Bulletins can be incredibly helpful or, sometimes, a waste of paper. Often, we find church bulletins cluttered with too much information or too many images. Here are free bulletin tips and templates for your church.

Weekly bulletins can be an incredibly helpful communications tool ... or ... simply a waste of paper. Often, we find church bulletins cluttered with too much information or too many images. They contain colors outside of the church's brand palette, content that isn't clear and typefaces that don't correctly represent the hierarchy/importance. 

So, we sat down with our designers to get their thoughts on how to make bulletins clear, interesting and effective. Here's what they had to say: 

Six tips for making a bulletin clear
  1. REDUCE content by simplifying descriptions of events to the most essential information, then direct readers to your website and/or a phone number/email address where they can learn more information.
  2. PRIORITIZE content with visual cues (color, type size, imagery) to indicate which information is of highest importance, then of secondary importance and so on. Visual cues are also helpful in making action steps (call this person, sign-up for that event) clear to your readers.
  3. "CHUNK" or organize content into groups by leaving white (empty) space between sections of content and using large/bold, prominent headers to call attention to it. Your readers will remember and retain more when you chunk information effectively. 
  4. Keep it consistent with your brand. Use your logo, brand colors, and brand language to keep it clear that this bulletin is from your church.
  5. Be creative through your content. Look for ways to make your content engaging and exciting. But keep it modern and fresh by leaving the clip-art in Publisher. No one ever signed up for an event because they were charmed by a smiling turtle holding a Bible.
  6. Include your essentials. Always include in your bulletin your full church logo, contact information, social media, etc. If your bulletin gets lost in someone's car on the way home, you want them to know how to connect again when they find it in a few weeks.
Six tips for making a bulletin interesting
  1. Use elements from or inspired by your church's logo. This could be an interesting crop of the logo, or a pattern based off of shapes in your logo.
  2. Use color. But, always remember to stay consistent and only use colors from your brand pallete. 
  3. Use type — creatively. Perhaps enlarge an important piece of text, like a church tagline or a mission statement. If you have the room, fill up the whole page with it.
  4. Change it. Change it. Change it. If content is time-sensitive, never leave the same content in your bulletin for more than a week. Give it a little rewrite if it needs to appear more than one week in a row. If it is evergreen content (not time sensitive), review it once a quarter for any needed changes.
  5. Have a reason for people to use it. Why should someone read your bulletin? If the content isn't timely or well laid out, then it isn't helpful. Regularly re-evaluate what is going in your bulletin to make sure it's actually a successful communications tool.
  6. Be yourself. Other churches are awesome, but you will never be them. And that is okay! Embrace who your church is and communicate the best parts of it through your bulletin. If you love generosity as a church, celebrate it in your bulletin. If you think donuts are the bomb, make sure they have a spot in your bulletin.
Six tips for making a bulletin effective
  1. CLARITY: Make sure the text is dark and large enough for older eyes to read, but not garish or cramped, which would make it less engaging for all audiences.
  2. COST: Are you getting the most bang for your buck? Would your congregation be receptive to receiving a digital bulletin instead of print? How much money could you save by changing the size of your bulletin?
  3. GREETING: Make sure you welcome your guests! Remember, it's always someone's first Sunday. Let them know you're glad they're there. And let them know how they can get connected, if they want to.
  4. Keep it simple. Less is always more, but in the wordy church world, that is easier said than done. Don't be afraid to trim down your content and push people to your website for more details. People will thank you for keeping the bulletin skimmable.
  5. Keep your audience in mind. Is it regular attendees? Guests? Don't be afraid to tailor your bulletin to those who use it. If only your guests pick-up a bulletin, then tailor it to be even more guest-friendly.
  6. Have a clear purpose. Why do you have a bulletin? Make sure all the content you put into your bulletin supports that reason. If it doesn't, throw it out!
Download our free bulletin templates below!