Informing members and guests about the latest events in your church is key to your ministry's success. That's why we previously built a post on church bulletin board ideas and have followed it up with this guide on weekly church bulletins.
Whether you're designing a Christmas bulletin, an Easter bulletin or a bulletin for a typical weekend service, this guide will help you create your masterpiece. The guide is great for both beginners and pros looking for more church bulletin ideas and tools.
Keep reading to get all the church bulletin ideas, tools, templates, examples and guidance you need, including...
- Church Bulletin Ideas & Best Practices
- Church Bulletin Examples for Inspiration
- Free Church Bulletin Templates
- Where to Get Church Bulletin Covers for Free
- Free Giving Messages to Include in Your Church Bulletin
- Free Church Bulletin Fillers to Inspire Giving
Church Bulletin Ideas & Best Practices
1. Keep It Simple
These days, people respond best to pictures, not walls of text. Express as much of your bulletin as you can in pictures.
You should keep the text on your bulletin simple and easy to understand.
Also, your font should be clearly readable; use dark text on a light background. Text on your church bulletin should be easy to decipher with one glance.
You can communicate a lot more through pictures than you might think. You can take a cue from Instagram infographics, an increasingly popular form of communication that the youth in your congregation are likely familiar with.
2. Don't Worry About Color
If you don't have an expansive palette of printer ink to work with, don't worry. Your church bulletin doesn't have to be vibrant to get the job done.
If your color options are limited, make sure you pick images that involve as little shading as possible. Clean, thick lines show up best in black and white.
If you have a few colors to choose from, choose a complementary pair and use them to tastefully accent your church bulletin.
For help choosing complementary colors, you can always check out Pantone's color trends. Pantone has been at the forefront of color trends in graphic design for decades. They can be a great resource to you.
3. Keep Your Message Simple
One of the greatest church bulletin ideas and tips you should keep in mind is to keep it simple Your bulletin is a great opportunity to showcase your church's philosophy. If you can, condense your church's approach to faith and worship into a catchy, digestible slogan.
Including this mission statement on your church bulletin will give members of your congregation something they can always look to for guidance.
It will also tell new members what they should expect, and help them easily figure out how your church can help them worship.
4. Design a Weekly Message
Your church bulletin should showcase the themes and Bible passages your Pastor is teaching the congregation about. Any truly great church service comes with an unforgettable lesson.
Include some simple, easy-to-read notes in your church bulletin. These notes, as well, should be short and sweet. You don't need to include every last detail of the service. Instead, give your congregation some simple landmarks to guide them through the service.
This tip can also make it easier for you to figure out what to add to a bulletin. You'll always have some points from your weekly service to add to it.
5. Give a Taste of What's to Come
Your bulletin should give church members an idea of what they're going to see throughout each service. New members might feel disoriented if they attend a service with no guide of what's to come.
However, you shouldn't give everything away. If your program is too detailed, members of your congregation may find themselves paying more attention to the church bulletin than to the Pastor.
You don't want people to be distracted by reading your bulletin instead of listening to your teachings. However, you also don't want members of your congregation to feel lost.
6. Thanksgiving and Gratitude
Nothing is more Christian than a day of gratitude. When Thanksgiving is coming around the corner, celebrate with a themed section of your church bulletin.
Remind your congregation to be grateful to God, on Thanksgiving and every other day of the year. Get some adorable turkeys on your bulletin, too! Remember, symbols and pictures are always helpful.
While Thanksgiving is technically a secular holiday, there's no reason your church should neglect it. You can use this holiday as an opportunity to shout out star members of your church as well!
Even if it is not Thanksgiving, you can still show your appreciation. You can ask people to nominate a member of the church that deserves special recognition.
Appreciation spotlights will give children and new members something to aspire to. They will also build camaraderie among your congregation.
Plus, if you make it a weekly or monthly event, you save yourself the work of coming up with tons of new church bulletin ideas!
7. Go Digital
Because online worship services are key to supplementing in-person services, your ministry needs to think about making digital church bulletins. These bulletins are key to helping online viewers follow along. It is also important for those watching past services on demand.
