Whether you print and send out your newsletter or distribute it electronically as an email attachment, it is one of the most important forms of communication for your church. A newsletter conveys essential information about your ministry and facilitates connection between the members of your congregation, staff and community. It must be attentively managed, carefully thought out, and meticulously reviewed so that it always meets your objectives in a clear, concise, accurate and interesting manner. Here are the top ten things to include in a church newsletter:
Top 10 Things to Include on Your Church Newsletter – What Goes in a Church Newsletter? Here’s 10 Important Factors to Remember
Whether your newsletter is full-color magazine style or something a little more simplistic, the nameplate is an essential element where consistency is chief in establishing brand and identity. A different graphic for each issue in order to promote a theme or engage seasonally is good, but be consistent in how the name of your newsletter and/or logo of the church is displayed; that the font choice is uniform and that it is in about the same area of every issue. This is also a good place for the subtitle, along with volume and date, to be included. Establishing this type of continuity from issue to issue is how your newsletter will be immediately identified and will separate itself from the rest.
In each article of news be sure to include the facts in the opening paragraph and keep all of your subsequent paragraphs short and easy to digest. Clever headlines will help attract readers and employing a larger font size will help set them apart from the body of the message. Things to include in this category are past, current and upcoming events in your church as well as related community events. Report on how the church is doing and how it is responding to the big news locally, nationally and even globally.
3. Message from the pastor
Is there anything the pastor wishes to address that would do better in written form on a newsletter than from the pulpit? Keep in mind this area does not need to be limited to the senior pastor; ask the worship director, youth pastor, children’s ministry leaders, college pastor and associate pastors for input. This section offers the perfect opportunity for church leaders to share stories, experiences and encouragement and ultimately allows the rest of the church community a chance to get to know them better.
4. Topics of inspiration
Consider those who have recently experienced loss and address with words of comfort. There may have been a recent tragedy and your readers are in need of encouragement, this is the place to reach out. Perhaps inspiration in response to a teaching series would be in order. This is the area to include words of hope and healing, words to inspire and uplift.
5. Scripture of the Month
Whether you choose to reflect a theme, support a sermon series or simply share a scripture God put on your heart, this section can be helpful in highlighting or further explaining important verses or passages of scripture. Even a word-study on a particular word or set of words, would be a helpful bonus. One other option is to use this area to encourage bible memory by publishing a different memory verse in each issue.
Interview authors, musicians, artists, pastors and teachers to keep people updated on what is happening in and out of their own church community. Introduce new members, publish testimonies, and provide updates on missions and other special ministry projects. Use this area to help people get to know each other and make lasting connections.
7. Highlights in history
Highlight your own church’s history and reflect on some of the major events in church history as a whole. Consider upcoming national holidays and provide the historical background, significance and how each holiday affects the church in both good and bad ways. This could be considered the “learn from history” section.
Action photos and candids are more interesting than staged pictures. Avoid using stock photos in favor of real images of people in your church at actual events. Spend a little extra time touching up the photos and optimizing them for print or web respectively. Make sure images are specific to the content so that the message is properly supported and easier to read. After you publish new photos of events, let the congregation know about it to generate interest.
Provide a concise list of upcoming events as well as events that are weeks or months off but require advance planning and participation. This is the section you will want to post upcoming educational opportunities, including classes in the local colleges, seminaries and trade schools that would benefit your congregation as a whole. Also, include new ministries and serving opportunities. Keep things concise and easy to read by answering the important questions of “what, when and where” up front, and be clear about the call-to-action requirement.
10. Contact information
Last, but not least, provide the name of the church along with the physical address, phone number, email and web address. It is also a great idea to include other key ministry leaders contact information. Be sure that this information can be easily located.
Are there any other items you think should be included on each newsletter issue? Feel free to comment below.