Our world today is driven so much by technology that it can be easy to forget the value of items like church bulletins. But the reality is that they’re the perfect supplement for in-person gatherings, whether the bulletin is printed or in a digital format.
Church bulletins can be a great way to communicate with your members, establish your branding, and provide a clear setup for the order of service, among many other benefits.
I have gathered a wealth of information from church bulletins to provide you with the best tips and tricks to get started establishing a creative and effective church bulletin for church goers at your upcoming Sunday services. I have also provided some free templates that can help you get started today.
What is a Church Bulletin?
With the near-constant influx of technology like social media, smartphones, and emails, the need for bulletins might seem unnecessary. But with the right kind of bulletin, you can communicate with congregants and ensure a long-form touch point with visitors.
What To Include In A Church Bulletin
There are so many things you can include in a church bulletin, which is what can make them such an asset to your church! An effective church bulletin can include everything from upcoming events and staff promotions or changes to worship song lyrics and high-level notes from the sermon so people taking notes can follow along.
And that’s just the copy. How you lay out that content is an entirely other undertaking and one that helps make bulletins stand out, establish a brand, and just look pleasing to the eye. A lot of the time, the words of a church bulletin feel a bit easier than laying out the design. That’s why I’ve compiled five templates that can help you get started.
5 Church Bulletin Templates
I have gathered the best free church bulletin templates for you, whether you’re looking for a more modern, minimalist approach or a more bright and cheerful take. Some templates are designed for print pieces, and others are simple social media post graphics, but all can be a great place to start designing the template that works best for you.
You can find all of these templates and others for free on Canva.com. If you’re looking for even more advanced bulletin design options, you can search for ones from Adobe, InDesign, and more. Find more church bulletin ideas here, and check out our favorite church bulletin examples for more inspo.
1. Organic Template
This bulletin template has a natural, organic feel to it. It leaves a lot of room for you to mix and match texts, which feels approachable and friendly. You can use this as a starting point to create a one-handed pamphlet or a bi-fold bulletin. The layout also allows for graphic elements and images, which can help people put a face to staff members and other church leaders.
2. Modern Template
Looking for a text-heavy layout to help you get as much information in it as possible? This simple design template with black-and-white text would be a great fit. With less room for graphics and space for a large, quality image, this can help you write what you need without space constraints. The fonts and feel help make even the most detailed bulletin feel crisp, clean, and organized.
3. Dynamic Template
Is your church laid back, fun, and energetic? This colorful and bright layout is a great fit to clearly communicate what you need, but also provide space for your personality to come through. This has more room to play with than others, so if you feel confident in your graphic design abilities and want something that can showcase your design skills, go for this template.
4. Event Template
What if you want the bulletin to emphasize a certain event? This template is a great option. With the “hero” of the bulletin being focused on your event, you can highlight that while also hitting on other important announcements and elements for the service. This can still be branded to fall in line with your church’s distinct look and feel.
5. Simple Template
Not into the frills and fuss and just want a plain template to use as a starting point? Use this basic template to get started and add in what makes your church special.
Pros & Cons Of Church Bulletins
While church bulletins are a great option for many churches, there are still some drawbacks. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each and if it’s the right move for your church. No matter where you land, we have options for you at the Lead Pastor to help you communicate with your members. Check out our article on church website designs to learn more.
Pros of a Church Bulletin
There are plenty of pros when it comes to creating and distributing a printable bulletin. Most notably, a church bulletin is an easy way to communicate with your congregation and highlight important church events.
By having people hand out the bulletins as members and first-time visitors file into the sanctuary each week, you’re guaranteeing a communication touch point with them, whether they throw the bulletin away at the end of the gathering or it sits on the kitchen table for a week.
Church bulletins are also a fantastic way to improve visitor outreach. There’s no denying that people fall through the cracks of even the best churches. Visitors can pop in and out without ever being seen by staff members or pastors. This is where church bulletins can be of great help.
The bulletin has all the information needed to get in touch with you or other staff members, get connected with bible studies or other ministries, and more, well after the service has come to a close. When visitors take those bulletins home with them, they now have a hard copy of all the information they’d need to get more connected with you, even if you were unable to meet them or speak with them.
Cons of a Church Bulletin
On the other hand, there are reasons church bulletins aren’t as popular as they once were. This is mainly because most people don’t need paper to communicate like they used to. Social media accounts and church websites have dominated the space and made them less popular or necessary for churches.
This is because of the always-changing nature of life with technology. A lot of times, by the time the bulletin is printed and ready to go, it’s already outdated. It can feel like a waste of time and resources to print a church bulletin when that’s a reality.
In fact, according to FellowshipOne, 85% of churches found their congregation on Facebook. Additionally, 15% use X, formerly known as Twitter, and 15% use Instagram.
Church bulletins are also seen as wasteful and harmful for the environment. According to a World Wildlife Fund report, the pulp and paper industry accounts for 13–15% of total wood consumption and uses between 33–40% of all industrial wood traded globally. And the United States is the second-largest paper producer and consumer country in the world.
As a result of stats like this, more and more organizations, including churches, are trying to find ways to cut down on paper use and take a greener approach to how they operate. One easy way to cut down on paper usage would be by cutting church bulletins. That’s thousands of pages of paper not being used every week.
To Use A Bulletin Or Not Use A Bulletin?
There are ample pros and cons to having a church bulletin, and the choice is truly up to you to see what fits best with your congregation and goals as a church.
Learn more about how to create a church bulletin here.
If you choose not to print a paper bulletin, The Lead Pastor still has something for you! We have a wealth of helpful resources to help you communicate with your members, including on church presentation software, church communication plans, and more.
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