Churches thrive on information. Each ministry has lots of information to provide and, we hope, our members actually want to discover ministry information to use.
The problem? People today are very fragmented in the ways they want to receive information. Some want it by text, some by email, then there’s others who want to go to the website themselves, scan social media, or others still trust the bulletin or newsletter.
People seek information from a trusted source so, because our churches have honed our bulletin process to a science, the bulletin tends to be the go-to place for “everything”. Especially when all the other communication channels tend to require more work than having an usher slap a folder into your hand.
So, since the bulletin is around for a bit longer (do you hear the death knell?); let’s spend as little $$$ on them as we can. Here are 4 suggestions to consider:
- Stop using them. If your church is modern, young, and/or “simple church”; you may be considering doing this soon. Take the leap — but only if you have a go-to digital place (website or app) that is easy to navigate, discover events, and is experience friendly. Many churches have added a recycle bin at the back so they can feel environmentally friendly while everyone throws away their costly bulletins since 2/3s who receive the bulletin don’t refer to it after Sunday. It’s time.
- Stop handing them out. Want to know a more realistic number for how many bulletins you need? Get the ushers to stop suggesting people to take one. If it’s truly necessary, people will pursue it. Instead, set up a small bulletin table or basket near each entrance. People who want them will pick them up. What will ushers do then? Train them in the skills of welcoming, greeting, and giving directions. But make sure, from the stage, that your website URL is suggested for those seeking events and ministries! You’ll probably only have to print half of what you currently are. Maybe less!
- Edit out details. Most people don’t want a lot of details in something that can be misplaced. So take the time to edit the announcements so it has a structure somewhat like your website (listed based on demographics or ministry). Give a good reason to go to the ministry event, its time/date and send them to your website for the details. Get them hooked on checking out the website. How does this save money? With less room for your information, imagine making the bulletin smaller or eliminating the bulletin inserts that cost a ton.
- Consider a different format. Printing is so expensive. Color printing is the worst! Maybe, with careful designer help, you can create something in black and white that will cost much less. Or maybe there’s a smaller size or tweak that can save you hundreds of dollars. Consult with your printer for ideas! Or maybe they’ll suggest printing shells that you can overprint in-house. Taking the time to check with those in the know will often save you money!