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Deep within the heart of every church family lies this anchor of connection, community, and vital information sharing—the church bulletin. If you are a church leader or volunteer eager to launch a new bulletin or spice up this “pillar” of church communication, you’re in the right place. 

What Is A Church Bulletin?

The church bulletin plays a huge role in communication with your church. I may be aging myself here, but there is something nostalgic about receiving a printed bulletin in your hand from the usher and reading all the info and news updates on the church.

Weekly emails are important and can play a role, but sometimes our inboxes can be so full that we can easily glaze over an email and miss things. Simply put, the church bulletin is your one stop shop for all church news and updates. 

Some churches will also use the bulletin to add music lyrics if they do not have a projector for lyrics, have the scripture references from the sermon that Sunday, or even include a place to jot down notes from the service. 

Why Are Church Bulletins Important?

An important thing to remember with church bulletins is that they have a dual role: keeping church members informed and offering visitors valuable insights into the church's identity.

Attending just one worship service may not fully showcase what the church entails, nor would first time visitors likely sign up for email lists right away. Therefore, the bulletin serves as an effective entry point, allowing visitors to explore upcoming events, bible studies, midweek youth and children's programs, small groups, and various outreach initiatives that may interest them. 

It becomes a warm invitation for potential newcomers to connect, engage, and discover the church's vibrant community and diverse offerings. If your church hosts a mother’s day tea, events like this can be announced.

What To Include In A Church Bulletin

While you’ll find below some examples of what things are included in church bulletins, remember that you can tailor the information to fit your own church and what works for your congregation. Your bulletin may also look different depending on the month or season. 

For example, your Christmas and Easter services may have bulletins filled with the basic info needed for that service. 

Examples of Bulletin Info

Here are some things you might include.

  • Order of worship: A structured outline of the service, encompassing the opening prayer, hymns or songs, scripture readings, sermon, and closing benediction.
  • Song lyrics: Provide the words of the hymns or worship songs that will be sung during the service, enabling everyone to participate in the worship.
  • Scripture readings: List the passages from the Bible that will be read during the service to facilitate engagement and reflection.
  • Announcements: Share important church updates, upcoming events, community activities, and opportunities for volunteering and involvement.
  • Sermon notes: Offer a designated space for attendees to take notes during the sermon, helping them retain key insights.
  • Prayer requests: Provide a section for individuals to jot down prayer requests, fostering a sense of communal support.
  • Contact information: Display the contact details of church staff or leaders for easy access and communication. If your church is on social media, include the handles for that as well. 
  • Church information: Include details about the church's mission, vision, core values, and special ministries or programs like Sunday School or young adult programs.
  • Giving information: Present information on how attendees can financially contribute to support the church's mission and activities.
  • Expressions of gratitude: Extend appreciation to volunteers, donors, or contributors who have supported the church's endeavors.
  • Special events: Highlight upcoming special services, like Palm Sunday or Good Friday services, concerts, guest speakers, or other significant gatherings.
  • Inspirational quotes or devotionals: Incorporate brief inspirational quotes or devotionals to encourage personal reflection and spiritual growth. If your church is going to a preaching series you may want to include a reading guide that they can do at home during the week.
  • Community resources: Include relevant information about local resources or services that may benefit the congregation.

How To Create A Church Bulletin

Here are some examples of easy steps to take when creating a church bulletin. It may seem like a lot now, but once the steps and systems are in place it will flow easier. Get more ideas for your church bulletin here and get more details on how to create a church bulletin here.

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Identify Objectives

If you have not created a church bulletin for your church yet or are looking to revamp it, a great idea would be to sit down with some of your leadership team and determine the main goals of your church bulletin. Is it to inform, inspire, or engage the congregation? Understanding the purpose of your worship bulletin will guide your content and design decisions.

Gather Information 

Collect all the necessary information, including the order of worship, song lyrics, scripture readings, announcements, upcoming events, and any other relevant details. If you are needing to get info from certain leaders or pastors each week, it may be helpful to have a schedule or deadline for them to get the information to you so that you don't have to chase it every week. 

For example, if you want your bulletins completed by Thursday, have the deadline as Wednesday end of day to give yourself some wiggle room if people are late getting to you. 