Although it is preferable to have everybody worshiping in-person for most congregations, not every member can make it each week. Having digital materials available helps your church support their spiritual growth wherever they may be.
Online worship services and the digital materials like church bulletins will help your church reach new members. These bulletins can be included with recordings of your past services, which your church can make available online. These recordings and materials will help those looking to join a new church in your area see what makes your ministry so great.
And, having these digital church bulletins can also reduce your printing costs and help you go green by conserving resources.
8. Go All Out For Christmas
Christmas is incredibly important to your congregation. When you design a church bulletin for Christmas, you should not hold back.
You should include fun imagery that your congregation will recognize and love. However, you should also remind them why Christmas is a holy day. Don't let secular Christmas traditions distract everyone from the birth of Jesus.
Christmas is also a great opportunity to highlight the importance of Nativity scenes. Nativity Scenes are a great opportunity to request that your congregation gives back to the church.
As the three wise men brought gifts to the birth of Jesus, remind your congregation to give gifts to the church they love in honor of this blessed day. The three wise men teach us that giving is a gift we ultimately give ourselves.
9. Bring Your Church Online
Your church bulletin is an easy place to alert people to your church's online presence. If you don't yet know about the benefits of having a Facebook page or YouTube account for your church, you're missing out.
In your bulletin, you can include some social media logos and write down the handle or name of your church's social media pages, such as Facebook. You could also include a link to your YouTube channel to allow members and guests to access recordings of past sermons.
This allows churches to reach people who do not live in your town, or who want to come to church but cannot make it there due to a disability.
Your social media presence will also keep the church on your congregation's minds all week long. The more they are reminded of their church, the more their faith will become a natural part of their lives.
10. Keep New Concepts Simple
When you make changes in your church, help everyone understand them. If you bring your church online, change the way you receive donations or edit your usual schedule; people may be confused.
Use your church bulletin to slowly introduce members of your congregation to new concepts.
Keep the text easy to read and the images informative. Break down new church updates into easily digestible bites.
11. Add Helpful Contact Information
One of the most important church bulletin ideas you should consider is including all helpful contact information on the program. If your church is on the larger side, it is even more crucial members of your congregation know how to contact church leaders. They should also know which leaders they should contact about which kinds of inquiries.
Make sure everyone in your congregation knows who to turn to for their specific concerns and questions.
Your congregation should know that you care about their experience in your services and that you want their feedback.
Every bulletin should contain contact information for the key leaders in your church. That way, new members can have this information as soon as their first visit.
12. Give and Take
A bulletin is a great place to ask your congregation to help you raise funds. However, that should not be the only focus of your bulletin.
Your bulletin should be just as beneficial to your congregation as it is to your church. Make sure you include resources for members of your church.
Your bulletin should include guidance to help your congregation reflect and practice their worship at home.
Your congregation is more likely to make generous donations if they feel supported by your church. Remind them of all that you can do for them in the same breath with which you ask for funds.
13. Reuse Graphics From Your Service
If you use a slideshow or any other kind of visual aid during your service announcements, you can reuse them for your church bulletin. This will save you time and keep your branding cohesive.
You can also use these graphics to post on your social media pages.
The more cohesive your graphic design strategy is, the better. Good branding involves giving people some images that they automatically associate with you.
14. Make Donating Easy
Make sure everyone in your congregation understands how to properly donate to the church. In your church bulletin, you should always include a guide to making charitable contributions.
If you are using a text-to-give service, make sure your congregation knows how to use it. This goes along with our earlier advice about explaining new ideas in a simple way.
If you are using a digital app, make sure your congregation members can donate directly through your user interface.
Not everyone in your congregation is tech-savvy. Make it clear on your bulletin that you accept all forms of donations. Include information on who can receive cash, and who to make out checks to.
15. Keep Up Fundraising Motivation
If your church is conducting any ongoing fundraisers, you can use your bulletin to keep track of progress. Make fundraising a fun competition and keep track of the results on your bulletin.
For example, you might ask members of your church to sell candy, books or any other product to raise money. You can keep a leaderboard going for everyone to see.
