Many churches rely on church bulletin printing to stay in touch with their parishioners, share church events, and sell advertising space to local businesses. Despite the popularity of online outreach efforts, including online church directories and digital church newsletters, many churches stick with traditional church bulletin printing. They’re familiar to churchgoers and a reliable way to reach members of all ages. In churches whose members are mostly seniors, there is a strong preference for printed materials like church bulletin printing.
Are your bulletins worth showing off? If you haven’t updated your bulletin in years, it may be time to design church bulletin printing that reflects a modern viewpoint while maintaining respect for tradition.
What Is Church Bulletin Printing?
A church bulletin printing is a pamphlet available every Sunday in a church. The bulletins are placed at the entrance of the church and inside the back pockets of church pews. At some churches, ushers hand out copies of the church bulletin printing to people as they enter the church.
The church bulletin printing is like the program at a sports game or concert. It gives attendees an overview of the weekly service and catches them up on church events like bake sales, pancake dinners, or auctions. They provide a way for churches to stay in touch with their regular attendees and welcome new visitors.
Why Do Churches Use Church Bulletin Printing?
Most people who grew up going to church every Sunday are familiar with the standard bulletin design. It typically has a front page with major announcements, mass times, and other information, and a layout that consists of several boxed spaces. These boxes hold paid advertising for local businesses. Advertising helps pay for the cost of producing the church bulletin printing.
The church bulletin printing many of us remember were cheaply produced, but they got the job done. Today, people expect more from their churches and their bulletins. To hold their interest and sell more advertising, your church bulletin printing needs to stand out. Fortunately, it’s much easier to design church bulletins today. Design software and templates make it easy for anyone to create an attractive bulletin.
Are Church Bulletin Printing and Church Newsletter Printing the Same Thing?
Church bulletin printing shares some qualities with church newsletter printing. Both are good ways to stay in touch with parishioners, make announcements about church events, and keep members updated about church-related news.
There are some key differences, however. A church newsletter may be weekly or monthly. It may even be quarterly. It goes into more detail and allows for more reflection by readers. It may contain in-depth articles, discussions about past sermons, or descriptions and photos of church events. The newsletter is important because it keeps people interested and involved in what’s going on at their church.
A church bulletin printing is updated more often. Most bulletins change weekly to reflect that week’s sermons and activities. It’s also a favorite place to sell spots to advertisers because it reaches more people than a newsletter. The church bulletin printing is an excellent way to reach new members, which is why it’s important to have one that is attractive and appealing.
What Do Churchgoers Want from Their Church Bulletins?
At the blog Church Answers, Thom Rainer surveyed regular churchgoers to ask whether bulletins were still valuable. Most people replied that they are, and that they want printed bulletins. He also asked what people want from their bulletins. Here are the top five answers they gave.
- Quality content: Like people everywhere, churchgoers want high-quality content in their bulletins. They see the bulletin as a reflection of their church and are embarrassed when it looks ugly or has misspellings and grammatical mistakes. Churches used to regularly feature silly misspellings and other mistakes that appeared in bulletins, but that is no longer seen as funny. People want well-written content in an attractive, modern layout.
- Room for notes: One answer that may surprise you is that people want room to take notes during the sermon, and they think the bulletin is the best place to do this. These are fully engaged church attendees who pay attention to the readings and the sermon, and they keep the bulletin after they leave church. It makes sense that they would appreciate room to take notes, so consider adding some blank pages when you design church bulletins. These respondents also said it would be helpful to have references for the reading materials.
- Order of service: Churches used to regularly put the order of services in the bulletin. Many have stopped doing it, and church members miss that. Apparently, they like knowing what to expect and how to follow along with the service, even if they are regular churchgoers.
- Attendance and giving numbers: Some churches give weekly updates on giving, especially to specific church-related projects like a new roof or a Christmas donation drive. Members like seeing these numbers. They also want to see church attendance numbers.
- Fewer announcements: Although churchgoers appreciate seeing some announcements, many of them felt there were too many in their bulletins. They want the bulletin to limit itself to major announcements or updates. Church newsletters might be a better place for announcements.
How to Design Church Bulletins That Make an Impact
1 Use high-quality graphics
There’s no need to rely on outdated, old-fashioned clip art graphics. You can find free, professional-quality photos and illustrations online. These images will elevate your church bulletins, church newsletters, and other church publications. Use the same colors and images on all these publications to keep your church’s brand consistent.
2 Overhaul the design
If your bulletin’s design hasn’t been updated in years, it may be time for a redesign. Consider the needs of your readers when you take on a new layout. Most churches will benefit from a cleaner, more modern design makeover. There are dozens of free templates available at sites like TemplateLab, Ministry Voice, and Canva. Even if your printing budget is limited, you can create a great-looking bulletin with a stunning black-and-white design.
3 Edit and proofread
Don’t let your church bulletins turn off potential members before they even walk in the door. Get rid of misspellings and grammatical mistakes by carefully proofreading and editing the bulletin before it goes to print. You may want to hire a professional proofreader to ensure everything is correct.
4 Invite participation
Do church members routinely ignore your church’s bulletins? Give them a reason to open the bulletins and engage with them. You might want to include a small crossword puzzle, a set of trivia questions (with the answers on the last page), or an opportunity to enter a raffle. Include space for attendees to take notes during the sermon, include a space for children to draw, or feature a weekly joke. Use your imagination to create something that appeals to your members.
5 Welcome newcomers
Bulletins provide an excellent opportunity to make newcomers feel welcome. Devote one page to welcoming new visitors that includes information about church services, worship times, and ways to get involved. Include a card that newcomers can fill out to leave their contact information after a service. Outreach efforts are key to building your congregation, so it’s important to use church bulletins and church newsletters to reach as many people as possible.
6 Keep it clean and organized
Too many bulletins look sloppy and badly organized. The text is too small and blurry, and the information isn’t presented in a clear, logical way. When you design church bulletins, aim for a well-organized, readable layout by following these tips:
- Leave some white space on each page; this makes reading easier on the eyes.
- Limit yourself to two fonts.
- Use a serif font for the main text and a sans serif font for headlines and subheadings. Serif font is easier to read.
- Be sure the text is dark, rich black, and in a readable size.
- Get your church bulletin professionally printed.
You Can Design a Great-Looking Church Bulletin Printing
We hope you’ve enjoyed this guide to designing church bulletins and ideas for improving them. At Dazzle Printing, our goal is to help everyone look their best in print. Once you design church bulletins, contact us for a printing estimate.