Effective Use of This Tool

Bulletin boards in church can become a hopeless clutter, or they can be a great means of communication. The choice is yours! In the foyer of most church buildings there is a bulletin board (or perhaps several of them). Here are some tips and ideas for making use of them.

1) Bulletin boards provide an excellent place to make announcements, giving details that are more difficult to convey from the pulpit (times, addresses, phone numbers, etc.). People will appreciate knowing there is the place to get added information.

2) If you are using rented facilities, consider purchasing a free-standing board with an easel which could serve a similar purpose.

3) Bulletin boards can be interactive. You might sometimes employ a sign-up sheet for some event or task, with a pen on a cord attached to the list.

4) Bulletin boards can be seasonal–celebrating Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, Valentines, etc. Or they can feature particular events or programs–a missions conference, camp ministry, etc. Or, highlight particular themes such as prayer, outreach, and so on.

5) As well as advertising events beforehand, you can put up captioned photos afterward. Folks are usually interested in spotting themselves or others.

6) Missionary prayer letters can be displayed on the bulletin board. (It might be helpful to highlight certain things, so the casual reader can spot them easily.)

7) Bulletin boards can be used to challenge or encourage. There are attractive posters available at many Christian book stores which feature key mottos or verses of Scripture. Or you might simply print up a verse of Scripture, or the verse of a hymn, on the computer, using a large and readable font, and coloured paper. Another possibility is to post cartoons that carry an edifying message.

8) You can brighten up a bulletin board with the purchase of a role of wrapping paper. Staple paper in place, covering the entire board. (The pattern should be fairly generic and low key, or it will detract from what is posted.)

9) If you have the luxury of several boards to work with, you might consider making one for children’s ministries, one for missions, one for women’s ministries, and so on. Then people know where to look for the information they need.

10) If you have a church library, try featuring new acquisitions on the bulletin board–perhaps a picture of the book’s cover, plus a brief write-up.

11) I was on the staff of a large church where we had a map of the layout of the building on the bulletin board, with a “You Are Here” dot. This was a great help to newcomers looking for their child’s Sunday School class, etc.

12) Occasionally, just before a big event, you might consider clearing the bulletin board of everything but a poster or simple announcement for that event. It will be eye-catching!

13) Collect items for future boards and file them away carefully. It is a great help to have material to draw on when Christmas or Easter (etc.) rolls around, without having to start digging then. Also, some items can be reused another year, or a couple of years down the road. Keep them safe.

14) One of the biggest faults in using these boards is to leave items in place too long. They soon become invisible to those who pass by. If it hasn’t been seen in three or four weeks, it rarely will be. Make a change.

15) Another error is to allow boards to become so cluttered nothing stands out any more. I saw one recently that had layers of material on it. Postings were simply added on top of what was already there. The result was chaos! Keep it simple. A few things, well spaced, will be far more effective.

16) Another difficulty arises when anyone and everyone thinks he has the right to add whatever he likes to the bulletin board. I have seen advertising for private businesses posted, and advertising for events the church would not be in doctrinal agreement with.

17) It can also be a problem if things are posted all over the building, on the walls, the doors, and so on, instead of on the board. Soon the place can look like a giant billboard, and be most unattractive. (And if tape or pins are used to secure items, they may permanently disfigure walls or doors.)

18) The answer to the above problems is to have someone specifically assigned to be responsible for what goes on the board, one who will attend to what is put up week by week, and change it regularly. The individual should be accountable to the church leadership.

19) Encourage your “bulletin board secretary” to train an assistant. Perhaps this could be an older child or a young person who might later grow into the job.

20) There are numerous websites with all kinds of creative ideas for making effective use of bulletin boards. Do a web search and you will find more information than you could ever use!