15 Lessons from 17 Different Church Bulletins

Recently I emailed some friends and asked them to grab their bulletins from their weekend services at their church and mail them to me. I was overwhelmed when just over 100 that arrived in my mailbox or email! It was so fun looking in at what’s going on at so many churches across the country. I asked for this bulletins because I wanted to learn from what other churches are doing to regularly communicate with their people through this channel.  I’ve picked out some of the pieces that stood out to me and provided them here for you to check out as well. How are you leveraging your bulletin (or program … or worship folder … or whatever you call it) to communicate with your people? I hope these inspire you to reconsider how you can make it better … I know it did for me! [You can download all 17 bulletins in one ZIP file.]

I’d love you to provide a link to your bulletin (or program!) in the comments section. What do you think your piece does particularly well? At my church we focus our bulletin totally on the first time guests … I don’t think our “regulars” look at bulletin at all.  We used to have this cool “story of us” on the inside of our program every week for about 18 months. I liked that piece because I think it brought people up to speed quickly on who we are. I also like our current version of “what to expect” … I think it makes it pretty clear what is about to happen for our guests. I’d love to hear about yours!


  1. Hey Rich!

    Man what a great post, it’s amazing seeing how many different types of bulletins are out there!

    My church is a Northpoint Strategic Partner, so our basic look is similar to theirs, but even more stripped down! It’s a 4″ by 4″ card I believe. Fits in the hand nicely, minimized the waste created, and shares what’s most relevant to the most people.

    Here’s a Dropbox Link to ours, would love any feedback or do betters! 🙂

    1. Adam!

      I looks great … thanks so much for sharing it.

      The only think I see that might help it would be a bit more on the “what to expect” side of things. Some of the “engage stage” stuff from NPM’s Rules of Engagement … lenght of time, singing songs, etc …

      Looks fantastic!

      I hope you have a great day.

      – Rich

  2. I appreciated looking at the examples, and I see value in the various statements. But I am left with some questions. Have those churches that follow a more “high” church or liturgical style moved away from printing the order of worship? Does the style, lifted up as “good” work with a church and community where the age demographic is definitely older? In a service where everything is projected, how are the visually impaired accommodated (those who can read print but struggle with projected — and yes I have people like that)? How about accommodating shut-ins and nursing home residents (if they are mentally cognizant, they love to read the bulletin – and often feel forgotten). It’s not that I think the things mentioned are bad, most of the advice is good but I don’t want to forget the demographic of people still living in the print age.

    1. My church is 85% seniors. As much as we love our seniors, we are trying to reach out to a younger population that need Jesus. We need to change our selfish ways and focus more toward the visitors than ourselves. This is a huge problem in my own congregation. Even our secretary won’t change. The bulletin has looked the same for decades. It’s filled with non essential information. Why can’t we see this as selfishness and laziness?

  3. Hi Rich,

    We try to keep things simple. The Connection Card is a separate card inserted each week. We used a perforated card for years, but we’ve had more success with the separate card – all eyes don’t look your way when you rrrrrrip that perforation. The back of the card matches almost every opportunity either printed in the program or spoken from the platform or screens. We also have an App matches everything in the program so people can follow on their devices as well. I included a screenshot of the App landing page.

    From time to time (but definitely not every week) we have an insert like the Core Class insert I included. We insert a Giving Envelope into every program as well.

    I’ve found that no one medium works for everyone, so we use the printed program on Sundays, the App, and a weekly email that is also sent out as a link via text and posted on social media and the App. Once a month the email features a video from our pastor.

    Thank you for your article. I definitely see a few things we can do to improve.


    1. Thanks for submitting it!

      A couple quick things …
      -love your logo … It’s non traditional and obvious when you consider your nam.
      -love your city focus …so great.
      -there is a lot jammed onto this deal … Could you cut the text by 1/3 to give it some breathing space?
      -I’d get rid of the QR code … I think it’s a dead approach … Plus looks funky.

      Love it … Thanks for passing it along! I was in Regina once years ago … Just for a weekend … It’s so flat!!

      Keep on!


  4. Excellent, very helpful post!! I pastor in a rural area. Though we are progressive in many ways, some traditions die hard. A significant number in our church look to the bulletin each week for the lengthy prayer request list. I’m inclined to move this away from the bulletin and find another way to distribute it. What do you suggest?

    1. Chad!

      Thanks for dropping by and for the kind words.

      People are on email and social media … is there a way to do it digitally? Maybe have people enter the items on a card that’s at your service but then send them out on Monday or Tuesday via email?

      – Rich

    2. My church office prints 100+ copies of our Prayer List for people to grab from a side table in the atrium if they want it. We update it as needed. Saves the work of trying to fit it in one of our more mass distributed publications.

  5. Hi! Ok, so sort of a dumb question, but I’m serious… for someone who doesn’t have any photoshop or in-design experience, what program can we use to design a bulletin that doesn’t won’t look like a cheap Word file?

      1. I use ms publisher. It takes some effort, but you can design something that looks similar to any of the bulletins seen above. It’s all about how much time you put into it. If you need better graphic editing, I suggest G.I.M.P it’s a free (legally, crowdsource) editor on par with photoshop. Again, it takes time to learn but you get out what you put in.

  6. Thank you for very beneficial information. My church wants to revamp our weekly bulletin and as the graphic artist who will be doing the redesigning of it I didn’t know where to being and what should be the important points. This is extremely helpful.

  7. Thank you for this article. It’s wonderful to have so many great examples and suggestions all in one place.

  8. Thanks for this article. I attend a small church, and recently volunteered to revamp their old bulletin (looked like it came from many years ago). I actually had no idea where to start and what to do. But now I do! It won’t be as fancy but it will be a huge improvement. Thanks again!

  9. Hey Rich. Love the article and the post. I was brought here because I feel like our church WAY over communicates and our bulletin is just far too overloaded. Its 3 pages on a 8.5×17 print. theyre huge! I am the youth pastor here at the church and our congregation is older, so we are looking for ways to still reach them, but have it simplified enough for a new and younger congregation.

Leave a Reply to First-Time Guest Gifts: 26 Lessons From 33 Churches Cancel reply

Rich Birch
Rich Birch is one of the early multi-site church pioneers in North America. He led the charge in helping The Meeting House in Toronto to become the leading multi-site church in Canada with over 5,000+ people in 18 locations. In addition, he served on the leadership team of Connexus Church in Ontario, a North Point Community Church Strategic Partner. He has also been a part of the lead team at Liquid Church - a 5 location multisite church serving the Manhattan facing suburbs of New Jersey. Liquid is known for it’s innovative approach to outreach and community impact. Rich is passionate about helping churches reach more people, more quickly through excellent execution.His latest book Church Growth Flywheel: 5 Practical Systems to Drive Growth at Your Church is an Amazon bestseller and is design to help your church reach more people in your community.