Generosity Improving Changes to the Bulletin You Need to Know

by | April 18, 2018

When it comes to giving, the humble worship bulletin can do more than just show finance numbers. It can actually improve giving at your church and teach people what it means to be generous. Despite its lowly reputation, the worship bulletin remains one of the best channels, or avenues of communication, for improving how you communicate about giving in the life of the local church. Think about it: every person in your congregation in the building on a given Sunday stares at the bulletin during worship - if worship is boring, they stare at it a lot!

Here are some ways to implement generosity improving changes to the bulletin at your church and to teach the value of generosity.


Use the bulletin to educate the congregation on what’s most important.

Changing the worship bulletin was the first big move I made after I arrived at St. Andrew United Methodist Church.

When I arrived, St. Andrew’s worship bulletin looked like most church bulletins. Here is an example week:

Looks typical, right?

A wall of type, little imagery, boring imagery, little hierarchy of messaging value, no visual or design interest.

In most local churches, the contents of the bulletin are a consequence of the interests of each individual committee, staff person or outspoken member. There is no one person in charge of a cohesive, singular and strategic approach to the messages of the church. One of the parties in this usual scenario is the finance committee, and through their efforts, a chart or spreadsheet appears in the bulletin, outlining the operations picture for the year.

My preference is to offer worshippers: a) why we give and b) how to give, and c) the way generosity results in transformation.


Design the bulletin to align with your core practices as a church, including giving.

Fortunately, the church already had a tool in place that I could use to leverage the change I needed to make.

A few years prior to my arrival, the church had gone through a visioning process and emerged with a 4 part focus: Worship Connect Serve Give. While it was good, healthy and helpful to my problem that the word Give already existed in official church language, but the church had done very little to emphasize the word in its communication.

So I used the church's strategic focus to re-think the bulletin. I decided to create a dedicated section each week in the bulletin to Give.

Does your church have a strategic focus?


7 ways to use a dedicated section in the bulletin for giving.

I created all-new designs for the bulletin for each of our worship styles (traditional and contemporary). These new designs encompassed several changes that reflect my approach to effective communication.

Here is an example of our updated design.

Now, in each weekly bulletin, there’s a section called Give. The contents of this section will vary each week. I keep a list of upcoming bulletin Give messages in a master creative calendar. Here’s a breakdown of several actual recent weekly Give messages in our bulletin. Each week emphasizes a different aspect of what it means to Give:

1. 3 Types of Giving.

Types of Giving Bulletin Ad

One week highlights that we have a 3-part strategy for giving at St. Andrew: Annual, Special, and Forever. This basic information is exactly what our people need. It helps establish a common framework for understanding how we approach giving.

2. 5 Ways to Give.

Ways to Give

Another shows the newcomer or the non-giver (which constitutes 50% of your church) that there are a variety of different ways to give.

ChurchOne Update: Another week we showed the latest update on received funds for our 3-year ChurchOne capital campaign, which is funding an extensive renovation and expansion to our campus.

3. Text to Give

Text to Give

Another week emphasizes our new text to give service, which helps teach people how to use it. Text-based giving basically constitutes an entirely new stream of revenue for the church, and many churches are missing out on this opportunity.

4. Witness

People who have personally experienced the joy of being generous have great stories to tell. Another week we invite one of our church members to share the importance of giving and how it has had an impact in their lives. This example took up an entire page.

5. Changed Lives

Changed Lives Ad

Another week tells a story of how congregational giving is funding a ministry that changes hearts and lives. We do this by highlighting a story of a changed life.

6. Endowment

St. Andrew Permanent Endowment

Another week educates the congregation on our planned giving ministry, teaching people what it is and where to learn more.

7. Capital Campaign Update

ChurchOne Update

Having a dedicated space for Giving allows you to talk about capital campaigns without feeling like you're intruding into the "normal" life rhythms of the church. As we go though our ChurchOne capital campaign, we are able to show periodic updates to the giving status in this space.

We run other ads on occasion in the space, but these are the ones that receive the heaviest rotation. (Also, we print in color; I reproduced them in black and white here to show how they can be printed without color to save money and still get a good result.)

What other ideas can you share for how to effectively use a dedicated Give section in your bulletin?


  1. Can you show an example of what the bulletin looks like now as far as spacing and location in the bulletin? It looks like it is a tri-fold so how do you allocate space?

  2. Joe Park

    Len, This is an excellent piece!


