Communications Toolkit for Congregations

Toolbox lock flickr CC attribution to Jenn Durfey

Photo by Jenn Durfey

Are you responsible for congregational communications or policies? Improve your image, build on outreach. This toolkit includes materials covering branding (also known as Identity Guidelines), newsletters, copyright, online communications, and social media policies.

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“We are a small congregation, we don’t need a Brand Identity. That is for mega churches and businesses.” Heard that before? This document will help congregations to present themselves as a coherent, focused member of the community.

 Newsletters and Event Promotion:

Half the battle in creating a successful event or program is getting the word out. Here are some helpful resources to give you a head start in maximizing your efforts in advertising and promotion.

Online Communications:

Church websites done right can be a natural extension of your congregation’s mission and a tool for ministry. Free or low-cost online tools should simplify Sunday mornings  – and staff and volunteer tasks in between. Read our recommendations.

  • Church Online Communications Resources (download doc or PDF)
  • Get on the map! Claim your church on Google Maps (link)
  • Sample: Knox Website Requirements 2013 (download PDF)


Living and working in America compels us to follow US law, and the Bible directs us to reward artisans for the skillful work they do (Exodus 35:35 – 36:7). Learning about and adhering to copyright law is not only our duty to protect our churches from costly fees or lawsuits, it is a way to be respectful and joyful stewards of the gifts that God has given to photographers, writers, musicians, and other creative artists.

  • Pittsburgh Presbytery: Frequently Asked Q & A Regarding Copyright Licensing (link)
  • Creative Commons Search: find images and other media that are in the public domain or other free license – note that some media may require giving credit in your bulletin, flyer, website, etc. (link)
  • PCUSA: read about the Religious Services Exemption to learn about how copyright law applies differently to churches than businesses (link)
  • Do churches ever actually get sued/fined for copyright infringement? The answer is yes. Read this church’s experience (link)
  • Sample: Showing a movie at a member’s house (download PDF)

Social Media Policies:

How should we act on social media? A social media policy for your staff and volunteers can guide behavioral expectations and define what’s confidential. It also protects the rights of your church and staff.

  • Sample: Safe Boundaries Policy Appendix C (pages 21-22): Suggested Practices For The Use Of Social Media (download PDF)
  • Sample: Riverside, IL Presbyterian Church’s Technology and Internet Usage Policy (download doc or PDF)
  • Sample: Who Speaks for the Presbytery? (download PDF)
  • Sample: 221st (2014) General Assembly Social Media Guide (download PDF)
  • Sample: United Church of Christ – Connecticut Conference’s Resource “Church Safety Online: Social Networking” (download PDF)
  • Sample: Blogging Beatitudes from (link)
  • Sample: Online database of corporate Social Media Policies (link)

Download as a packet:

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