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The value of a church brochure

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Archives / 2015 / June

 

 

The value of a church brochure

S. Joseph Kidder

S. Joseph Kidder, DMin, is professor of Christian ministry, Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary, Andrews University, Berrien Springs, Michigan, United States.

 

Many people consider a wide variety of options when looking for a church home. Some may want to know about the theological stance of the denomination, opportunities for community service, or church programs. Other families are drawn to specific programs for their children or whether the church feels like the right one. An often overlooked way to help people make a decision about joining your congregation is by providing clear, useful information about the church in a brochure. This brochure can provide an overview of the congregation and answer some of the initial questions a visitor might have.

Creating a church brochure

An 8” x 10” sheet folded in thirds makes an attractive and convenient size, providing six panels for different sections, or you may want to make the brochure a part of your weekly bulletin. Remember that this project requires organization and the ability to work with graphic design to make sure the brochure is attractive. You will also need an able coordinator.*

Communicating about the congregation

What does your church want to communicate about itself? How is this congregation different from others in the same town? Before launching into the details of how to design the brochure, take time to decide what you want to say. Consider raising this question with the leaders of the church at a planning retreat or with a group of church members at a workshop on outreach. You might divide people into small groups and have each agree on three words that best characterize this particular congregation. Each group could even design a logo for the church, incorporating those words.

As each group reports back, have the whole group discuss their insights and look for common threads. By the end of the session, aim for consensus on what is special about your congregation and some key words to use in communicating that image to others. Another approach is to hold a congregational contest to find a slogan for the church. Ask people to create a phrase that describes the congregation for use in your new brochure.

With the image of the church well- defined slogan, theme, and logo to work with—the committee is ready to work on the details.

Organizing information

One of the keys to creating a good outreach brochure is recognizing that different people are looking for different kinds of information. The challenge is to design a brochure that addresses questions in a clear, read- able format—without overloading the reader. Be sure to include the following sections, possibly in a frequently asked questions (FAQ) format:

  • Fundamentals about your denomination, including beliefs and history. Frame these in the light of the gospel and God’s love.
  • A short history of the local church, including the vision and mission.
  • Programs and outreach ministries, divided into such categories as worship, education, mission, fellowship, and community outreach.
  • Testimonials from members and visitors.

A brief message from the pastor

  • Map and contact information.
  • Service times and worship styles.
  • School classes for all age-groups.
  • How to join either specific ministries or the church congregation

Another element to include is pictures of the congregation involved in various activities. These can add a personal touch to the brochure, giving potential members a sense of the membership and their role in the church.

Once the committee has agreed on the basic sections to cover, it is probably easiest to have someone write a rough draft for the committee to edit. Direct people to the section of the church’s Web site that keeps updated information about the days and times of specific programs to avoid making your brochure quickly out-of-date.

How to use a church brochure for outreach

Make sure the congregation knows ways to use the brochure. Encourage people to take a few with them to give to those who might be interested. Put them in the pew racks, and have greeters hand them out with the bulletins to guests. Brochures might be included in outreach mailings or emails, displayed in the church foyer, and stacked near the door to the church school. They also can be used in new-member classes. A well-done church brochure can enhance your outreach program and help a visiting family know whether yours could be the right church for them.

*       If you do not feel capable of creating your own church brochure, many organizations, such as Outreach.com, provide tools for customized brochures.

 

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