Lengthy bulletins can be sideways energy. What is “sideways energy”? As Art Rainer summarizes it:
People are working. Busyness is occurring. But little movement is experienced.
That’s sideways energy. Now, bulletins at a church can become an exercise in sideways energy for two different reasons:
- The length bulletin may be communicating and promoting a lot of different events, programs, opportunities, etc. when we try to communicate everything, we end up sharing a lot of information, but without the prioritization and emphasis that makes this “mass” of information palatable and action-able for readers. If you float 20 ideas to me, I can tune out. If you compellingly encourage me to move toward one–or just a few–I’m a lot more likely to take action.
- Let’s say your very-lengthy bulletin effectively communicates with focus–it’s not just a huge menu smattering of different ideas that may or may not be connected–but actually reveals a discipleship pathway. This is great. You may be a parish that doesn’t need to change the approach to the bulletin at all. However, consider the resources necessary to produce this–the work of editors, secretaries, visits with publisher advertisers, etc. Is that resource use sideways energy that could be better directed elsewhere?
As many churches start a “new year” right about now–how’s your bulletin?
Is it contributing to transformation? Or, is it an instrument that distracts from the central movement of energy and vision in your local church?
“The common name sidewinder alludes to its unusual form of locomotion…as its body progresses over loose sand, it forms a letter J-shaped impression, with the tip of the hook pointing in the direction of travel.” Sidewinding–good for desert snakes, not for our communications 😉 Source: “Crotalus cerastes” via Wikipedia