When you make fundraising a competition, you're guaranteed to raise more funds in general. More funds for the church means a better experience for everyone who worships there.
Remind your congregation of the progress they have made and how much time is left in a fundraiser. You can also include helpful tips and fundraising strategies for those that may be struggling.
For even more motivation, include notes describing what you plan to do with the funds.
For example, if you are fundraising on behalf of a charity, remind people of that. When your congregation remembers that their money is going toward a great cause, they are more likely to raise as much of it as they possibly can.
16. Pull Out All the Stops on Easter
Putting extra effort into your Easter church bulletins is a great idea. Your Easter bulletin is an opportunity to celebrate the holiday, educate your congregation about it and try some spring fundraising ideas.
For the kids, you can include some bunnies, colorful eggs and spring flowers in your Easter bulletin. This holiday calls for a pastel color scheme.
For everyone's enrichment, include some of your favorite Bible wisdom about the resurrection of Christ.
Use some of the same material you'll use in your Easter service. This will make sure it hits home for kids and adults alike.
17. Announce Upcoming Events
Church isn't just about worship. It's also about community bonding and enjoying time with other devout people.
On your church's bulletin, you can advertise movie nights, book clubs, sports games and any other leisure activities that members of your church might want to do together.
If you'd like, you can also encourage members of your congregation to host their own events and let church leaders know about them. That way, you can advertise their events on a bulletin for them.
Bringing leisure activities to your church is a great way to get kids and new members committed to their faith. It can also help you form relationships with neighboring churches through competitive games and sports.
18. Welcome New Members
One of the best church bulletin ideas is to use the medium to welcome new members. Because increasing membership is so important to churches looking to grow, your congregation needs to find ways to make individuals feel welcome.
Put an announcement on your church bulletin to introduce any new member. And, offer direction for them to join church events, contacts or groups.
Churches have a reputation for being warm and welcoming, and you should try to live up to that as much as possible. The feeling of belonging is what makes people dedicated to their congregation.
19. Put Church Members in the Spotlight
When something special happens in the life of one of your church members, include a small shoutout in your church bulletin! If a married couple has a child, for instance, issue them a "congratulations."
If one of your church leaders receives a grant or other opportunity to spread their faith elsewhere, point that out to your congregation.
For instance, if your Pastor opens up a new charitable organization, that would make a great bulletin announcement.
Including good news in your church bulletin is a great way to keep the spirits of your congregation up. It gives everyone hope that they can accomplish great things through their faith.
20. Keep It Relatively Small
One church bulletin idea every ministry should consider is simplicity. The more you pare your church bulletin down to the bare essentials, the more people are likely to retain from it.
Identify what information is most important to you in a given week, and make sure you center it in your bulletin. As long as your congregation knows how to take the next step in their worship, you're doing your job right.
21. Create Church Bulletin Boards
Church bulletins have limited room for announcements, and if the church announcements section is too large, members and guests could easily skim past key messages.
That's why many churches use church bulletin boards in tandem with their church bulletins. Because church bulletins are much larger and more visually appealing, members notice them. Once they're drawn in, they can easily look through any key announcements your church has pinned to it.
22. Include Quotes within Church Bulletins
Your church doesn't need to rely solely on sermons or music to capture member interest during Sunday services. Many churches include quotes within their church bulletins to pique curiosity.
So why not include a quote within your bulletin this Sunday? Read our free guide to see how you can get a list of amazing church bulletin quotes for every occasion. Whether it is a special holiday or a regular weekly service, it has the perfect quotes you need to fit your service's messaging.
23. Supplement Your Church Bulletins with Video Announcements
The announcements section of your church bulletin can occupy a lot of paper. Why not trim the section up by using church video announcements. You can prerecord video snippets explaining key announcements you want to focus on and provide the details members need to act.
This solution works well to declutter your announcements section and call attention to specific church events.
Church Bulletin Examples for Inspiration
Now that you have a few church bulletin ideas and best practices to consider, we wanted to provide an additional source of inspiration, church bulletin examples from churches like yours.
Below we detailed a list of some of the most effective church bulletin examples we could find, and explain what components you should consider incorporating in yours.
