Writing a Church Ministry Newsletter

What Is a Church Ministry Newsletter?

Are you involved in a ministry at your church?

A ministry newsletter is an effective way to communicate with your ministry members.

I am currently the leader of a ministry for seniors at my church and have created a newsletter entitled The SAGE. It is chock full of articles, stories, photos, and food for thought, with readers calling for more. Here is an example:

Newsletter Example
Sample Newsletter

I encourage you to consider if a newsletter might be a great information source for your ministry group.

As a writer, I’ve also discovered the newsletter has enhanced my writing skills by enabling me to utilize a writing format I previously had not used. Read on to learn more about this.

Ask Questions
Points to Consider

Points to Consider

Before starting a ministry newsletter, answer the following:

What is the purpose of the newsletter? Who are my readers? What are their areas of interest and concern? What is their age range? Genders?  Size of readership group? What information can I provide that might not be otherwise available? What would make my newsletter unique? How many pages per issue? Do my potential readers prefer print media or electronic? How frequently will I send out an issue? How will I assess the newsletter’s impact? Can I incorporate a team of writers and editors? How and where will the newsletter be printed? Do I have the blessing of my church’s leadership?

Content, Format, Design

Armed with answers to the above questions, you will be ready to decide on your newsletter’s content, format, and design.

Some of your content will be unique to an individual issue, such as a seasonal sports update; while others may appear as a column in all future issues. For example, a featured column in The SAGE newsletter cited above, is a men’s corner.

Here, we provide information of relevance to older men in every issue, for example, a health screening reminder.

Health Screening Chart for Mature Men

Other examples of this might be the inclusion of stories about life experiences, and, even, at times, appropriate humor. These will help you form connections with your readers.

Spotlight on Missions- Newletter Page Sample

Using a variety of content is always good. In almost every issue, our ministry newsletter includes a spotlight on a member of our group, scriptures, prayers, a “food for thought” article, prayer points, and a calendar of upcoming events.

Format

The format chosen for your newsletter should help it stand out from the other forms of correspondence your readers receive. First, you should aim to get your information across with as few words as possible. You want to grab your reader’s attention, then keep them reading until they’ve finished your newsletter. Second, use phrases, images, illustrations, and a combination of words to get your points across. Third, provide the most relevant, interesting, and essential points of a subject to your readers. Last, format your newsletter into short, readable sections.

Sample of Newsletter page
Sample Newsletter Page

Design

A great newsletter design will go a long way toward keeping your readers engaged. It should be eye-catching and easy to read. Images are crucial to help tell your story. They will serve to draw your readers in. For easier reading, breaking up text and images is desirable. You will also be able to better tell your story by keeping text to a minimum and utilizing lots of graphics, such as photos and images.

Newsletter sample page with many images
Newsletter page with many images

For greater visual appeal, use colors and shapes to make your newsletter brighter, instead of black text on a white background.

Colorful Newsletter Cover
Colorful Newsletter Cover
Colorful Newsletter Cover

I suggest you draw or type a basic design for your newsletter before you begin, which captures the spirit and feel of the newsletter you have in mind. Then, work with a designer or professional design company, such as Canva, to ensure a professional quality newsletter. They offer free templates and design tools which can be used to customize and fit your requirements.

Other considerations

* Include in your newsletter monthly celebrations, such as lists of birthdays and anniversaries. Also, welcome new members and mention requests for prayer for ill members.

* Utilize your church’s logo.

* End your newsletter with a call to action. For example, invite your readers to attend a meeting, participate in a project or special upcoming event, volunteer or donate. Other calls to action might include ways to build faith, such as prayers for each other, reading selected scriptures, among others.

           

* Length of newsletter. Depending on content, three to five pages, on average, might be sufficient.

* Provide your church’s contact information. Include name, street address, city and state, email, telephone number, and name of editor.

* Frequency of publishing your newsletter. This might vary, depending on its purpose. Industry standards recommend at least quarterly, but preferably weekly, monthly, or bi-monthly.

* Consider using both print and online newsletters for your ministry group. If your group comprises elderly people, a print version may be more easily read. Also, personal preferences of your readers may dictate having both versions.

 

 

* Offer readers an opportunity to comment, reply, and contact you.

* Let readers know when they can expect to receive future issues of your newsletter.

 

Tips for Writers

 

Use power words, action verbs, and enticing sentences to keep readers engaged.

Use quotes and ask questions in your headlines.

Write in a conversational tone appropriate to expectations of your readers.

Consider writing your newsletter with one thousand to fifteen hundred words or less, using short sentences.

Remember that excellent writing and great design are equally important.

Proofreading your newsletter before publication is critical. Check for errors. Have someone else on your team give a read-through, if possible. Make sure names, dates, figures make sense and are correct. Maintain the rules of grammar. Re-write where your content feels choppy, wordy, or awkward.

A Final Word

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this blog post. Leave a comment below and tell me whether you agree or disagree and why, or any other points you wish to make. Thank you in advance!

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