The bulletin. The word brings dread to church communicators everywhere.
Like many churches, we created, proofed, printed and folded hundreds of bulletins each week only to watch them be tossed into a trash, left in seats or crammed in Bibles to be thrown away later.
Surely there’s a better way!
In January we took the plunge and made the switch to a monthly bulletin.
Now we produce a monthly news that highlights major events and a story. We pass it out on the first Sunday of the month and make it available at our Guest Services all month. Each week we pass out a simple front and back card with our current series branding, information for first time guests and a perforated tear-off for a connection card.
Here are a few reasons why we made the switch.
1. We launched an app
The app is now the primary way for our regular members and attenders to see upcoming news and events. It’s geared toward our internal audience and we continually push people to check the app and use it to connect with us.
2. The bulletin didn’t change week to week
We emphasize small groups, volunteer teams, family ministries and missions. This means we don’t have significant programming changes week to week. If something does come up, there are other effective channels (email, social media, push notifications) we can use to get the word out.
3. It forces us to plan
All communication requests have to be submitted by the 15th of the month prior to be considered for the monthly news. The monthly method eliminates last-minute promotional requests and ensures details are mapped out well in advance.
4. It allows us to share stories
Every month we include a life change story or highlight a mission team. This gives us another avenue to share the mission of our church (connecting people to Jesus for life change), rather than simply pumping out more events and ministry leader requests.
How’s it working so far? Great! We’ve received positive feedback on the switch, saved money and can use time more effectively throughout the week.
There are no formulas for church communications – it all depends on your context and audience. For us, the move to a monthly bulletin has been the right one.
What about you? Does your church do a weekly bulletin? Are you ready to switch to a monthly?