CA and Jake is Creative Director at Alabaster Media. Together I believe we came up with some creative tips for improving and enhancing the typical church bulletin.
From the mega churches to the small country chapels, the church bulletin has become a staple in our Sunday church practices. The church bulletin is an awesome way for visitors to get a first look at what the church is all about. It also serves as a vital tool for connecting with the members and the regular attendees of the church. However, when the design is lacking the visitors will begin to ignore them. And when the content becomes outdated and irrelevant, the church members will start to overlook them. If the church is not careful, the bulletins quickly become unread pieces of paper that litter the floor of the church. This is a sad thought when it only takes a few extra minutes and effort to improve the content and the look of your church bulletins.
Only Include Valuable Content
Bulletins are primarily an information tool. They can be great ways to introduce your church and its ministries to a visitor. The bulletins also need to provide relevant and valuable information to the regular attendees as well. There needs to be a balance between what is vital to a new visitor and what is necessary for the members. There are a number of ways to keep the bulletins a regular part of everyone’s Sunday.
- Keep updated and detailed information about church activities and upcoming events. Limit the information to only information that adds value to your bulletin. Keep the information fresh and relevant to the congregation.
- Spotlight specific ministries and how one can get involved. I do not think you have to list every ministry your church has in your bulletin every week, but it is a great idea to highlight certain ministry opportunities from time-to-time such as Reformers Unanimous, mission trips, etc.
- Promote Sunday school classes, Bible studies and small groups. It is a great idea to have information on Sunday Schools and Small Groups weekly. Doing this makes it easy for a visitor to connect with the church body, and also encourages members to become involved in areas they might not be already.
- Have a place to take notes during the service. This can be done on an insert or on the bulletin itself. This can be a great section for Bible study services or during special meetings.
- List pertinent prayer requests from the church family. I would not recommend this for Sunday, but rather for your midweek Bible study or prayer meeting services. Nonetheless, this can definitely be a valuable addition to any church bulletin.
Avoid Graphical Mistakes
Although you may be partial to a particular font or style, try to avoid using the same clipart and graphics your church has been using since President Reagan was in office. A quick search online can yield some great new fonts and icons that can really enhance the appearance of your church’s bulletin. Simple changes like these can make your bulletin go from average to awesome!
- Stay away from cliché fonts. If you are still using Comic Sans or Papyrus – this point is for you! I like how Jake put it, “Comic sans and papyrus are the 8th and 9th abomination.” Any printed material or website that uses these two fonts (along with many other overused and out-of-date fonts) automatically look archaic and outdated.
- Limit the number of fonts you use. The general rule is to only use two types of fonts. You can vary the size and proportions for headings, as well as adding bold and italics where appropriate. The goal is to achieve unity throughout the body of your bulletin.
- Use icons instead of clipart. Vector icons are your best bet in order to achieve crisp, scalable and attractive icons. Clean icons appropriately placed can make announcements or contact information on a bulletin look exciting.
- Have an attractive cover. People judge a bulletin by its cover. There is no way around that. The front is the first thing that everyone will see so spend some time designing it—making it attractive and memorable. You want the cover to be iconic of your church. You can match it to the church’s current theme or to a seasonal event. A well-designed cover will set your church bulletin up for success.
Incorporate Your Websites
Today’s world is becoming increasingly more interested in the internet. Social media has become the norm and is now fully integrated into all aspects of society. It is extremely helpful to incorporate the internet into your bulletins—directing the congregation to connect with the church throughout the week and not just on Sundays. The more ways you can connect with visitors and regular attendees to your online presence, the better. Here are a couple simple ways you can achieve this through your bulletin.
- Incorporate the church’s main web address weekly. Make sure the web address for the church is included into the design of the bulletin. Doing this will help engrave into the member’s mind their ability to connect online.
- Promote Twitter and Facebook addresses. Not so groundbreaking, but still a great way to let people know about the church’s social media accounts.
- Include QR codes. Use QR codes to link people to more information about the church or for registering of special events coming up.
The point of bulletins is to be inviting to visitors and to be engaging to members. It is sad when visitors are turned off or when members just disregard the bulletins all together. Bulletins should be more than just a formality; they should be invaluable tools used each and every week. Let’s try to begin to try to make our bulletins better!
If you have any additional ideas let me know.
ResourcesFonts: • Dafont • Font Squirrel • Ufonts Icons: • Tuts.plus • Dryicons QR Codes: • Google URL Shortener • Unitag • QR Stuff • Create QR Code