Is Anyone Reading Your Church Bulletin?

What is the life span of your church bulletin? About as long as the service, and then you find it in the garbage can outside? Breathe new life into your bulletin and make it an effective communication tool for your church. Think of it as a mini-newspaper, packed with need-to-know and need-to-grow information.

An attractive bulletin will draw readers. Is your bulletin wall-to-wall typewriter type, or is the print easy to read? The fewer typefaces (or fonts) you use, the better, so when you begin to add text, choose two or three at most that complement each other.  It’s best to mix serif type, (those with small lines on the end of letters, like Times Roman), with sans serif type (those with no small lines, such as Helvetica or Arial).  Always use the serif type for body copy, as it is easier to read when there are many words. Save the more elaborate artsy typefaces for short headlines or subheads—and remember, use three at most. Too much type in any font makes the page look too gray, and people won’t want to read very far.

Find different ways to break up the text. Add graphics to your church bulletin.  Just go to, Liturgical Publications Inc Art & Media Portal. Pictures, photos, illustrations and clip-art are eye-catching and draw the reader into the text. Use moderation and choose graphics that create visual harmony.

Put only the most important information in your church bulletin.  If there’s too much, you’ll overwhelm today’s too-busy-to-read person.  Worse, they’ll end up reading it during the sermon!  Keep it brief, and refer readers to your website for more information.

The bulletin is the best and easiest way to help attendees, especially newcomers, know what to expect in the service, and to educate members on small groups, ministries, prayer groups and other activities that define your church. Include information that is important for your congregation to get through the week ahead.

You should include:
•    Ministry news
•    Small group meeting information
•    Approaching church events and outside events like concerts or trips to local amusement parks
•    Recap past week’s important events, and use names. People love to see their name in print
•    Excerpts from books or periodicals that relate to real life issues, such as parenting, relationships, finance and other topics that will provide spiritual growth
•    Pictures, if possible.  If you have the scanning technology to reproduce a high-quality photo, use it!  You’ll have more success in this area if you start with a photo that has good contrast and brightness. As much as people like to see their names, they like to see their pictures even more. (Don’t forget to have the individuals in the photos sign a release to use their images in the bulletin).

And finally, ask your congregation what they’d like to see in the bulletin. Add a simply survey or questionnaire. By giving them a simple survey, which can be collected during the offering or at the end of the service, you’re conveying your desire to meet their needs better. They’ll be glad you asked and so will you!

4 thoughts on “Is Anyone Reading Your Church Bulletin?

  1. Randy Pulsifer

    Our new pastor has the ushers hand out the bulletin as people leave after mass. He says this keeps them from reading it during mass and leaving it behind for us to clean up. It seems that more people actual read it when they had time to do so before mass. Has anyone else experienced this? Does anyone have ideas to make it more likely for people to read the bulletin at home?

  2. Diane

    Put a joke or a riddle in every week. Be consistent. The biggest hurdle is to get them to open the bulletin. If you can get them to start looking forward to something like that, they’re more likely to open it every week. Once opened, they’re more likely to read the rest. I agree with your pastor – our bulletins are practically GUARDED by the ushers so people don’t sit and read them during Mass.

  3. Lisa

    Another idea to encourage people to pick up the bulletin.
    During the after Mass announcements we will often give just a brief mention of a topic (for example Fish Fry on Friday) and then tell the congregation that more information is available in the parish bulletin and on our website. This keeps the announcements short and encourages people to pick up the bulletin!

    Our Ushers hand out the bulletin as people leave after Mass also.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>