Church Communication – Bulletin Mentality Saga

One of my strengths in ministry is communication.  I believe I can help any ministry communicate better with their kids, students, adults, parents, and community.  I thought I would take a few days and look at this issue.

Bulletin Mentality – If it is in the bulletin then it’s been communicated

I’ve been in many staff meetings about an event that wasn’t communicated well.  This argument almost always includes this statement “It was in the bulletin.”  This seems to trump the idea it wasn’t communicated.

As a student pastor one of my communication goals was to communicate so well that I didn’t need the bulletin.  People are almost always fighting over space for the bulletin.  Other staff members are only going to use the bulletin  I always felt that I could allow others to have the space (unless it was a church wide major event) and then communicate in other ways.

Problem with Bulletin Mentality

  1.  Almost nobody reads the bulletin – I know you want to argue this, but it’s true!  Who is most likely to read the bulletin and act on the information presented in it?  Type A personalities and senior adults.  Maybe a few others if it is an event they are excited about.  You could end your bulletin printing tomorrow and invest in other forms of communication and reach more people.
  2. Bulletins are ugly – It is rare to have an actual graphic designer producing your bulletin.
  3. Bulletins are WAY too full on info – When we see too much information what do we do?  We don’t pay attention to any of it.  I might read over it, but that is it.

Why do we still use them?

  1.  Bulletins are easy
  2. We’ve always done it that way.
  3. Bulletins are expected by church members
  4. Greeters will quit if they don’t have anything to hand to people.

A Better Bulletin –

  • Hire a graphic designer to update the look of it.
  • Make it small.  No bigger than the size of a normal bible.
  • Two sided. No pages. No inserts.
  • Limit to 3 or 4 announcements.  EVERY church that has a bulletin should have stipulations to what can go into the bulletin.  Only church wide events, no longer than 3 weeks, no more than X amount of words, logo required, etc.

Bulletins will never be good enough to successfully communicate the programs, events, and vision of your church.  However, you can make them more effective and a part of an overall communication strategy.

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