Do you realize that your church’s bulletin is an important connection tool? It may be one of the most valuable resources for getting visitors plugged into your church as it provides valuable information and a critical first impression of your church. Studies show that your bulletin will be referenced an average of 7 times during a service. Your bulletin plays a big part in making that positive or negative impression on a visitor, so make yours the best it can be.
The First Impression
Upon visiting your church, your weekend bulletin will be the first and perhaps only piece of paper a visitor will receive about your church. What will be your visitor’s first impression? The design, colors and paper quality all are important to consider when choosing a bulletin. A bulletin cover warmed with a collage of color and pictures creates a much more professional and welcoming impression than plain text on a piece of colored paper.
Content As Connection
Next evaluate the content from a visitor’s perspective. Visitors may be asking, “What does this church have for me? Should I come here? Will I fit in?” If it’s a second or third time guest, they may be asking “What is my next step toward growth and involvement?” Create regular feature sections in your bulletin and make each one a valuable connection.
Here are some suggestions:
- Welcome/Guest Information
- Statement of Beliefs/Mission Statement
- Response/Communication Card
- Announcements/Opportunities for Connection
- Upcoming Church and Ministry Activities
Each section helps put your guest at ease, and provides important information on their place in the church family.
Welcome/Guest Information Section
This is perhaps the best way to make your bulletin a connection tool. Here is where a visitor can locate all the information & resources they need about the church. Your church’s statement of beliefs or mission statement would also fit nicely here. Finally, a welcome message from the pastor can make visitors feel especially valued and important. Tip: Answer the most frequently asked guest questions and provide their next step to involvement.
The response card is also a valuable connection tool for a visitor. In fact, if they don’t feel comfortable talking to a church member, this may be the only way a guest communicates with your church. On this card, they can share any prayer requests, ask questions about the church or indicatetheir need for aditional information about a ministry. You can also learn about them. For example, did they pray to receive Christ today? Are they looking for a good small group? Do they want to find out about the youth ministry? This little card is an important facilitator for essential communication between the church and its guests. Plus, you’ll need this information from the response card to conduct any follow-up after the service. Tip: Ask a guest to place this card on the offering plate instead of a financial gift. This gives them a place to drop off the card, and eases any pressure they may feel about the offering.
Announcements/Opportunities for Connection
The announcements are usually a point of interest to a visitor. They not only want to know what your church believes, but also what activities and ministries your church offers. This section may answer the “What can your church offer me?” question. A point of connection could be made if a visitor sees an activity or ministry that piques his/her interest. Tip: Highlight upcoming events or message series in a monthly or weekly calendar. A visitor may return if they see a particular message series or upcoming event they find interesting.
Each part of your church’s bulletin can play an invaluable role in getting visitors plugged into your church. It can provide the detailed answers to a visitor’s key questions. And, it just may be the key to helping your guests become growing active believers and church attenders.