Making sure that the members of your church are aware of everything going on in any given week is a constant battle. Oftentimes the weekly bulletin is just skimmed, and the announcements given from the pulpit are glanced over in the pursuit of getting to lunch on time. But hope is not lost! One thing that we have implemented here at Canton Baptist Temple to help keep everyone informed is our quarterly publication Connections. This newsletter is printed every three months, and it contains all the pertinent information that our members need to know about what’s happening at the church during that particular time-frame. This is also a great tool that we use during our outreach and evangelism times to share with the community all the events and ministries that we have to offer.
The Connections is a full-size magazine-style publication. Usually, there is one page dedicated to an overview of the calendar events for the three months that are being highlighted. That way everything is in one place if you need to take a quick glance at the upcoming schedule. I will put a calendar shot of each of the three months being highlighted during that edition and list out the events taking place each month. I’ve also found it helpful to use graphics on the calendar days themselves to highlight particular days of activity. The rest of the publication is devoted to emphasizing the events occurring in each specific ministry. For example, we have pages for our summer camp ministry, our music ministry, our Sunday School classes, our counseling and pastoral care ministries, our student ministries, and many more depending on what’s going on in that quarter. These articles can be anything from upcoming schedules, colorful graphics, descriptions of what is taking place or being offered, and so much more. The sky is the limit! One word of caution for the lucky person in charge of putting this together: give yourself plenty of time to collect the articles from everyone. It’s no fun being up against a deadline and still waiting for a certain someone to turn their information in. Be sure to assign a clear deadline to turn the articles in, and make that deadline at least a week before you want the publication to go out. That way you have a little cushion to work with. I do all of my creative work in Microsoft Publisher. It allows me the freedom to change things around on the fly, and it has become a comfortable format for me to use. However, you can use whatever platform best suits you. That really doesn’t matter.
Keeping your members informed about the goings on at your church may be a battle, but it is one that can be won. Using different tools and methods to engage your congregation is a definite help to keep the information moving. A publication like the Connections can not only help your own people, but it can also become a tool that you use to reach out to those in your community. In a world that is looking for answers, a publication like this could be the tool that you use to help guide them to the Truth. So, start designing!