Announcements may not be the lifeblood of the church but if you want an informed and engaged congregation, someone has to give it much more thought than just another item on the to-do list. Here’s how to spruce up church announcements and get everyone listening.
Just because the service allots 10 minutes for the announcement doesn’t mean you use all of those time. People’s interest wane when you try to cram every activity that the church is up to into the announcement. So instead of informing the congregation about seven events, try to whittle it down to two, prioritizing major events that most of the congregation have to know about.
Provide a Clear Call to Action
Announcements are not just about providing information. Think about it. When you’re announcing an upcoming event in the church, you’re also compelling the congregation to join, volunteer, or tell their friends about it. That’s why every announcement should always end with a clear and riveting call to action. Give it a sense of urgency. People are more likely to respond when they know what they need to do.
Inspire and Inform
Inspiration is the best motivator. And people are inspired to take action when there’s an emotional connection. They don’t just have to know what’s good, they have to feel it’s good. This is why part of what makes a compelling announcement is casting the vision. Share why the church does these events. What are the church’s values? When those resonates deep with the people, you’ve made it simpler for them to commit and act.
Aside from talking about your whys, telling stories when appropriate is a great way to connect emotionally with the congregation. Stories stick way better than just giving the facts. So if Jesus used parables to communicate important truths about the Kingdom, you too can use stories to convey important information.
Use all Communication Channels
Aside from relaying the information during service, all your other communication channels should be synced with the same information. That means the church’s website, social media accounts, mobile app, and bulletin boards should have all the particulars. This way, the congregation can stay updated even when they missed one Sunday service.
Select the Right Person
Everyone has different giftings from the Lord. One may be excellent with admin tasks, while others might be great with music. As a pastor and leader, you need to know the strengths of your staff and assign suitable tasks to them. Likewise, with church announcements, you need to choose the right person to take that mic and relay important information in an engaging way. You can even have two people deliver an exciting dialogue, when appropriate, for a more engaging and not-your-usual approach.
Reinforce with Visuals
Studies confirm that people retain details better when you reinforce the information with visuals. You can use slides or videos for your announcements. You can even use the time before the service to show those slides and videos so there won’t be any idle time in the minutes leading up to the service for early birds.
Enlist the Help of Leaders
The best way to spread information is to cascade it to key people in the church, which happens to be the small group leaders. They’re the ones who meet and interact with members of the congregation. They add the human element to a standing invitation from the church. People can always ignore what’s said during the announcement; it’s way harder to say no to a personal invitation from a friend.
Get Creative in the Sermon
Most people who attend church put a high premium on sermons. It’s that one part of the service people wouldn’t miss. Pastors can creatively plug upcoming important events into their preaching as a reminder. Plan to preach on sharing the love of God to others? You can subtly mention that your upcoming outreach program is one of the best venues to do so.
While fostering deep and meaning relationships inside the church is always a good thing, there might be some pitfalls to avoid. For one, it can get too insider-focused that visitors feel like they’re outsiders. The same thing can happen with announcements. When communicating on the stage or pulpit, have the visitors in mind. Avoid church-speak, just convey the information using common everyday language. And as much as possible, announcements should be relevant to most in attendance, if not all. There are better ways to relay information that’s relevant only to a few church members.
While spontaneity can be good sometimes, it doesn’t work well when you’re doing the announcement during the service. The goal is to get the community involved with church activities so it’s imperative that you relay complete and relevant information beforehand. The last thing you want is confusion, which can be a likely outcome if the one holding the microphone during a church announcement is not prepared.
It’s ideal to set aside some time before the service to go over the spiel and details. This way, you can spot and correct errors ahead of time.
Ask for Regular Feedback
Humility is truly a virtue especially when you’re leading a congregation. It’s also the one attitude that could help the church make positive incremental changes over time. Yes, even something that’s seemingly ordinary as announcements could be improved if the leadership will just take the time to ask for feedback from the right people.
First, you gauge if the people are responsive to the announcement. If yes, check what you did well. If not, brainstorm with the staff what the team could do to make the announcement more compelling. You can even ask trusted church members for their thoughts and ideas on how to improve. After all, they’re the one who’ll have to listen, watch, and sit through the entire thing.
Church announcements are often handled like an afterthought when it’s very important in forging a strong community. It’s a nice glimpse into what goes on beyond Sunday service for visitors. And it’s that bridge that leads to more involved members.