Whenever we approach a bulletin design for a church, we start with a few questions about their bulletin process in general.
- What do your bulletins communicate about your ministry?
- Are they relevant to the branding and overall direction of your ministry?
- Do they relate to the specific message of the service they are used for?
- Are they just another way of spreading the news of upcoming events?
Recently we have found ourselves asking another question. Are printed bulletins actually the best method to get this information to your congregation? This question arose during a strategy meeting with a ministry we partner with. We were discussing the print and marketing budget for the ministry and putting a plan into action to see what was most effective. Several ideas were proposed involving weekly email blasts with the bulletin information and using the great service from YouVersion to make sermon notes available. After two months of planning, surveys and testing methods, this ministry has now killed off their old approach to bulletins. Their volunteer bulletin assembly team is thrilled, something was mentioned about the bandaid budget and fewer paper cuts.
We love new technology and creative ways to use it here at Church Visuals. How technology will be effective for your ministry however, will be different from other ministries. That is why it is so very important to get feedback from your congregation about what they would like to see made available to them. When we were ready to get info from this ministry’s congregation, we created a simple survey card to be passed out and deposited in with the offering. We will make a version available to you soon in our freebie section. It had questions about what social networking tools they use, what kind of mobile devices they use and if they thought electronic bulletins would be a good idea. On the back we created an infographic showing the current costs for printing the bulletins(about $0.10 per person), and estimated cost’s for the new method(about $0.01 per person).
As we researched what is available to make bulletins go digital and what other ministries have switched, we came across a couple good blog posts. Dry Pixel walks through their process in this blog post. They do a great job explaining the method that worked for them. Kem Meyer also wrote a great article years ago found here. She explains the pro’s and con’s and discusses the solution Park Community Church settled on. If you are thinking about getting rid of your print bulletins, make sure to do the research, planning and discovery stages before surprising your congregation with the big change. We would love to help you out with the process, contact us if you want to brainstorm ideas.
Are print bulletins or a digital approach the best solution for your ministry?