Create a Template

Design a bulletin template that aligns with your church's branding and overall style. Ensure it's easy to read, visually appealing, and leaves enough space for content. Don't worry if you are not an expert in graphic design; a simple bulletin can be just as effective! 

You might have a totally different template for your Christmas Bulletin or your Easter Bulletin as well, so feel free to get creative.

Find some church bulletin templates to get started with here.

Organize Content

Arrange the gathered information in a logical order. Typically, the order of worship comes first, followed by other sections such as announcements, contact information, and inspirational quotes.

Proofread

Double-check all the content for accuracy, grammar, and spelling errors. A well-proofread bulletin reflects professionalism and attention to detail. Also, have other people read it too. This will help in catching spelling errors, and a fresh pair of eyes can help us find sentences that don’t make sense, even when they may make total sense in our minds. 

Engaging Elements

Consider adding engaging elements like images, artwork, or graphics to complement the text and make the bulletin visually appealing. Only use this if there is extra space; if your bulletin seems full already, a photo may make it more cluttered. 

Consistency

Maintain a consistent format from week to week, so attendees know what to expect and can easily navigate the bulletin.

Print or Digital Format

Yes, paper bulletins are great, but they can be more costly to do, so you will need to decide whether the bulletin will be printed, digital, or both. Digital formats can be shared through email or church websites, while printed copies can be handed out during services.

Incorporate Feedback

If you are just getting started with bulletins or changing things up, encourage feedback from the congregation and church leadership. Regularly assess and evaluate how the bulletin is meeting its objectives and make improvements based on feedback. Be open to adapting and improving it over time based on the needs of the church community.

Update Regularly 

Keep the bulletin current with fresh content and relevant information. Ensure it reflects the most up-to-date events and announcements. If you are still announcing baptism Sunday and it was 3 weeks ago, that doesn’t reflect well. 

Promote Engagement

Encourage the congregation to interact with the bulletin, such as filling in prayer requests, taking sermon notes, or responding to calls to action.

By following these steps, your church can create a well-crafted bulletin that enhances the worship service experience and fosters a sense of connection and engagement within the congregation.

Church Bulletin Examples

You can check out a full list of examples of church bulletin templates here.

Here are a few that I will highlight. 

1. Two Rivers Church

two rivers church bulletin
This is a great example of a church bulletin from Two Rivers Church.

This is a great example of a bulletin. It is a bit on the longer side but they have done so well with using the space and it keeps the reader informed. The sermon outline is very creative and helps keep the listener engaged! The color scheme is simple and makes it an easy read as well.

2. Salem Baptist Church

salem baptist church bulletin
Here's what Salem Baptist Church's bulletin looks like.

This is a great example of how you can keep your bulletin simple and refined. It contains all the necessary info they need for the worship service. This approach is less on what's coming down the pipeline but more what can you expect at that Sunday worship service and that week. 

3. New Greater Baptist Church

new greater baptist church bulletin
Here's a good example from New Greater Baptist Church.

This example really highlights how you can reuse communication info as needed, making less work for you each week. This is especially true of the sections “this week” and “this month.”

The prayer request section is a really great tool to help with building the culture of family and community and that you care for each other. The offering budget line is also a really great way to share transparency and create trust for the church community! 

It Starts With Teamwork 

If you've read this and still feel uncertain about how to start the process of creating a new bulletin, I urge you once again to emphasize the importance of teamwork. 

Engage in discussions with your leadership team to determine the ultimate goal for the weekly bulletin. Is it solely for that Sunday, aiding congregation engagement with just an order of service or sermon outline? Or does it also aim to communicate to both the congregation and new visitors, giving them a glimpse of what your community church stands for and upcoming events or ministries they can be a part of? 

Once you have established this vision, the rest of the process should naturally fall into place.

For more on church bulletins and other responsibilities that fall to lead pastors, subscribe to The Lead Pastor newsletter.

Ashley Vaughan
By Ashley Vaughan

Since she began leading worship at the age of 15, Ashley has always been passionate about supporting the local church and leading others into worship. For the past 10 years she has been leading worship teams and finds much joy and fulfillment in empowering and raising up other leaders. Ashley is a song writer with Worship Central Canada and has had the incredible opportunity to travel and lead worship, while collaborating with other worship leaders.