How to design a ministry brochure
Before I became a youth pastor, I ministered with a church planting organization called Team Expansion. My role at Team Expansion was to oversee the marketing and creative arts department. Every year, our ministry would go to a missionary expo called “the National Missionary Convention.” Every year that I attended that convention, I would be reminded of what NOT to do with ministry communication. I want to take a couple moments and provide you with suggestions on your ministry brochures. I also want to provide you with my former ministries brochure template. I designed it right before I left.
Before I begin, I want to say a word to those people who think brochures are dead. Believe it or not, some people do not have a computer, Facebook, internet, or the like at home. They prefer to have something in their hands. While most people will visit your website, we need to be accessible by everyone–especially parents.
Here are some things to keep in mind:
1. Every ministry does NOT need a brochure. I’ll write more about this tomorrow, but I’m a firm believer that only the church and student ministries (K-12) need brochures. I believe that every church needs ONE brochure that previews everything the church has to offer. As Seth Godin says, you don’t want to give them every single piece of information in your brochure. However, I wouldn’t go as far as he suggests to leave out crucial information, but we need to realize that no one wants to read your novel.
2. Just because someone asks for a brochure to be made doesn’t mean they need it. I was notorious for telling people that I didn’t approve their brochure for their specific ministry niche. I’m sure people trashed me at the water cooler, but it’s important to maintain the integrity of your marketing by keeping it simple. When someone brought forth the need for a brochure, I first sat down with them to to see if I could incorporate their material with our current material. Team Expansion had 24 brochures when I started working there. By the time I left, we had 2!
3. Brochures are glanced at not read. I once read a study that the average time someone looks at a brochure is less than 5 seconds. Brochures take hours of work to develop and hundreds of dollars to print in quantity, so it’s natural to assume that it will be read right? Wrong. Unfortunately, the majority of people just look at the pictures and quotes. At most people may read the first sentence in each section. Keep that in mind when you’re designing. Also realize that you are more emotionally invested in your ministry than a potential brochure reader. You might want to share everything you think, do, and feel in a brochure. Save that for a follow-up conversation.
4. K.I.S.S. Keep it simple stupid.
Student Ministry Brochure:
- Crucial ministry information (Mission Statement, Regular program summary, & Meeting times)
- Staff/Contact Area- Be sure to include CASUAL staff pictures. Leave your Olan Mills, blowing hair, and sea horses at home. Stay away from leaning against a building or tree. Don’t shoot the picture looking down or up. Go for a natural smile. (I always ask people to giggle…then they feel funny and do. BAM…I get their natural smile.)
- Introduction, Welcome from the Lead Pastor
- Crucial ministry information (Mission Statement, Regular program summary, & meeting times)
- Ministry highlights (Give each ministry a paragraph (No more than 6-10 sentences. If they can’t say what is most important in that amount of space, then I’d suggest they copy edit.)
- Contact information (I would skip a main pastoral staff page since that tends to change. The old rule is the moment you print a face is the moment they leave.)
- Include actual pictures of the area. Do not use stock building images, crosses, or the like. You want the brochure to express your personality.
- Spend extra money on the paper quality. Your first impression might be the feelisng they get when they pick up your brochure. You don’t want it to communicate cheap.
- Don’t do a traditional 3 fold brochure. Those will be just like every other brochure out there. Design your brochure in such a way that it has a different fold/size.
5. STAY AWAY FROM CLIPART. Nothing says, “look at me” like 1999 clipart. For tips on how to design better, check this out.
Below, I’ve given you a link to download the last brochure I created for our ministry in Indiana. It’s printed on an 8.5 x 11 page and folded in half. We used our color copier in house and printed them on glossy paper.
If you need a service to print your brochure, consider using www.vistaprint.com or many of the other online retailers. You can get a great deal. Also, try contacting your local newspaper. Our newspaper prints brochures upon request for a great price.
Finally, here is another great resources from my friends over at Youthmin.org on what your ministry website needs.
Do you have ministry brochures? How many? What do you communicate?