Without people-focused articles and photos, church newsletters would be quite lackluster. Readers love to learn more about others while catching up on church-related news. A newsletter conveys a warm, friendly image by opening the metaphorical door to the church and showcasing people through words and pictures. This human element invites visitors to come into the church and creates a sense of community and fellowship among members.
Create a “Member of the Month” section.
One way to easily add some “person”ality to your pages is by spotlighting a “Member of the Month” to acknowledge people’s accomplishments in and outside the church.
Interviews and profiles also are a great way to introduce staff members, leaders, officers, teachers and volunteers. Spotlighting people shows that the church recognizes and appreciates their contributions.
To further make any member feel special, emphasize people’s names in articles by printing them in boldface type. Readers will enjoy seeing their own names, as well as those of their friends, “up in lights.”
Use candid photos.
Another great way to inject a more personal feel to your newsletter is to include plenty of candid, non-posed shots of people at church events and services. Photos bring publications to life and show an active church with members enjoying fellowship. Have people look at the camera because eye contact from within a photo engages the audience. The most effective photos have the fewest subjects — one, two or three people. (Of course, a crowd shot can convey a large turnout at an event.) Crop out unessential background elements so the emphasis stays on the people.
Also, consider printing a friendly photo beside the pastor’s message and other regular columns (music, Christian education, etc.). Instead of “mug shots,” use casual shots of the pastor involved in a hobby, the administrative assistant with family members or a missionary on location. Take several photos of each column writer and change them every few months for variety.
Create a “Thank You” column.
Start a thank you column to allow members to thank the church or the church to thank members!
A thank you column is a great way to thank the many volunteers that keep your church moving. Be generous with thanks; such recognition may be the only “pay” some church members receive(or expect).
You can also use this section to allow church members to express thanks for support, cards and visits after a major life event or illness. When printing a message that’s been handwritten, scan it and include a section of the handwritten note beside the printed version.
These are just a few ways to highlight the all-important faces and voices of your congregation. The human element strengthens the sense of community and invitation your publications deliver.