Time to Rethink the Weekly Bulletin?
Many campus ministry programs provide a "weekly bulletin" for students, reminding them of upcoming events and activities. Like parishes around the country, the bulletin serves as a way to communicate.
Or does it?
The weekly bulletin is valuable, to a limited degree, for three groups of people:
1. The campus ministry staff. The bulletin forces the team to set deadlines and think through how events are communicated.
2. The students who attend weekly Mass.
3. Those that don't attend weekly Mass but see the bulletin on the campus ministry website.
Of the three groups, which is most important? I'd say #'s 2 and 3.
If you produce a weekly bulletin, make sure that two things happen:
a) It must be a quality, appealing and brief read.
b) You must not spend too much time producing it.
It's really important to keep in mind the third group- those that don't go to Mass. How valuable is your bulletin to them? How likely are they to check your website?
For some campus ministry programs, it may be time to rethink the weekly bulletin. I'm not saying that it's worthless. What I do suggest is to talk about it with your staff and with students; they will tell you how valuable (or not) the bulletin is to them.
Another idea might be to tweet out or text out to students the most important parts of your bulletin. Small, bite-sized pieces of information might be better absorbed than a 2-4 page spread.