Church bulletins are a thing of the past…
Church bulletins are dead…
Church bulletins are a complete waste of time and money…
Wait, pump the brakes! That’s not correct, and we are going to tell you how to make it work to your advantage.
As a side note, you can take out the word “bulletin” and substitute it with your appropriate term such as worship guide, worship bulletin, worship folder, information guide, etc. They are one in the same for this topic.
Church bulletins are often overlooked. Many churches don’t spend more than 10 minutes per week, in total, finalizing their bulletins. The fact is that this tiny piece of paper is one of the best ways to manage your credibility as a church, and that is worth a lot more than you might think. We take a deep dive into credibility with regards to church growth in our My Church Marketing Director course if you want more information. To create the perfect bulletin, you need to offer value with everything you communicate, eliminate imperfections, and have a call-to-action as often as possible.
Here are the 3 Easy Ways to Create the Perfect Church Bulletin:
1. Offer value with everything you communicate.
Have you ever found yourself in a conversation that was completely pointless and not meaningful? Yeah, me too, and so did my roommate in college.
My roommate in college came back to our dorm room venting about this pointless conversation he was having with this girl he was dating. (Needless to say, they didn’t date long.) He recalled the conversation with a little bit of an exaggerated “valley-girl” impersonation, and it went something like this:
“Oh my gosh, Amy and I were at the cafeteria, and we saw this massive apple. It was like the biggest apple you have ever seen. This apple was literally the size of a watermelon. I have never seen an apple this big before in my life…”
This impersonation went on for a solid 8 minutes.
The point is that this conversation about an apple wasn’t appealing to my roommate. It felt like a waste of time, it was frustrating, and the relationship didn’t last very long.
Similar to this example, as churches, we are constantly focus on perfecting the way we communicate to our visitors so that we offer value in everything we do.
For about 30 seconds, you have your visitors undivided attention, and you need to use it wisely. If you don’t, your visitor will put it down and probably never read it again. Secondly, the next time you attempt to communicate with your visitors about something really important, you won’t have their attention.
Here are a few ways you can make sure you are offering value:
- Include up-to-date and detailed information about upcoming events
- Highlight specific ministries
- Have a place for the visitor to take notes
- Summarize the sermon series.
- Have a way for visitors to talk with you about prayer requests
2. Eliminate ALL Imperfections
With everything that we produce as a church, it’s important to always minimize any imperfections such as graphic mistakes, typographical errors, or incorrect information.
At first glance, this may seem like something that isn’t a huge deal, but this is actually a subconscious deal-breaker for some visitors. This bulletin is a way to build credibility as a church, and it can be extremely useful to communicate a level of excellence. BUT, if not executed well, it can backfire quickly.
Here’s the good news, we have all done it. Every church has had “imperfections” – even the mega-churches. Don’t give up on bulletins at the first sight of imperfection; just use that as an opportunity to get better. Secondly, create an internal system where you have a least three different people reading the bulletin to ensure that everything is correct. You would be surprised at how useful this can be. Trust us!
3. Have a Call-to-Action as often as you can.
One important piece that many churches miss when constructing their bulletin is having a good call-to-action. As we stated earlier, you have this individual’s attention for at least 30 seconds. What do you want this individual to do?
– Just Read It
– Register for an Event
– Opt-in to a newsletter
– Sign-Up for Baptism.
Don’t miss this opportunity to connect with your people. Where it makes sense, we encourage our churches to have a opt-in call-to-action in at least two different places on the bulletin: a high-level opt-in to the church database and to sign-up for a particular event or ministry. This will do a few things:
– Connect with your guests so that you can follow up with them if they are a first-time visitor.
– Force you to provide something valuable to the visitor looking to get more involved.
Here are some opt-in ideas:
– QR Codes.
You can get one HERE for free.
– Text Codes.
Flocknotes.com has a great product, but you do have to pay for it.
– Good Ole-Fashion Email Address
Church bulletins are often overlooked by churches because of many reasons – to save time, to save money, or to save a tree. We encourage you to reconsider your process and system when crafting your bulletins. It can be a great way to communicate with your audience, increase your database list, and improve the perception of your church.
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