Boring bulletins!

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  1. Myca 2011 Jun 3 2:44PM

    My church uses very, very basic B&W line drawings of the church on our bulletin covers. In visiting other churches, I was surprised that there are many churches using this type of "old school" approach to what are essentially church marketing materials. Anyone using really impressive bulletins for church marketing? If so - what are you using? And do you have someone on staff to do the work, or do you buy the images or bulletins themselves?

  2. drwerner 2011 Jun 3 7:20PM

    Well, i must be "old school," as i think of bulletins/programs as throwaways.  Some years ago a colleague showed me the value (to me) of using a ledger-size paper, both sides, folded conventionally.  This produced a large (good for extra material, larger print, fewer tiny inserts, etc.) program.  Some objected to the size; some pastors/secretaries have made the sheet into a trifold.  On the front, i used NO picture of the church building, but rather some clip art illustrating the text for the day or some special holyday--along with a selected quotation which also provided some connection to the theme.  Worked for me, and it saved money (paper cost more, but the number of copies on the copy machine decreased).  i didn't feel so bad recycling all the used and unused programs either, rather than recycling umpteen full-color, commercially printed bulletins.  Of course, they looked "better."  i was just never convinced of their worth vs. cost. 

  3. Sam J. 2011 Jun 6 2:04PM

    I think bulletins with the church building on the front are (intentionally or not) making their identity more about their building than about the people or ministry done there. Artwork that corresponds with the day's message helps lay groundwork for what people can expect that day. If you preach in series, it gives continuity within the series or a visible break when a new one begins, and even if it's a stand-alone sermon, a specially chosen image can get people thinking in a certain direction before worship even begins.

    If you can't afford color printing or to change the image so often, you could still have a consistent, black and white design with a logo and church name and your mission statement. Something to get the focus more on what that community of believers is all about, not just the building in which it meets.

  4. liz hall 2011 Jun 6 2:19PM

    One of our church members has a marketing and design degree, owns her own business, and designs our bulletins, print ads, etc. The bulletins are 4 color, and have great visual impact. She purchases the images online.

    To be honest, I can follow the whole worship service on the projection screen. We have the order of worship, announcements, sermon notes on the other pages but I rarely get a bulletin, everything that is in it is online.

  5. cjalkula 2011 Jun 18 10:58AM

    We use the Alive Now! bulletin covers, lots of color (which the older folks love).  I was at a church with full-scale AV system and I suggested doing away with the "old school" bulletins. I was told in no uncertain terms that not everyone (particuarly those sitting in the back) could see the screen.  I was told that people wanted the bulletins to refer to. 

    Is there a way to inject into the bulletins more life?

  6. jmillerkelley 2011 Jun 20 10:15AM


    In your situation, I wouldn't worry so much about livening up the bulletins as starting a gentle, gradual conversion process. Perhaps if you repeat all the same info on screen and in the bulletin, and keep both available, you will gradually see more people accepting the screen and not using their bulletins--without starting a riot!

    Be sure to avoid the screen-mistakes discussed in this article, though: If you try to replicate the presentation of the bulletin and hymnal too much on screen, the type will indeed be too small and cramped for older (and younger!) congregants to read.

  7. mcdoogle 2011 Jun 20 12:20PM

    When I got to my present church they had a bulletin that was 2 pages front and back of order of worship, then another 2 page insert with announcements. Four total pages. We now use a 1/2 sheet both sides with just basic information. Songs, scripture reference, title and a symbol fo rthe motto of the church on the front. The back is contact information and the calendar for the week. The rest of the information and announcements on on the projector, weekly e-mails, and facebook page.

  8. triplowery 2011 Jun 21 5:58PM

    We use pictures of our people in ministry. It emphasizes that the church is the people and not a building. They also enjoy seeing themselves in print.

  9. Myca 2011 Aug 3 1:48PM

    The most fun thing my church has done was to have the kids draw bulletins during VBS and then pick a few really neat ones to use throughout the year. Granted, there are a lot of landmines there ("Why did you pick HER child's bulletin to use instead of MY child's???") but overall it was well received and the kids were thrilled and really felt included in the church.

  10. 2011 Aug 16 1:37PM

    We've transformed our worship folder from just being about the order of worship, announcements, etc., into a take-home piece, along the lines of a newsletter or magazine. The cover art reflects the theme of the day's message, inside is a table of contents that tells them where to find the order of worship, the announcements, the calendar, prayer concerns, upcoming lectionary readings, etc. We include each week an article about something relevant to our mission and ministry focus from an outside source, or a full page promo for an upcoming event. We have urged our worshipers to take the worship folder home with them, to pray not only for the people on the prayer list, but also for people who are leading in worship, leading various ministries and even for the events and ministries that are listed in the worship folder that week. We print on 8 1/2 x 11 paper, two-sided, and sometimes the total package is 14-16 pages, but it is having a much larger impact than our former 1 page tri-folded bulletin ever did.

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