7 Elements of Effective Church Announcements
Rather than seeing “announcements” as a distraction from the reason we gather together as a church I think they can be critically important in the life of a community. These times can be a window in the heart of a church for first time guests as they get a sense of what is important to you. For people on the fringes of your church it’s an important time to help move them closer to the core. For long time participants announcements serve to remind them why the love being a part of what God is doing at your church.
But let’s be honest … sometimes announcements can be a real drag on the service. Rather than an enhancement to the service they can feel like a distraction at best or a total drag at worst. Here are 7 critical factors to make sure that your announcements this weekend serve to push the mission forward rather than distract from it.
- Don’t Preempt the Message // Often the person giving the announcements has an inside track on what is coming up in the message. Resist the urge to give a peek into where the message is heading. It’s okay to build anticipation for the message but never reveal the bottom line or takeaway of the message.
- What’s in it for them? // When we are communicating about upcoming events at our church we can get caught in communicating details about the event rather than the benefit to the people listening. The fact that the money management seminar is coming up next weekend isn’t a compelling announcement. The knowledge that the average attendee to that seminar gets out of $8,500 in debt is a benefit … talk about benefits to everything you are announcing.
- Less is More. // Studies show that people remember less and less about individual commercials on TV as the number of spots increase. The big idea is that as the number of successive commercials come on during each break the less and less people can remember about each one. This dynamic is doubly true about whatever you communicate on a Sunday morning at your church. Cut back on what you talk about from stage if you want people to remember anything!
- Connect to Vision. // Make sure to draw the lines between what you are talking about and the larger vision of the church. Show people how this event you are talking about is central to what it means to be your church. Lead with vision and then every announcement becomes a chance to reinforce what God is calling your church to.
- Show Don’t Just Tell. // Every time you are up front you need to have some sort of graphic or prop to communicate whatever message you are attempting to get across. We live in a post-literate world and you need to help bridge that gap by using visual aids. A well placed picture communicates instantly more than what you can do with the time allotted.
- Connect with the Heart. // Your job is to pastor people in your community. Don’t fall into the trap of being a sales agent for upcoming events … but take time to lead your people closer to a relationship with Jesus. Don’t just “sell” your small group ministries … connect dots for them on how being in a small group helps people deepen their faith.
- Clear Next Steps. // Make sure every announcement has a obvious call to action for your people. Where can people go to get more information? How do they sign up for the class? You can’t make this too obvious or straightforward. Reduce the friction in getting them involved.
Weekend Service // Announcement Quality Checklist [download PDF]
Download this resource to help coach whomever is doing announcements this weekend at your church or as a reminder for you as you prepare this part of your service.