Announcements are an inevitable part of our worship services. How we handle our announcements can make them either a distracting drain, or a life-giving, enjoyable part of our time together as a congregation. Here are 7 ways to make your announcement time a more life-giving part of your church services.
Pick the Proper Placement
There is nothing more frustrating for a worship leader than trying to get the congregation into a mindset of worship only to be interrupted after two songs by a set of awkward announcements. That’s why picking the proper placement for the announcement slot is crucial. I have found that the best place for announcements is after the musical worship and congregational greeting time. Placing the announcements here makes for a seamless transition, as the announcer can sneak up on stage, adjust his notes, and grab his microphone while the congregation shakes hands and greets one another. This placement also keeps your musical worship from being broken up, allowing you to build momentum and keep your people’s attention on Christ. If you are in the unfortunate situation of needing to keep your announcements in the middle of your music set (for practical reasons), then be sure to ask the announcer to be sensitive to the spirit of the room. Which leads us to the next point:
Find the Right Person
Not everyone can do announcements well. It is vital to find the right person for the role. Church on the Move, a megachurch that excels in all things communication, only has three individuals that they utilize for their announcement slot. Three out of a church of ten-thousand! That shows you just how important it is to find the right type of person. So what sort of person should we look for? Here are a few words that come to mind: friendly, winsome, relatable, engaging, sincere, poised, relaxed, concise and eloquent. You want someone who breaks down barriers, makes people feel welcomed, communicates appropriately to the moment, can get to the point, and who can induce emotion in their listeners. There aren’t many people who can do that. While I generally recommend having different people do announcements each week (to avoid monotony), if there’s only one person in your church with the right characteristics, then use them until you can train up others to present equally well.
The right person to do your announcements is friendly, winsome, relatable, engaging, sincere, poised, relaxed, concise and eloquent.
Inspire, Don’t Inform
Speaking of training, one thing you should train your announcers to do is to “inspire, not inform”. Your congregation won’t remember information, they’ll remember inspiration. Data doesn’t move people to action, emotion does. Instead of packing your announcements full of minutiae (“this place, this time, this person, this thing, sign up here”), fill them with stories. Inspire your listeners with a story of how a person’s life was changed by attending a particular event, then give them only the basics of the information, and point them to the bulletin or the website for the rest of the details. Don’t bore your people with information, inspire them with inspiration.
Limit the Number of Announcements
In communication, the more you say, the less people remember. This is a problem, because churches tend to say too much. It is not uncommon for churches to pack in five, six, seven or even eight announcements, plus a reminder about the nursery! The problem with this is that if everything is important, then nothing is important.
Not everything deserves stage time. In fact, each announcement that you add actually reduces the effectiveness of the previous announcements!
Determine what is most important for your congregation to know, limit the number to three or four, and push everything else through other communication channels (bulletin, website, etc).
Back It Up Visually
We live in a visual society. If we want to have effective verbal communication, we’ve got to pair it with visual reinforcement. People retain more information when they both see and hear something at the same time. Make an eye-catching slide for each of your verbal announcements.
Some tips: don’t fill your slides with tons of text (people can’t read that much from that far away!), instead put the title of the event in big clear letters, and include key information (date, time, cost) only. Remember, this is just a visual reinforcement of what you are already saying. See example below:
Creating visual aids for each of your announcements may take a little bit of extra work, but the time invested will pay off! A great free resource is: www.canva.com
We live in a visual society. If we want to have effective verbal communication, we’ve got to pair it with visual reinforcement.
Make The Cheat Sheet Readable
A few weeks ago, I was tasked to do announcements. When I got up on stage, I was greeted by the announcements “cheat sheet” that was nothing but seven paragraphs of bold text! There was no easy way for me to find the pertinent information or even the announcement title. Needless to say, this led to some fumbling and searching for the right information, while all eyes and ears of the congregation waited (patiently). Brothers, sisters, this should not be! It’s not very hard to format your cheat sheets to easily give you glanceable information. Here are a few tips: Put the title of each announcement in bold. Underneath the title use bullet points to remind you of an inspiring story, and give you glanceable information quickly. Then make sure that the order on your cheat sheet matches the order of the announcement slides. It’ll make for a much better experience for you and your congregation.
Speaking of getting a better experience, standing on the stage in front of the congregation should not be the first time you’ve read these announcements out loud. Whoever is doing announcements that week should get the cheat sheet and information a few days before Sunday, so they can familiarize themselves with the content and practice presenting it out loud. Music and sermons aren’t the only things that should be excellent for the Lord. God deserves excellent announcements too! Practice makes perfect, try it and see.
Music & sermons aren’t the only things that should be excellent for the Lord. God deserves excellent announcements tooClick to tweet
(Bonus) Film It and Review
If you really want to improve the announcement portion of your worship services, film it and review them weekly with your announcers. Watch with the sound on first, then with the sound off to observe and discuss body language. Nothing helps you improve faster than watching yourself!
Many of you reading this have a hand in the announcement portion of your services. Take this article to your pastors or those in charge of announcements and use it as a discussion starter to see how to improve what you’re currently doing. Better announcements make for a better worship service!
What would you add to this list? Any tips you’ve learned that have made a difference in your announcement time? Leave a comment and let us know!