How to Make Templates for Church Bulletins

By Kathryn Rateliff Barr

Many churches use bulletins each week to provide congregants with the order of worship and the announcements for the week. Some include text to responsive readings and congregational prayers so attendees can actively participate in the worship service. Many list church contact information, week-to-week giving and attendance totals and other information important to the life of the church.Churches communicate lots of this information in the same form from week to week, with only the details changing. A template for the church bulletins simplifies the job of bulletin creation and saves time needed for other tasks.

Things You'll Need

  • Electronic files
  • Information
  • Word processing or desktop publishing software

Step 1

Assemble all of the information you want to convey each week. Do this in hard copy form to begin the process. Use blank sheets of paper the same size as you want your bulletin to arrange all the pieces in an attractive form. Using paper mock-ups allows you to easily rearrange pieces of copy until you have a layout you really like.

Step 2

Begin to construct your electronic template, using a desktop publishing program or a word processing program, from the guidelines you created with your paper copy. Remember that the first page of your bulletin template will be on the right side of page one if you want the bifold format used in most bulletins. The back page will be on the left side of your first page template.

Step 3

Place your church logo, contact information and bulletin date on the right side of your page one template. Include the name of the pastor, service times, and any other desired information in place. These elements will probably stay in the same place week after week, with only the date changing. Once these elements have an assigned place, you can easily add the other pieces to the framework.

Step 4

Fill in the order of worship with elements such as the Introit, opening prayer, congregational hymns, special music, sermon title and closing. Boldface those items where you want congregational participation and italicize those items spoken by the minister in responsive readings and joint prayers.

Step 5

Add elements such as financial and attendance information and your church calendar following the order of worship. Insert a graphic or text boxes for these items to separate them from the worship order. Follow that with special announcements about upcoming events and special needs.

Step 6

Check your template and fine-tune the elements so the flow of text and graphics run smoothly. Length of items such as responsive readings, prayers, announcements and calendar listings will vary from week to week, so don't stress on making page endings final.

Step 7

Save your file as a template and protect it from changes. Store it in a special place on your hard drive where it won't get deleted or altered. Work on copies for your weekly bulletins, not the original template file, so you always have a fresh file for the coming week. Copy and paste any items that recur for several weeks to save time and reduce errors.