Announcements: The Holy Grail
Have you ever heard someone say “I need an announcement for this…”
This is a great indication that you have an opportunity to build some parameters and understanding into your communication guidelines, and not clog up your worship experience with a 12 minute announcement section of reading everything that’s already printed in the bulletin.
If you are involved in the decision process, of what does and doesn’t get announced, here are 2 ideas I like to keep in mind to remind me of what should get approved.
1. Announcement attention needs to be handled with care
If you announce too much, give too much detail or regurgitate what someone can find elsewhere, then people will quickly switch from listening to your announcements to checking their phone or having a conversation with the person sitting next to them.
Keep your announcements short and sweet by limiting them to content that applies to 80% or more of the people in the room (service times, upcoming conference, all-church outreach) and limit the number of announcements to 3 – that way, the listener can digest the bite-sized pieces of information you’re giving them, rather than processing a list.
2. There are MANY ways outside of service announcements that other information can be communicated
– Send an event-specific email to people that would be interested in that event (i.e. baby dedication email to new parents, baptism registration to new members and people who have recently gotten saved, retirement small group details to people who are retired)
– Social Media posts
– Text Message services
– Small group announcements (give your leaders something that they can announce that’s relevant to the members of their small group)
– Handouts at kids checkin
– Printed section in the bulletin or promotional handout
But Adam, how do I tell the Kids Pastor or Small Group Leader that their event isn’t going to be announced?
Layout your qualifications for an announcement and make it available to every department lead, plus give a list of all of the other ways that events can be communicated. Now when a department lead comes to you about an event, they already know ahead of time if it qualifies for a service announcement, and if they ask anyway, instead of just saying “No,” you can reply with “it doesn’t qualify for a service announcement, but let’s make a strategy about the other ways we can let people know about this event.”
Preserve the attention you have during your worship experience. Keep announcements short and to the point, so people can get the information they need and get back to worshipping.