Saving Money by Moving Away From Printed Bulletins

Saving Money by Moving Away From Printed Bulletins

June 14, 2017 by

Ah, the church bulletin. Some hate them, others love them, but nearly every church has them. And while we often elevate those that get rid of bulletins, I think they have their place and serve a purpose. But they can also get out of hand.

Change is good, but too much change is too much.

My Bulletin Experience

Before I started at Victory World Church, their weekend bulletin (which they called the communique) was a small pocket filled with handouts. As I came on board that went away, but we still had a folded fill-in-the-blanks note page that would be filled with fliers.

My first year here I got rid of the notes page. I based my argument on the resources required to put it together and—the thing that really brought it home—cost. We moved to a one-page weekly handout with blank lines for notes on the back.

And it worked well.

But we knew it could be better and more streamlined.

Ultimately, we wanted to go all digital, but you have to know when to make that sort of move. Change is good, but too much change is too much.

Pushing Toward the Future of Bulletins

So we moved to a monthly bulletin. This time the main driving force was cost. We saved a considerable amount of money with one print run each month versus four. At the same time we also dropped the name communique for clarity’s sake, and we switched to one bulletin for all campuses instead of each campus with their own. Not only did this have a cost savings but also communicated all the different things happening across all our campuses.

The next move will be to take the bulletin out of the greeters’ hands. Instead we’ll stock bulletins in various areas for people to grab if they want one. This will eliminate people taking a bulletin as an obligation when it’s handed to them.

After doing that for a while, we will develop the same format for our mobile app. We originally designed the printed bulletin to be easily adapted to a mobile strategy when we were ready for it.

Weighing the Pros and Cons

This approach still has its challenges. We only have one shot to get it right, ministries have to have all their information together at least a month in advance, and when things change they’re not reflected in the bulletin. But for us these challenges are outweighed by the benefits.

For us, the bulletin still has a place and serves a purpose. But by focusing on how it’s delivered, we can make some changes and  still be effective and save the church money and resources.


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Post By:

Michael Buckingham

With the goal of making the church the most creative place on the planet, Michael founded Holy Cow Creative, the church’s creativity and design studio. He is the former creative director for the Center for Church Communication and Church Marketing Sucks, and is currently the experience pastor at Victory World Church in Atlanta.
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