- Church Bulletin Example 1: Brentwood Baptist Church
Bentwood's church bulletin example shows what great work a dedicated group of church volunteers and staff can pull off. As you can see, this bulletin goes the extra mile to inform members of events, missions, important community news items like births and deaths, where to livestream church services and even includes a welcome message for guests. The last item we mention, the welcome message for guests, is a key element many churches overlook.
Without a plan to welcome new members, churches often struggle with shrinking congregations. Brentwood includes three callouts for guests on the top left portion of the bulletin. The items they include are...
- Filling out a communication card.
- Reaching out to join a mission and vision class.
- Callouts for the groups of individuals they serve (preschool, children, students & adults).
There's a lot more to like about this bulletin from Brentwood, but the scope of it might be hard for smaller churches to pull off each week. That's why if you're looking to take anything in particular from the example, especially if your church has stagnating membership levels, try mapping out a plan for how you want to reach new guests. Then put action points in the bulletin like Brentwood did. You'll be surprised how much this little section can do to bring new members aboard.
- Church Bulletin Examples 2: Open Network
We used church bulletin examples plural because Open Network provides plenty of examples, over 3,000, to get you inspired. Paging through their extensive library of church bulletin examples submitted from churches far and wide, we noticed several worth mentioning.
Here's a neat one for kids on Easter to keep them engaged.
- Church Bulletin Example 3: Our Lady of Grace Church
There's a lot to like in this church bulletin example, but perhaps its greatest strength is its coverage of news and events. Aside from boasting a detailed calendar of events on page six (with times and dates included), they have numerous subheadings to cover news and requests. Take their "Homebound Communion" for example. With so many individuals within this congregation homebound, these folks are unable to share in a vital part of their church.
Having this callout for volunteers will help them not only get the people they need, but help the church family continue to grow their bond and community.
The robust news and events section of this church bulletin example is enough for you to consider using it as a template for your own. However, this church bulletin example has many other great features you should consider.
One that many churches overlook is the advertisements featured on the last page. These advertisements help fund the churches missions, allowing your church to devote more resources to its work of helping those in the community and evangelizing their message of God's love.
As you consider what components to use in your bulletin, check out more of Our Lady of Grace's online materials. The link we provided contains a listing of several of their past bulletins, which are also great church bulletin examples.
Free Church Bulletin Templates
If you've ever built a church bulletin from scratch, you know it isn't easy. That's why so many ministries use one of the many free church bulletin templates available online.
Finding some of these free church bulletins online takes a little digging. Fortunately, we did the search for you.
Where to Find Free Church Bulletin Templates
- TemplateLab - This source of church bulletin templates includes 33 Microsoft Word documents you can download for free. Because each of the templates are Word documents, it is easy to edit and adjust the templates to include your church's unique information. There are popup ads but you can easily ignore them. Overall, it's a small price for these amazing free church bulletin templates.
- MinistryVoice - These free church bulletin templates are also Word documents. There are only three of them available, but they are among the most visually appealing we could find. There is a cost to acquire these three templates (your email), but the end product is worth it. Editing these templates is quick and easy process.
- Sample.net - Choose from 19 free church bulletin templates with Sample.net. Each of these templates are PDF files, so you'll need to either have access to Adobe or convert them to a Word document once you extract them from the ZIP file (how to extract a zip file). Somebody within your congregation should have access to Adobe. They can either edit them in Adobe or convert them to Microsoft Word for your team to edit.
If you can't gain access through a church member, you can simply convert the files to Microsoft Word. You'll need to first open up the downloaded PDF file by unzipping it. Then you'll need to click convert to Word. You'll need to sign up for a free trial to convert files to Word. But, you can easily convert all 19 of the files and then cancel the PDF to Microsoft Word converter once you're done.
Build Your Own with Canva, the Free Church Bulletin Template Builder!
Another great source of church bulletins is Canva. Canva is an image template builder that allows you to easily construct a variety of materials that look like they've been designed by a professional. In fact, many professional graphic designers will use Canva to build designs within minutes.
But don't worry. You don't need to be a professional to use Canva. All you need to do is click into one of their many church bulletin templates and edit the text, drag and drop any new images or sections you desire, and you're all set.
