Church Newsletters | The Complete Guide
Build a Better Church Newsletter
The classic church newsletter is a staple of congregations everywhere. No matter the denomination, you can count on any church you enter having a bulletin they offer to congregants to update them on the latest community news.
Not only do church newsletters keep parishioners in the loop with current events, but they also help foster a sense of community within the congregation. Newsletters like these might share timely passages of scripture, messages from pastors and other church leaders, photos from recent church events, or other content that readers find interesting.
While classic paper newsletters are still important community publications, did you know that your church newsletter can do even more? By going digital and publishing an online church bulletin, your congregation can start creating more engaging content while also leveraging your newsletter as an effective tool to call readers to action for your church.
Church Newsletter Content
Capture the interest of your congregants
Many congregations are unsure of what kind of content their publication should include, especially when it comes to understanding how to make the most of that content.
Simply put, your church newsletter shouldn’t only inform readers of upcoming events: it should capture the interest of your readership and inspire them to get more involved with your church’s community. Whether your publication is going digital or staying on paper, keep in mind some of the following content your bulletin should feature.
Your church’s newsletter should first and foremost keep congregants updated on the latest news and upcoming events in your community. The bulletin should feature a calendar covering the next several months, as well as a short list of the most important events coming up during the newsletter’s publication period.
Another section your newsletter should include is one that shares relevant scripture. The scripture might be related to upcoming services, the time of year, or respond to recent events. Even better? Give individual parishioners the chance to select a piece of scripture that has personal meaning to them so that readers can get to know their community better.
Shine a spotlight on some of the different speakers who help lead services, such as pastors and readers, by sharing a short biography on them in your publication. This can include an interview or simply inform readers about where the individual grew up, where they went to school, their interests outside of church, etc.
Another way to strengthen the bonds of your church’s community is to publish letters from your congregation in the newsletter. In this section, individuals can have the space to respond to last week’s sermon, offer words of comfort in challenging times, or bring to light information of interest to your church’s community.
Leverage the attention of your church
Now that you have readers’ attention, it’s time to do more with your church’s newsletter by giving them the information they need to become better stewards of your community.
As you well know, there are many ways community members can get more involved with your church: by participating in events, tithing to your congregation, volunteering, etc. Let’s go over these key areas of involvement and lay out the kind of information your newsletter should include to promote more impactful community engagement.
Your church will always have some monetary needs to be addressed, whether it’s raising money for repairs, financing a mission trip, or funding a community enrichment project. In your newsletter, show readers how they can tithe to your congregation, including details on where to send their gifts and your pressing financial needs.
Another key area your newsletter should promote is opportunities for community members to volunteer with your church. Your church’s bulletin should contain clear information on upcoming volunteer events, recurring volunteer needs, and directions on how to donate time to your congregation.
Events play a big part in your church, no matter their function. Whether they’re social events to bring your congregation closer together or events designed to give back to your community, your newsletter can serve as a tool to both inform readers of these events and provide them with the information they need to RSVP.
Online Church Newsletter Tools
Empower church newsletter readers with the right tools
There’s no question: your church’s newsletter is a powerful resource and when you include the content discussed in the last section, your church can rest assured that you’re using this important resource wisely.
However, if your bulletin is still a paper-only publication, you may be missing out on some big opportunities to leverage the attention of your readership for more effective community involvement. In this section, we’ll go over some of the many functionalities made possible by adopting a digital newsletter and show you how to make the most of these abilities in your online publication.
If your church adopts an online bulletin, you can make tithing more convenient for your readers by including links to your online giving forms within the newsletter. Be sure to customize these forms to match your church’s logo and colors. To streamline the giving process even further, you can optimize these forms for mobile devices for congregants on the go.
Your church’s digital newsletter can also double as funnel for event registrations. In the bulletin, you can embed or link out to an event registration form to collect RSVPs from congregants. Even further, if your church is selling tickets to these events, you can use the online newsletter as a platform for ticket sales by linking out to your ticket payment form.
With a digital church newsletter, you can also include an embedded online volunteer registration form to make it easier for congregants to get involved with community projects. After making your appeal for readers to donate their time to your church’s next volunteer project, share the digital signup form with instructions on how to complete it.
Connect your paper bulletin to your online church newsletter
While having a robust digital newsletter for your church is important, that doesn’t mean that you congregation has to give up your paper publication forever or alienate readers who prefer the classic version of your bulletin.
In fact, having a paper bulletin as a supplement to your church’s online newsletter can actually be beneficial. Not all of your congregants are tech-savvy and if they’re not on your email list, they could miss out on important information shared in your digital newsletter. Let’s go over some ways to link your paper publication to the resources shared in your digital newsletter.
While readers of your paper bulletin may not access the publication online, you can still connect them to your digital tithing, volunteer, and event registration forms through text keywords. Your church can set up a short phone number where individuals may send a branded keyword, and the number will then send them back a link to the webpage of your choice. Print this number on your paper bulletin with easy to follow instructions to ensure readers make it to your online forms!
Another way your church can incorporate some elements from your digital newsletter in your paper publication is by including a printed QR code. Readers can scan this code with their phones directly off of the printed bulletin; then, the code will send them to any webpage or form your church wants to draw attention to. Some readers may not have a QR code scanner already on their phone, so consider suggesting an app in your print newsletter to help congregants read the code.
Build Readership for Your Church Newsletter
Get the word out about your church bulletin
Without readers, your church’s newsletter isn’t really a valuable resource. Whether you’ve fully committed to a digital bulletin or still keep your paper newsletter in print, the fact remains that getting the newsletter in front of readers is crucial.
For this reason, your church should take the distribution and promotion of your newsletter seriously. By pairing smart online and in-person strategies, your congregation can widen the readership of your publication and more effectively steer individuals toward tithing, volunteering, and participating in church events.
For print and digital newsletters, you can promote your church’s publication via word-of-mouth. At the end of every service, take a moment to remind your congregation of where they can find the latest edition and encourage readers to share the newsletter with their friends and family. For your print bulletin, consider handing them out to congregants following services and at on-site church events.
Direct congregants to sign-up forms so they can get subscribed to your newsletter. Your church should create digital forms to collect subscriptions for your online newsletter that you share on your church’s website and link to in your digital newsletter. From these forms, you can start cultivating email lists for your newsletter that you may also use for sharing other important content.
Promote your church’s newsletter on your congregation’s social media accounts. By sharing the publication on these platforms, you can reach individuals who may not be on your subscription lists yet. Incorporate a branded hashtag or short link into these social media posts so that your church can track engagement and better understand the reach of your social media profiles.
Similar to sending emails to subscribers when the latest edition of your newsletter comes out, your church can have congregants opt into receiving text reminders every publication period. In your subscription forms, include a field to collect congregant phone numbers as well as to agree to receive texts from your church. Additionally, be sure to link to the mobile-optimized version of your newsletter in these texts.
Additional Church Fundraising Resources
Is your church new to online fundraising? Not sure where to start?
Check out our online fundraising guide for beginners to get ahead of the game.
Your church can your newsletter as a platform to promote fundraising events.
Read our fundraising event ideas page to get inspired!