What is the most common, most read, and sometimes most expensive publication of a local church? Answer: the bulletin. If this is the case, then it stands to reason we would want to get the most bang for our buck (and the most sanctification from our publication).
Attached is a sample bulletin structure that seeks to allow both worship leader and pastor to work together in discipling the congregation without adding significant work to their week. The goal is to make clearer (visually and theologically) what is already being said and sung.
This sample is not intended to take sides in any “worship wars.” It is style neutral. Various service structures could utilize the key principles of the sample.
One guiding conviction behind the same is that when we gather to worship, we gather to interact with our Heavenly Father in an intimate, informative manner. Therefore, God speaks and we respond throughout the service.
A Guided Tour:
- At the top service is the church’s mission statement. This is to tie “what we do” to “who we are” as a church.
- The left edge of the service contains the themes of the service and the sermon. Many sets of key words could be used. The ones given are merely an example. Hopefully the flow of the service would mirror or accentuate the key points of the sermon. As they worship, the congregation would be more overtly prepared to receive and understand the sermon.
- The “dialogue” or relational nature of worship is emphasized by the identifying each aspect of the service as either “God Speaking” or “We Respond.” This draws the congregation out from a spectator mindset to a participant’s mindset.
- The service concludes with a call to response that is not merely for salvation (the minority population of most services), but also for lives of faith, obedience, and love. Other calls for a living response that relate to a given service or sermon could be included here.
- There is also a section entitled “How to Enrich Your Worship.” The eight items listed are not exhaustive. The goal of this section is to give the congregation practical tools to make God Kingdom and the ministry of the church more central to their weekly routine and planning process.
It is not being proposed that this sample is the ideal new bulletin model. Rather, this is an attempt to enhance the overall discipleship impact of a worship service by creating a greater visual and theological cohesion to the elements of worship.