VISIBILITY FOR VITALITY: Brochures: Content Guidelines and How to Share
Publications Team, UU Small Group Ministry Network, March 6, 2014
Brochures greatly improve your ability to communicate efficiently with congregation members, friends, visitors, and newcomers. A brochure can be a valuable tool for explaining what Small Group Ministry (SGM) is all about, answering questions, educating your audience, and promoting a sign-up period or event.
Sharing Your Brochure
Please share your SGM brochure with others by sending to firstname.lastname@example.org. Brochures will be posted on the UU Small Group Ministry Network website in the "Visibility for Viability" section of Implementing Small Group Ministry and the Online Resources section of the Network website.
See the list of submitted brochures here
Criteria for acceptance on SGM Network website: Content includes most of the basic elements outlined below and no more than 4 quotations of 1-2 sentences.
As a publicity tool, a 4-6 panel SGM brochure can increase visibility by:
1. Explaining the purpose of small group ministry
2. Answering frequently-asked questions about SGM
3. Informing and educating about small group ministry in your congregation
4. Getting people interested & involved
5. Offering a path toward spiritual enrichment and significant relationships
6. Telling how to learn more about the program and how to sign up
7. Presenting a condensed version of program guidelines and website information
Your SGM brochure can be:
a. included in visitor and new member packets
b. distributed at Path to Membership and New UU classes
c. displayed at coffee hour, on the Welcome Table, in the church office, and on the SGM program table or bulletin board
d. given out from the SGM Information Table during annual sign-up periods.
Guidelines for Brochure Content (Also applicable to SGM Handbooks and Guides)
Basic elements to include:
Congregation name and location (city/state or province)
Program name, purpose & mission
Benefits of group membership ("A covenant group will give you the opportunity to...")
Meeting place & schedule ("once a month for 8 months" or "twice a month")
Year length/duration ("October-May" or "ongoing")
Who can participate ("open to all members and friends")
Expectations of participants (commitment & attendance)
Defining elements of small group ministry/covenant groups
What happens at a meeting
Group purpose ("spiritual & personal growth, connections")
Covenant & Service
Meeting length & focus
How to join a group
Format description ("members are then invited to tell life stories related to the topic")
Sharing the time, listening without interrupting, confidentiality
When & how to register
How to learn more
How and where to submit forms
Who to contact with questions
Contact email addresses & phone numbers
Optional elements to include:
Who's in charge ("coordinator(s), team, committee")
The minister's role ("and with the support of Rev. _____")
Message from the minister (minister statement and/or invitation)
Program year/season (2014-2015)
Program logo & slogan
Short (1-2 sentence) quotations with attribution
What to expect
What SGM is not
How SGM differs from other group
Brief history of UU SGM or history in congregation
Reason for calling it small group ministry or covenant groups
A sign-up form included
Groups work best when...
Characteristics of a chalice circle
How facilitators are supported
Child care offered & how to arrange
Promises group members make to each other
Join a group with/without spouse/partner
How members are placed in a group
Getting Started On Brochure Design
The brochures on this site have been contributed by SGM program leaders across the country. Look through them for ideas on content, wording, and presentation. Consider the basic elements to include and develop an outline. Arrange topics in logical sequence to fit the layout of the brochure. Develop a mock-up by pasting sections onto folded paper, or by copying and pasting the text to a brochure template. Review, get input from others, and decide on the final version for printing.
Keep sentences short. Avoid jargon, cliches, redundancy, and misspelled words.
Use the active rather than passive voice. For example, "Visit us at the sign-up table after each service." rather than, "Those interested can come to the sign-up table after service."