Break your church newsletter into sections

Writing for the church newsletter is not always easy.  After the initial excitement of taking over the newsletter ministry, you may find it difficult to come up with interesting article ideas. What can you write that will interest members? What do they care about?

In my post, What should I write for my church newsletter?, I give you a few starter ideas for topics to write about.  You can create very brief articles that are just long enough to fit within each section of your newsletter. Don’t worry about your articles being too short, you can always adjust the font size slightly to help things fit a little better.

To help me better focus on what to write about – I have preselected sections that I include in almost every issue.  It’s very helpful to know up front what I need to write about and what information I need to gather.

News story

Inside my front cover, I generally write a news story that is either directly related to my church or related to the surrounding community and/or the city.  It’s easy to fill this slot because there is always some event that has either recently passed or one that is upcoming, such as the church picnic or the Pastor’s Anniversary.  These types of posts are straight and to the point, answering the questions: what happened/what was unique, special, humorous, interesting, or enlightening about the event? when did it happened? who was involved? Where did it happen?

Inspirational Story or Testimonial

This is probably my favorite section, because this is the section where you or other writers can write about a time when God brought them through some obstacle; a time when they witnessed a miracle; or they could simply write a story to encourage and inspire others to deepen their faith.

Christian Poetry

This section is very flexible, especially since poems don’t have to rhyme (although people seem to enjoy these the most). Youth tend to enjoy contributing to this section the most, so you might consider recruiting some of the young people at your church to get involved with this section.

Education and Scholarship Info

This section requires some research. I go straight to the official websites of colleges and vocational schools in my area to get an Academic Calendar, so that I can include information about when classes begin for the upcoming semester.  I also check the schools’ scholarship and financial aid pages to find out which scholarships students might be interested in applying for.  This list generally starts out large at the beginning of the year and then dwindles, so the bulk of the work is done only a couple of times a year and then after that you just keep it updated, removing expired scholarships and semester start dates as they pass.  This is a very important section, you’ll be surprised how many students miss out on valuable scholarships and financial assistance simply because they don’t know where to look – this section of the newsletter could potentially change someone’s life for the better.

Word of the Month

This section is probably the easiest, but packs the biggest punch.  This is an opportunity to define and clarify words that people encounter in scripture or during a sermon that they might not fully understand. This is an opportunity to teach in a quick and brief way.  Try to choose words that your Pastor uses during the most recent sermon or Bible Study class. Ask him for clarification if need be, although many Bibles have a glossary that you can use.  I often refer to Biblos.com for their online Bible and Bible Dictionary.

Scripture of the Month

This is another quick and easy section.  Simply choose a scripture that has been the on-going theme during Sunday School Lessons or Bible Study. You may also choose a scripture that you’ve found especially encouraging.  Be sure to include the Book, Chapter and verse numbers.

Optional Sections

Letters of Appreciation and Encouragement

You may also include a Letter to the Pastor or other church leader section as well. You’ll need to encourage members to submit their letters. You may have to start this one off yourself with a letter of appreciation or encouragement.  This is also a good place to honor and praise members who have volunteered or served the church in a noteworthy way.

Inspirational Quotes

You may include a relevant inspirational quote to uplift and encourage others, also.

All of these sections I’ve listed here make up the basis of my church newsletter.  Of course, sometimes I add to it or take away sections based on what is needed for that particular issue. Feel free to do the same.

If you’ve enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy these others:

How to start a church newsletter

Church Newsletter fillers and resources

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