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  • Church Bulletins: Everything You Need to Know to Print Successful Bulletins

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    Booklets, Digital Printing

    One of the most common ways that churches communicate with their members and service attendees is with church bulletins. Whether handed out by congregants or left at self-service locations around the building, church bulletins remain an effective and efficient means of regular communication that churches can depend on. But creating beautiful church bulletins that your congregation will love and look forward to each week takes a little planning to make it a trusted piece of communication that will help members and guests alike.

    Characteristics of Successful Church Bulletins

    If you visit ten different churches, you will likely see ten completely different church bulletins with their own unique graphic elements, overall design, and congregation-specific content. But church bulletins that congregants and visitors love and appreciate include similar categories of information as well as the same organizational philosophy.

    1 Reader Welcome: Just like a greeter who stands sentry at the door of the church to extend a warm welcome to guests, every bulletin needs a clearly defined welcome section. Whether it is a personalized note from leadership, a general welcome note that is updated occasionally, or something in between, a specific greeting will make visitors feel welcomed and will set the tone for the rest of the bulletin. These first few lines of the bulletin may be the initial communication that a guest receives from the church, so putting thought into how a new visitor or non-Christian will receive them can help a congregation feel warm and inviting.

    2 Important Information: When reviewing church bulletins, it should be easy to discern the key information with a quick look at the page.

    • Order of Worship: Many members and visitors rely on the order of worship to anticipate the upcoming service. Placing it on the front or back cover, as the center page or even as a removable insert flyer can help guests quickly access the worship order before and during the service.
    • Congregation Information: Church bulletins should contain the church’s name and logo, if there is one, prominently on the front and back covers of the publication. While it might seem redundant for members to see, visitors to the church family may need this as a reminder after they have left the building. In addition, churches can use this branding opportunity to help create a visual connection to the church family and the logo or graphic design elements that are used with the church, supporting both members and guests.
    • Critical Information: Church bulletins should include the church’s key contact information, such as ministers or other leaders, phone numbers, emails, and the church facility’s physical address. This critical information helps new members become familiar with the church more quickly and can provide guidance for those seeking a church home.

    3 Color vs Black and White: Adding color to church bulletins will help them come to life. Full-color bulletins are easier to spot, and graphics, logos, and photos all look better in color. Bulletins with bright, crisp colors will be more memorable, too, ideal for visitors and those who are considering making the congregation their home.

    4 Photos Instead of All Text: Even if the main purpose of the bulletin is to provide the order of worship, including photos occasionally with other content can make church bulletins more personal to the congregation. Pictures of members participating in meaningful events, the smiling faces of young people involved in mission work, or a picture of a new person in leadership all remind the members that the church family is made up of the people and not the building.

    5 Consistent Format: One of the easiest ways to streamline the bulletin-creating process is to use a template. Not only will the weekly task become more “plug-in” oriented, but readers will also benefit from always knowing where to turn for the information they need.

    Bulletin Extras to Consider

    Creating church bulletins that members love to read happens when you include content they want, and visitors will find useful or informative. Depending on the length of your publication, consider including some or all of these extras so your bulletin will be a must-grab paper for members and visitors alike each week.

    • Testimonies: Personal testimonies from members or former members of your church can be a powerful witness of faith. Snippets of longer stories can be continued, serial-style, in successive church bulletins or shorter passages can be included as a standalone testimony in a single bulletin. Guests and non-members can learn about another person’s experience to encourage them in their own faith walk. Members love to learn more about each other to develop strong bonds with others in their faith, and reading another’s testimony or offering their own is a meaningful way to do that.
    • Web Links: Your church’s website likely has extensive information about the programs you offer, special activities, or even a method for members and guests to pay for activities or donate or send tithes to the church. By including a QR code on your bulletin, you can directly link the printed bulletin with these digital web addresses, increasing the likelihood that users will complete transactions or visit the website for extra information. Unique QR codes are free and simple to create, and anyone with a smart device can use these intuitive links without having to use an app or any special tools other than a phone’s camera.
    • Visitor/Non-member Information: Since a bulletin is just as much an informative publication as it is an outreach tool for visitors and non-members, churches should prioritize placing content directed at this group on every bulletin. Some guests may not know anyone in the congregation, so providing information like where to go or who to contact to place membership or how to join a small group is vital to helping them make the transition from visitor to member.
    • Sections for Congregational Groups: The bulletin is an ideal location to inform readers about groups they may participate in or may want to check out in the future. Small group meetings, youth and children’s ministries, prime timer groups, classes for new parents, support groups for young marrieds, and classes specifically for singles are all common offerings at a church. So placing contact information, key dates or locations, or even a QR code linked to a calendar or more information about these groups in church bulletins can help members and visitors get looped into a group that will add instant value to their experience at your congregation.

    Why Your Bulletin Isn’t Getting Read

    Are your church bulletins ending up discarded on the pews or worse, still stacked up untouched week after week? It might be because your designer is committing one of these cardinal sins, making the bulletin unappealing or even hard to read. Check to see if you need to fix one of these common problems in your publication.

    1 We all love to pick just the right font for our digital projects, but a mix of fonts can be visually confusing. Typically, a change in font indicates something to the reader like a change of subject or a topic of importance. Instead, stick to one main basic font for the text and another for specific bulletin areas or all titles.

    2 Just like a book, church bulletins should include ample visual blank space. Don’t print your content with tiny margins thinking it will save paper, saving money with your printing company. Instead, readers are likely to put down a bulletin with too little white space because too much text is overwhelming.

    3 Using a template can help you keep your bulletin organized because bulletins with low organization are hard to read. But even if you decide to create your own format, your bulletin’s main content should be in the same place and look relatively identical in each publication. This will help members and visitors find what they need and show your organization’s efforts at being an intentional congregation.

    4 Visitors and those new to the congregation should feel welcome without having to ask what different terms and words mean. Avoid using abbreviations or church jargon that non-members won’t understand in your bulletin or consider including an occasional article explaining these unusual words to new members and visitors if these types of words are necessary for your congregation’s publication.

    Creating Beautiful Church Bulletins

    Dazzle Printing can help you print church bulletins that your congregants and guests will love to read. With gorgeous paper options, easy ordering and a quick turnaround, you can inform and connect with the members of your church as well as create a lovely outreach tool that will help you build authentic relationships with guests and non-members who visit your church.


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