By using Canva, even a tech illiterate can build an amazing bulletin fast. Before building a church bulletin with Canva, you should be forewarned that although the service is free, they might require a dollar or two per project. The software to build the church bulletin is free, but some of the images aren't. To use these images, you may have to pay a dollar in some cases. In other instances, there is no cost.
Although it might not be entirely free, the time savings it can give you, the creator of church bulletins, may be worth it, especially because it won't cost much.
How to Make or Get Church Bulletin Covers for Free
Having a visually appealing church bulletin cover can make a huge difference. It will draw the churchgoer to the information contained within, which will inform them of vital announcements and calls to action.
If you're looking for free church bulletin covers or are looking to build ones of your own, you'll want to be mindful of copyrights. Unfortunately, churches can't legally use any image online for their covers. That means some of the church bulletin cover clipart or graphics you see might be off limits.
If you're looking for free church bulletin covers to use for your weekly services, don't worry. We dug into the process and found many insightful hints and resources in our article on free church bulletin covers.
Free Giving Messages to Include in Your Church Bulletin
Stewardship is critical for the longevity of your church, and your church bulletin is a great place to encourage member generosity. You would be surprised how much a gentle reminder to give can do.
Unfortunately, asking for donations is uncomfortable for many, and due to this discomfort, many churches omit a call for giving within their bulletin.
That's why we built a number of giving messages your church can include within your bulletin. Each of these church bulletin messages are free. The templated messages have been designed for your convenience, which means all you need to do is update the message to include your church's name and info.
Free Church Bulletin Giving Messages
This word document includes five amazing church bulletin giving message templates. Because churches receive donations in a variety of different ways, we built templates to help you encourage gifts through a number of mediums, including online giving and text giving. We also built church bulletin templates to help you encourage members to continue giving during the summer giving slump. Last of all, and perhaps most importantly, we included a template to encourage recurring giving.
The stats on recurring giving for churches are clear. Any church seeking to have strong stewardship needs to include an automatic giving component. Members have become used to automatic payments, and without them, they often forget to give each Sunday.
Because attendance is so much higher during Easter than the average Sunday, we built a number of church bulletin giving messages you can use. Choose from one of four messages or use them all throughout Lent.
For most nonprofits, and specifically churches, a majority of donations come during the final month of the year. Make sure the messages you include within your church bulletin inspire members and visitors to give with the two templates included in the document.
As we mentioned, the stewardship of your church is critical for the long-term health of your ministry. Because stewardship is important and donations can lag at certain times throughout the year, consider including a church bulletin filler, a physical piece of paper you print and place within your church bulletin. This extra callout will draw more attention to the church's need for gifts. Although these church bulletin inserts help inspire generosity, you don't want to use them every Sunday. They're meant to be strategic reminders throughout the year.
Free Church Bulletin Fillers
It happens every summer. Attendance dips as members go on vacation and engage in summer plans. Unfortunately, their donations go on vacation with them. Virtual worship services have helped churches struggling with the summer giving slump, but it hasn't solved the issue for many. This free insert can help churches remind members their gifts are needed all summer long. For best results, use this church bulletin filler during the month of May, before Memorial Day. The message needs to be presented before members set off on their summer vacations.
These cards can be placed within the pews or in the church bulletin. When the church passes the offering plate, members can place the card in the plate.
The cards help honor the tradition of the offering plate that many members have grown accustomed to and eases the transition to electronic giving. Making the switch to online giving leads to growing donations. That's why it is important to foster a smooth transition from traditional giving to eGiving.
Each Easter, your church is packed with churchgoers. Encourage members to give with this free church bulletin filler for Easter.
The Christmas season has some of the most attended services throughout the year for most congregations. And, many members and churchgoers make the bulk of their tithes and offerings during December or late November. Use this free church bulletin filler to remind them the church needs their support.
Some members might not know your church supports online giving. Use this free church bulletin insert to inform them that they can easily donate online.
Looking for More Church Materials?
Check out our free giving letter templates, which includes messages for appeals and thank-you notes every church should have.