The following post is intended for a course I am teaching in January on Church Planting. If someone else may benefit from the thoughts, then the Lord will have multiplied ministry for His own glory and, we pray, the health and witness of the Church in the world today.
In a church plant, that is, a “new church development,” or, if you prefer, a “mission church,” the place of the weekly bulletin cannot be understated. However, it may be stated with purpose.
Without a “steeple,” or a historical place in the community, new church developments rely heavily upon their weekly bulletins. The bulletin is compromised not only of the order of worship for that Sunday, but also pastoral epistles (or notes on worship, notes from the Pastor’s Heart), poetry, quotations, statements of vision and mission, and other values that are communicated. It may be stated that the purpose of the weekly bulletin goes far beyond the Order of Worship. We may say that the purpose of the weekly bulletin in a “church plant” is to cast the burden, values, vision, mission, and strategic goals of the new church development (and, thus, the mission pastor) so that the growing core group may articulate and appreciate the essential ethos, elements, and purpose of the endeavor.
This is the weekly bulletin of Trinity Chapel Charlotte (ARPC), Weddington, North Carolina.
I would also point to weekly communication ministry of Parish Presbyterian Church in Franklin, Tennessee, as a fine example of clear and consistent communication that undergirds the ethos and essentials of that local church.
- What impressions do you have after reading one of the bulletins above? Why do you think it is so?
- How could the bulletins better communicate the vision and mission?
- Is there a sense of “over-communication?” How so?
- Is the Order of Worship clear?
- What would you say is the “burden” driving each of the churches represented?
- How do you feel that the bulletin is, in fact, “the steeple” of a new church development?