With more churches adopting virtual services, the need for digital church bulletins is apparent. But how do you create the perfect church bulletin?
We're here to walk you through the process of making a well-organized digital church bulletin. By following the basic guidance below, you'll be able to clearly communicate church news, service details and other communications with perfect clarity.
Why Should I Use a Digital Church Bulletin?
No better tool exists to communicate with your congregation than the church bulletin. Regardless of the size or demographic, a well-organized digital church bulletin is the front line of disseminating information to your congregation.
It provides your church members will everything they need to know about the church itself, upcoming events, ministry opportunities and more.
You also need a digital church bulletin for virtual attendees to access service information. Members viewing the online worship service also need to see the announcements, prayers and other communications.
Before you begin drafting anything, it’s important to start with a template that you can use to format your bulletin each week. If you need inspiration, check other church’s websites and resources to see their church bulletin designs. This can give a better idea of the information your local community might be most interested in.
Proverbs 27:17 says, "As iron sharpens iron, so one man helps another." If you feel overwhelmed, involve a few people in this design process. It will help to have many eyes giving feedback, encouragement and constructive criticism. You don’t need a team to edit your bulletin every week, but it may help to have input on the initial bulletin design.
There are plenty of resources for free bulletin templates. Here are five sources for digital church bulletins that offer countless options choose from.Canva. This drag and drop editor lets you choose from a ton of templates. Once you choose a template, all you need to do is add in your unique copy and download the final product. And the best part? It's free, or if you do need to pay Canva will only charge you a dollar or two for images.
Last of all, you can hire a graphic designer or find a volunteer within your church to put together a sample digital church bulletin for you to adjust the text and images each week.
The Goal of Your Digital Church Bulletin
A digital church bulletin will be the first impression you give of your church’s Sunday service. Your goal should be to present an honest, concise snapshot of your church and its values.
Church bulletins are comprised of the most important information you want to communicate to the church. This can include:
- A greeting
- A welcome
- A note from the pastor
- Financial updates
- Prayer requests
- Sermon notes
- Some sort of “connect with us” section
A digital church bulletin could be as simple as a PDF form of your printed bulletin the church greeters hand out every Sunday. You could base it on the same document but adjust it to be a convenient digital format.
The digital version could include links to various resources and social media accounts. You could have forgone the traditional church paperwork to create a church bulletin in smartphone format to be scrolled down.
This is where you can find the most important information. Update the day’s date on the bulletin so it can later be archived by your church historian. You will want to have your church name and/or logo at the top as the primary information.
After the church name, there should be a picture graphic illustrating the current sermon series your pastor is going through. It should be large enough to take up one-third of the front and will catch the eye of the person looking at the bulletin. Keep in mind most of your bulletin is going to be text, so providing a well-produced image is important.
If you’re not a graphic designer, don’t worry. There are several resources out there that provide free media for sermon slides, worship lyric backgrounds and bulletin design.
The bottom third of the greeting can be whatever other critical information you want. You could include the church’s mission statement or a word from the pastor. You could also list the names of the pastors and their contact information.
Regardless of what you choose, make sure you are designing with the mindset that this is the first impression you are giving. For this reason, focus on the most important information you would want to share with a visitor.
There are many options for what you can include on the next page, slide or section of your digital church bulletin. Go with the options that your church feels most comfortable communicating.
A Welcome Note From the Pastor
If you didn’t include something like this in the greeting, you want to welcome any visitors and give a brief introduction to the pastor. Do your best to make first-time visitors feel welcome.
Announcements are the next priority. Keep event announcements up-to-date so the church can trust the information given. Nothing loses credibility faster than a listed event with a date that has already come and gone.
Not every event needs a place in the bulletin. Anything more than 3 months out only needs a “save the date." This events section is where you can advertise your church’s top priorities so visitors can see a well-rounded calendar of events and ministries.
Keep your event information in succinct sentences with simple, concrete facts. People are much more likely to read an announcement that says:
"Church Picnic: June 4th at 12:30 p.m. at 123 Church Street"
as opposed to
"Join us two Sundays from now for our All Church Picnic, everyone is invited! It will be at the same location as our Easter Egg Hunt."
You need to give people specific information so they can put down the details in their phone or planner without having to ask around for clarification.
This announcement space can also call out exciting events in the lives of your members. These events could be engagements, weddings, pregnancies or births. They could also be sympathetic announcements for members who have lost a loved one recently.
If you don’t have enough activities to fill the space, never fear. There are plenty of other things you can include in your digital church bulletin.
Having a way to receive and share your congregations’ prayer requests provides a layer of intimacy to the bulletin. Keep the requests current in whatever way works best for you. People are excellent at notifying you when a need arises, but are less motivated to tell you when the need is over.
You might want to have a link to your church's prayer request email address, the "Contact Us" page or create a prayer request submission section.
Whichever method you choose, being able to share your church members’ prayer concerns is a powerful tool.
Every church is different on how transparent they want to be with their finances. You could include projected tithing, last week’s tithe, total expenses and/or total tithes received. If your church has a specific need you are fundraising for, this would be a great place to include the specifics of that as well.
With these sets of information, church members should have what they need for the week.
How to Communicate
Most printed bulletins come with some perforated section that allows the congregants to tear off a section of the bulletin. They can write prayer requests, interest in service opportunities or new visitor information. They can deposit that slip at a designated location at the end of the service.
A digital church bulletin may not be able to provide this helpful tab, but it can still point to ways for members and visitors to communicate with the church staff. You can provide an email address or link to the “Contact Us” section of your website.
Sermon notes are simple bullet points from the pastor that allow the congregants to follow along while they are preaching. There is no right or wrong way to do sermon notes.
Some pastors may want to have fill in the blanks to engage with the congregation, while others include full outlines for future self-study. Either way, this section of the bulletin is an excellent tool to help the congregation engage in and stay attentive to the weekly sermon.
If your church offers multiple services, Sunday school and weekly activities, include a brief schedule of these routine ministries. This is different than the Event Announcements because they occur on a weekly basis. Include the days, times and which room or part of the church each event is held.
In today’s digital age, more and more of the congregation look for information on a church’s website or social media page. Posting each week’s digital bulletin on your church’s website and social media accounts is a great way to reach visitors and members who may not be able to attend.
Make sure to include in your digital bulletin where viewers can follow, like or subscribe to your church’s social media presence.
Everything You Need to Create the Perfect Church Bulletin
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