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Everything you need to inspire generosity.


Are You Ready for a Capital Campaign?

How do you know if you are ready to launch a capital campaign?  


Kristine Miller, CFRE, Horizons’ Senior Partner, discusses the five important steps you should take prior to launching a capital campaign to ensure successful results.


In this latest video from Horizons’ Giving Intelligence Series, Kristine discusses five actions to take prior to launching a campaign for any project such as building, restoration, debt, missions, endowment, or any other capital needs. Has your church leadership wondered whether or not you’re ready to go? If so, this brief video will provide the insights and answers you are looking for.


If you missed other installments of the Giving Intelligence Series, click the titles below. Also, sign up for Giving365 in order to access these and other helpful videos as well as more free stewardship resources including insightful eBooks!

Three Reasons Americans Choose to Give

The Power of Thanks: Four Practical Ministry Funding Impact Strategies

Who Should Have Access to the Giving Records

Three Pockets of Giving


To access more of Horizons’ free stewardship resources, click the Giving365 logo below.
Giving365 - Blog - Horizons - church stewardship resource

A Story of Faith and Transformation You Need to Know

In 2016, St. Andrew, Plano, Texas, faced a significant challenge. Located in Collin County, Texas, one of the fastest growing areas in the nation, St. Andrew was experiencing growth, especially in their contemporary worship service. As a result, several other areas including children and youth, missions, hospitality, and parking were all being stretched beyond capacity to accommodate growth.

St. Andrew’s Growth Paralleled a Focus on Generosity in Their Core Church Language

However, St. Andrew’s leaders had been preparing for growth through the development of their 30-year master expansion plan. The plan focused on four aspects of church life: worship, connect, serve, and give. As growing pains became more intense, church leaders realized it was time to launch a capital campaign. The funds raised would relieve the pressure by beginning to expand critical ministry areas according to the master plan.

Four key aspects of church life at St. Andrew: Worship, Connect, Serve, and Give


The Church’s Capital Campaign Facilitated its Larger Generosity Strategy

St. Andrew’s Senior Pastor, Robert Hasley, explained, “We hired Horizons to guide us in determining what to include in the first phase of our capital campaign. Through conversations with our ministry and financial leaders, our committed core of members, and ultimately, the entire congregation, we embarked on an ambitious plan. The result is a worship space that switches from a traditional to a contemporary style with almost the touch of a button.

We now have a worship space that switches from a traditional to a contemporary style with almost the touch of a button.

-Senior Pastor Robert Hasley

This change has enabled us to reset quickly while accommodating both traditional and contemporary worship styles. We also created new and improved areas for students,  children, hospitality, and parking. One of the more significant changes was the addition of a dedicated missions wing for The Storehouse of Collin County–an agency birthed in our church that provides services for Collin County residents in need.”

A Successful Capital Campaign Paid Additional Dividends

In the end, St. Andrew exceeded giving expectations in the capital campaign and moved forward with their plans. In addition, the positivity emerging from the capital campaign created a vibrancy and energy that has impacted ministry in all areas. Rev. Hasley says, “Like our namesake, Andrew the Apostle, we’re a community that loves to invite others to Jesus. As we live out our calling to worship, connect, serve and give, we’re witnessing God move through our community in remarkable ways.”

St. Andrew exceeded giving expectations and moved forward with their expansion plans.

St. Andrew’s journey is far from over. God continues to call the congregation to live out their mission, “Calling the “Christian-ish” to become passionate servants of Christ.”

For more information on the ministry at St. Andrew, Plano, Texas, click here.

To learn more about partnering with Horizons to move your congregation to the next level of generosity, click here.

The Three Pockets of Giving

Are you inviting your members to contribute from all three pockets of giving?

Many churches focus on the annual pocket and neglect to consider the other two–capital and estate pockets. In this next video in the Giving Intelligence Series, learn about the three pockets of giving and why you should be including all three in your year-round generosity program.



Did you miss the first three installments of the Giving Intelligence Series?  Click the titles below to quickly access them or sign up for Giving365 and access these videos along with many other free stewardship resources.

Three Reasons Americans Choose to Give

The Power of Thanks: Four Practical Ministry Funding Impact Strategies

Who Should Have Access to the Giving Records


To access more of Horizons’ free stewardship resources, click the Giving365 logo below.
Giving365 - Blog - Horizons - church stewardship resource


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