I think the short answer to this no, your Church Newsletter isn’t dead, it may just need a Facelift and New Packaging.
If you still have a printed Church Newsletter, here are some questions you might ask:
Are people reading it?
Is there better use of our Admin Team’s time?
Is it worth the paper and mailing to continue to produce it?
Can we package the same content in a way that more people would engage with it?
I would do a survey of your congregation and determine the answers to the questions above.
If your congregation still reads and a printed piece is of great value to your people, keep doing it!
It might be the most effective form of communication for your audience.
If not, I’d like to suggest some digital communication tools that might serve your church better or more effectively.
Text Messaging is the #1 effective form of communication right now. It’s instant, people are usually notified immediately of a text (as most people carry their phone or watch on their person) whereas an E-Mail or printed piece, they might see periodically.
You can use tools like Text in Church to send automated text to your congregation.
You might take the content you would put in your Printed Newsletter and break it up into very very small chunks and send one text a week sharing information with your congregation.
I would only suggest sending 1-2 text messages per week at the very most.
You should have a database of member E-Mails.
You can use tools like MailChimp or Sendfox to send really nice bulk E-Mails.
I would suggest sending only 1 or 2 E-Mails per week at the very most.
SOCIAL MEDIA AND SOCIAL MESSAGING
Leverage your Social Media accounts to let people know how ministry is still happening through your church.
I recommend at least posting on Facebook and then add other social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter and others as your team as the ability to handle it.
WEEKLY OR MONTHLY BLOG
Leverage your church Blog to push important information to your church members.
Your blog is a place where you can write longer posts or articles for folks to read more about.
Your blog is a great place for Life Change stories in your church, Testimonies about what God is doing in the life of your church, New Initiatives, and more.
The trick with a Blog is to be consistent. Let people know that every Monday, we post an article on our Church Blog about something new happening at our church. The more consistent and intentional you are, the more incentive your folks have to come back every Monday (or whatever day you choose). Don’t post one blog and go three months to post another blog and expect to build an audience. Be consistent. It doesn’t have to be weekly. It can be 2 Articles a Week, Weekly, Bi-Weekly, Monthly, or whatever you choose. But stick with your calendar.
Take your team to see American Underdog, in theaters Christmas Day 2021.
If you have a Church Podcast, this is a great method to get information to your church members.
You could create a “Coming Up at our Church” segment of your show as a way to inform your congregation of upcoming events.
You could use the Intro or Close of each episode to share about your church events and how to get involved.
The secret sauce to a Podcast, just like your Blog is to be consistent. Choose a Delivery Method (Weekly, Monthly, Seasonal) that you know you can deliver. The best way to lose your Podcast Audience is to tell them that a new episode releases every Monday and it is not there. Being consistent and reliable is the best thing you can do to build your Podcast audience.
Is your Church Newsletter dead?
I don’t think so, no. Should you change how you deliver it? Yes.
People are busy. People are engaged digitally – constantly on their phones and devices. Make it easy for them to engage with the content of your church. And don’t depend on them to come to you – you must work to go to them with information.
Let’s use the methods available to us to go to our community.
Carl Barnhill has served on staff at some of the largest churches and organizations in the country. He served as Media Director at Precept Ministries International, directing the television and radio program Precepts for Life with Kay Arthur, broadcasted to over 98 million homes around the world. He served as Video Production Director at Pinelake Church in Brandon, MS. He most recently served as Video Coordinator for Newspring Church in South Carolina. He currently serves as Creative Director and Owner of[twelve:thirty]media, serving churches and ministries all over the world through motion graphics content and church media coaching.