Never underestimate the influence of your children’s worship bulletins. Pay no mind to the forgotten ones left behind, dirty and crumpled on your facility floor. It’s not the paper that matters but what’s inside it. When kids receive a bulletin, they know three things: you care, they matter and you have fun planned.
I’ve seen many time, a rowdy bunch of children burst through the door to be the first to get the new bulletin. Even my attention-challenged children like scanning the bulletin for their name or photo. It has an amazing effect beyond my circle of kids, grown-ups like them too!
A successful church bulletin doesn’t have to be graphically perfect. You don’t have to have the latest computer software or design school training to create a great kids’ church bulletin. However, some bulletins excite better than others. In my experience, a bulletin should have these five things.
A message from you: With a growing children’s ministry, I don’t always have the opportunity to just “hang out” and chat with my kids. I try, but with a hundred hands pulling on my shirt, it’s not feasible. Through the medium of the take home bulletin, I get to bring a message of love and hope to entire families. Whatever I “talk” about, I make it personal and keep it kid-friendly. (That means I skip the big words!) My personal messages also show parents that I’m there to work with them because I always lift them up too.
The vision of the ministry: I’ve heard it said that kids don’t care how much you know but they do care that you care! Still, it’s important to cast a vision for the ministry. For example, my kids church logo is TNT, a play on “teaching and training that rocks!” This mini-vision statement says we teach, we train, we also have fun. Poke my kids and they know what TNT means because it’s in the bulletin every week.
Recognition for kids and volunteers: Forget the notion that people shouldn’t receive recognition for what they do. Sometimes a good word from you is all your kids or volunteers are likely to receive. Offer a weekly “Good Kid” award or mention a volunteer by name. I usually run a paragraph or two to congratulate kids for things they shared with me like, “I prayed by myself” or “I can ride a bike now!” Toss small bits of genuine recognition into your bulletin and watch kids soak it up. It’s amazing and scriptural! Kindness goes a long way.
An exciting calendar: I never want to see kids drag into church every week. I want them to be ready to worship. One way to do that is by giving them a peek at what’s coming up. Even if I don’t know exactly what I’m teaching, it is easy to plan have a “wiggly” Sunday with Jello. Even small things excite kids.
A lesson recap: Ask children, “What did you learn today?” and they might all give a different answer. Take the guess-work out of what you’re teaching by sending home a lesson recap. Mention the verse you used and highlight what you plan to talk about. This makes great conversation starters for dinner at home too.
The church bulletin has been so popular because it works! Create one for you kids’ ministry and watch it grow. After you set up a template, it won’t take much time to fill in the blanks with information. Connecting with kids and families makes it worth it!