Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Purpose-Driven Church Newsletter

Churches often give out newsletters. And yet often newsletters are produced for one purpose and one purpose alone: To share information.

This information could take the form of updates, news, upcoming events, mini-sermons, etc.

I don't think there's anything wrong with wanting to share information, except I feel that in addition to, "What do we want our members to know?", churches should be asking themselves, "How do we want our members to act?"

In other words, a church newsletter should an instrument of getting members to:
  • Participate in church activities (e.g. mission trips, visitations, carolling, etc.)
  • Give generously should there be a need
  • Talk and think in a certain (hopefully godly) manner

The next step then becomes: Given these (and similar) aims, how would a church newsletter be different (if at all)? Some obvious consequences would be:

  • Information would be selected based on pre-defined behaviour objectives of the church
  • Articles (and their 'tones') would be written not from the usual "write-anything" or "thematic/seasonal" approach, but from the anticipated impact on the members (e.g. building curiousity on a certain topic)
  • Biblical passages and homilies would be chosen as lead-ins' to the future events or programs
  • Activities (games, quizzes, etc.) would be tailored towards eliciting more participation
  • Etc.

Focus on desired action/behaviour and you'll get your information dissemination goals thrown in as well. Focus on information alone (as we, alas, normally do), and you probably won't get the behaviour part.

Talk about a (clearly specified) 'purpose-driven' newsletter.


Yan said...

Thanks for the insight.

In the midst of planning my Girls' Brigade newsletter (just taken over the editor's role), and yours just came in at the right time!

Alwyn said...

i hope it comes in handy! :)

at the very least it should be exciting re-planning the newsletter with these behvarioul goals in mind