Posts Tagged ‘measure’

Worship Bulletin

Paulo Brabo

Over the past three weeks, I have been a visitor to three different churches, and at each, I was struck by what their worship bulletin (program) told me about the congregation and its overall ministry.

Here are some questions to consider as you review your bulletin:

  • Does your bulletin look historic or modern?– Visiting a traditional and historic church, it was no surprise that their bulletin looked out of date. It looked like the church had not updated their bulletin design since the 1980’s. In contrast one church’s bulletin had a more recent design, with colors, that conveyed a sense of life in the church.
  • Does your bulletin have pictures and colors?– similar question, but a good one to consider as we increasingly live in a world defined by visual images.
  • Is your bulletin easy to read?-This is more than just the size of your font. Hopefully the layout and flow of your bulletin is easy to read by visitors who will not be familiar with the rituals of your worship.
  • Does your bulletin welcome visitors?- Certainly a welcome note is helpful, but does it help give instructions for people who are unfamiliar with when to stand, sit, sing, take communion, pray out loud, etc?
  • Is more than half of your bulletin about the news of the church?- Some news and announcements can be good, but often (more…)

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Yesterday, I talked about how technology can bridge the accountability gap that separates donors from beneficiaries, and in the post I shared that I would write 3 blogs showing how such examples can be used. This is the first of three posts.

Have you ever experienced listening to a member of  a church, or nonprofit organization, who can’t clearly articulate the mission or the impact of the organization?

Maybe the experience came as a friend asked you to donate money to support a charity. Or maybe, it happened when someone invited you to church, or as a friend described why they volunteers their time.

In many cases, these experiences are awkward attempts to tell the story of an organization. However, because most of these stories are told by volunteers or members, they often miss the true power of sharing the core mission and impact of an organization.

Given this experience, many organizations are now turning to technology to help them to:

  1. Tell the Story- Using their own words and images (pictures, blogs, videos, etc) (more…)

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I was recently visiting a church to assist them with some financial planning, and during my visit I asked them two questions:

  1. What is your niche ministry and mission?
  2. If I asked someone who is (name of org) how would they answer?

In response to the first question, the leaders had a difficult time naming who they were as a congregation and what they saw their specific ministry as (think uncomfortable silence). In response to the second question, the leaders were almost unanimous in saying, “People would ask you, ‘Who is that?'”

Not it could be easy to criticize this church, but in my experience, they are not alone. In almost 60-70% of the churches and other nonprofits I visit, I ask the same questions and I get the same responses.   For what ever reasons, many organizations have lost their focus on the mission that they provide.

In a recent paper, Success by Design: How R&D Activates Program Innovation and Improvement in the Nonprofit Sector, by Peter York, I found a similar reflection about designing a mission and program based on actual impacts. (more…)

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