Church announcements are important
Imagine the time during church announcements as having a face to face conversation with everyone at once. It’s that small window of opportunity to share important things with the church family. If we are doing it well, we can make the few minutes we have really impactful. ** And make it EASY to respond – more on this later**
As ministry leaders we want to let our church family know EVERYTHING that we have going on for them so they can be part of it. It would be amazing if every person at church was super excited and interested in every event and ministry we have to offer. Unfortunately, this is not realistic. It isn’t a problem of apathy, but more a matter of how we communicate.
Communication has changed A LOT, even over the past decade. Not just the amount of information coming at us (which is overwhelming) but the way we get it. In this digital world, we now have access to news, weather and social events 24/7. We are constantly updated with emails, notifications, banners and texts.
Because we are so inundated with information throughout the week, we place value on communication that is straightforward and easy for us to act on. We also value being able to access info later. How many times have you saved an email or post to read when you have the time?
As a church these values shape how and where we communicate. We want to invite people to upcoming events and ministry opportunities because it’s key for growth. Using the kind of communication people value as a framework, we can make announcements an effective tool.
1. Announce less stuff!
We keep announcements to 3 or less. You might think…”Meridith, our church can’t do this, we have so many ministries!” Attention is a precious commodity and we don’t want to waste it. The average church goer is juggling work, school and family schedules and are on information overload. Better to announce a few things and have one stick rather than a bunch of things end up turning into white noise.
2. Use the 50/50 rule
It really is impossible to announce everything. What makes one event more important than another? It isn’t about importance, it’s about healthy communication and a huge part of that is considering your audience. Try using the 50/50 rule. Who does this effect…does it apply to half of the church? If not, it may not warrant an in-service announcement.
Sometimes it may be necessary to talk about things that aren’t church-wide. In this case, ask if it’s important to the mission and purpose statement of the church. If yes, go for it!
3. Tell stories
Let’s face it, times, dates and locations are boring. But stories are inspiring! Instead of reading off details for the next event, tell a story of your personal experience at that event. Inspiration over information…make use of your website for the boring details. This also reminds people to use the website.
4. Use visuals
People are visual! They connect more with what they see than what they hear. Using a graphic for the announcement will only add to their understanding of what you are talking about.
Annoying graphic designer note: Don’t forget to use the SAME graphic or some variation of it wherever else you are communicating it. This will keep everyone on the same page and avoid the question…”This looks different, is it a different event?”
5. Change it up
Take advantage of different personalities in your church. Everyone has their own style. It grabs attention to see someone new on the stage. It also makes space for potential volunteers that may have giftings in this area.
Ask a team or couple to do the announcements in church.
6. Make next steps REALLY simple
*** This is really important I was talking about at the beginning at the start. *** If you can only make one change, choose this one! The purpose of announcements is to inspire next steps. Have you ever given up donating to a charity halfway through the process because the steps were confusing or difficult? This is what we do at church when we ask people to take the next step and over complicate it.
Here’s what to stop doing
- Asking people to see Sally to sign up (even if she’s there that day)
- Ask people to send an email to a ministry leader
- Ask people to call the church office
- Ask people to download an app
These actions sabotage our own efforts.The pastor Life Abundant Church in Ontario, Canada uses this script and this script only as a next step.
He says, the most powerful thing about this script is, this is the ONLY script he uses. So people know exactly how to find more about any event or opportunity. The website or the info kiosk, that’s it!
7. Use other channels
The first tip was announcing less. Ministry leaders may not be happy hearing a straight up “no” to their announcement request. Instead try a response like “Not on stage, but here are the other channels where we can talk about that.”
If there are clear standards for announcements like the 50/50 rule or some variation of it, leaders will know when to ask for one.
• Social media platforms
• Church info booth/kiosk
Use other channels so that all communication doesn’t depend on Sunday mornings.
We want to see our churches packed with people who want to take action so let’s uncomplicate things by making announcements interesting, straightforward and easy to respond to.
P.S. If you are ready to get really organized with church communication, check out this article on branding for churches.