communications

6 Ways to Derail Your Church Announcements

Announcements are a great tool for moving people to action. [I wrote all about this in my ebook called Effective Announcements.] However, it can be difficult to keep them fresh and creative every weekend. Even worse, the people who do them can get lazy and some bad habits sneak in that undermine their effectiveness. Here are some of the habits I’ve seen over the years:

  • Constant weather updates // Commenting on the weather all the time is verbal diarrhea for church leaders. It’s a crutch when you don’t know what else to say … don’t do it! Add a high-value transition, like commenting on what just happened in the service rather than what a great day is it outside.
    • BONUS: The same is true about over-commenting on sports. Use it sparingly!
  • Last-minute additions // It’s Sunday morning and someone from your kids ministry pleads with you to sell a special event happening on Tuesday evening. Don’t do it! Last-minute additions never pay the response dividends that people are looking for and they short circuit a well-planned communications strategy. Remember … it’s always bad to add!
  • “Blessings” and other insider language // I don’t know what it is about doing announcements that makes people add all kinds of “churchy” language. Rather than talking about how great the youth event was … they talk about what a blessing it was for the youth to fellowship in that way. WHAT? Use language that makes sense to people who don’t normally attend church. (And stop taking up those “clap offerings”!)
  • Shielding your eyes from the light // You go on stage and there are bright lights so people can see you. But you want to be able to see them, so you make a “hand over your eyes” shield. Stop that! It takes people out of the moment, reinforces the fact that those lights are there, and makes people feel disconnected from you because they can’t see you.
  • Not introducing people // Who are all those people on stage with you? If you’ve ever visited a church and not known who is on stage, you’ll know how disorienting it is. Take 10 seconds and introduce everyone … it puts first-time guests at ease.
  • Weird prayers // One of the reasons we pray in public is because it models what a “normal” prayer life is like. However, some church leaders fall into the trap of trying to impress people with big words or overly complex prayers. Don’t do it … model a prayer life that uses normal language to connect with God. It’s a simple way to help people take their next steps in this vitally important part of their spiritual lives.

What did I miss? I’d love to hear a comment from you on what you see people do during announcements that needs to be avoided!

10 Comments

  1. […] 6 Ways to Derail Your Church Announcements – For members and guests alike, announcements in worship can be a powerful way to cast vision and create the narrative in your church. They can also be a way to instantly cause the congregation to tune out. I would recommend reading this and then taking a good hard look at your announcement time. […]

  2. Comedy. Be careful and use it properly. But always joking about taking up an offering or just putting the whole checkbook in the offering plate can be offensive to someone who just lost their job. Just think it through before adding humor to an announcement.

  3. Know your announcements before you hit the pulpit (or wherever you are making them from). An announcer who is reading it for the first time in front of the audience leads guest and even members to believe that person doesn’t know what is going on in their own Church. Announcements take longer when they’re being read for the first time in front of the audience. If the announcer really doesn’t know the info or maybe has a question, ask the head of that Ministry before hitting the stage. If they can have the information memorized, all the better. Instead of reading it from the bulletin. It flows better and takes less time.

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Rich Birch
Rich Birch is one of the early multi-site church pioneers in North America. He led the charge in helping The Meeting House in Toronto to become the leading multi-site church in Canada with over 5,000+ people in 18 locations. In addition, he served on the leadership team of Connexus Church in Ontario, a North Point Community Church Strategic Partner. He has also been a part of the lead team at Liquid Church - a 5 location multisite church serving the Manhattan facing suburbs of New Jersey. Liquid is known for it’s innovative approach to outreach and community impact. Rich is passionate about helping churches reach more people, more quickly through excellent execution.His latest book Church Growth Flywheel: 5 Practical Systems to Drive Growth at Your Church is an Amazon bestseller and is design to help your church reach more people in your community.