Kill Your Worship Guide. Now.

Kill Your Worship Guide. Now.

I walked into our church yesterday morning and the greeter (aka usherette) stepped forward and handed me a worship guide (aka bulletin). I took it. She said, hi.

I took my seat and added the bulletin to my Bible as though it’s my favorite bookmark. I see 2 or 3 other bulletins randomly placed throughout its pages. I realize that I subconsciously add them until, like this morning, I have to “clean out” my Bible.

I throw out dozens of these unread pamphlets a year. It costs thousands of dollars to produce them. Does anyone actually need them?

I don’t think so.

How does a Church kill their fixation on Worship Guides?

  • What would your greeters do? Imagine it. If they had nothing to jam into the hands of oncoming congregational traffic. Maybe they could shake hands better, talk, welcome, and actually… greet people! Or leave their “post” in order to help someone.
  • It would solve staff disagreements. Churches say that one of the biggest fights in the church office is what announcement actually makes it to the bulletin (or from the pulpit). That’s why many churches have extra pages and inserts. Simply more stuff to throw away and ignore. People aren’t reading them. Wake up to the realization.
  • Develop a trusted location for accurate announcements. The reason people like bulletins? It’s trusted to be right. Except for the occasional typo that Ms. Smith points out. You tell people to get church information on your website; but they’ve gone there and can’t find it. Or it’s incorrect. So… make it correct and easy to find! And/or develop e-blasts that have correct information directed to who’ll receive it. And make sure it becomes the trusted location.

Most churches have a librarian-type grammar police person who looks after the bulletin. And she ensures it’s correct!

“Bulletin announcements must be in to my desk by Wednesday evening!”

You know that battle cry. Redirect her attention to your website and e-blast. Ensure it’s correct. All the time. And then stop the bulletin madness. I wonder how many would even notice!

4 Comments
  • Guess I’m in the minority here. I can’t stand it if I don’t have one. Like to know what’s next, look up hymns in the book (since we use that stupid big screen), and use as a reference during the week if I forget the passage or scripture that was read or want to recall an announcement. Also nice to save certain ones for scrapbooks that have graduates announced, baby dedication for your children, etc. Plus….what else are you going to use to write and pass notes on? 😉

    September 5, 2012 at 5:43 pm
    • Mark MacDonald

      That’s true — we’ll have to start carrying notepads 🙂 Or use our note app…

      September 5, 2012 at 7:01 pm
  • Bulletins were the most valuable to me in my teenage years…when we used them to pass notes back and forth to each other in church. Now, I’m pretty sure teens just text.

    September 6, 2012 at 1:24 pm
  • Mark MacDonald

    Since the average teen (in our church) uses a digital Bible (on a device); I rarely see them with a Bulletin. It’s just the “older folk” who have to take them. And throw them away…

    September 6, 2012 at 1:27 pm