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Aug
07

Guidelines for Delivering Church Announcements Effectively

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Announcements, for a congregation, can be either the most interesting part of service or the most painful. I’ve seen the highs and lows: highly produced at Granger and strikingly pitiful at some local churches. But there doesn’t have to be a high production value for announcements to be valuable. What you need is a method, and someone who will do announcements well. Hopefully some of these guidelines will help you get started on your way to delivering announcements effectively.

First of all, you want to recognize what you have with each announcement. There are really three parts to any announcement:

1. The Introduction – People don’t know what you’re talking about until you tell them. This can be creative, and sometimes funny, but most often it will be purely informative.

2. The Sell – You want to tell people why they want to do whatever it is you want them to do. Keep in mind, the selling points for a class are different from a retreat, and each should be handled as such.

3. The Take Away – After you’ve taken them this far, you want to give them something to do. Commonly that means “pick up more information in the back” but sometimes “visit this website” or “call this number” works too. Again, depends on the announcement.

With this pattern in mind, let’s take a look at some principles to help guide your announcements to a new level. At the very least this could create some solid discussion, which couldn’t hurt either.

Be real with people

Don’t inject too much presentation in what you do on the stage. It’s easier to see through than you may think. Instead, try to be as real and natural with your congregation as possible.

If there are Germans coming to sing at your church (true story) then make a joke about how it’s at least worth seeing to be able to say that you’ve seen it! Or, on a more serious note, if you are pitching small groups and how to get involved in one, admit that you aren’t yet in one and that you are going to the same place. I think you’ll be surprised at the impact that it has on your congregation.

Showcase a testimony

You don’t have to experience everything at your church to be effective. One of the biggest misconceptions is that whoever is announcing has to be involved in every aspect of the church. This isn’t the case. If there is something you have no reflection on other than “people tell me this is important” then you should probably have something else for the “selling point” part of the announcement. Stage an interview with someone who has done it, then play the video (or do it quickly up in front on stage). Sometimes different events come with promotional materials, don’t be afraid to use those either.

Don’t use the pastor

This can be a touchy one, but I still would stress it. The pastor will have his time; the announcements need a different voice. For one thing, it will show the people that there are others involved in the church besides the pastor. (And on that note, don’t be afraid to finish doing announcements by introducing yourself. Let them know your name, the ministries you cover, and why they might want to get in touch with you.)

I would also suggest talking about the series that is being taught that weekend (probably before any other announcement). The effect of someone other than the pastor talking about the lesson is interesting, and definitely worthwhile.

The person announcing matters

Announcements are very personality-intensive. Again, it’s not about being fake, but it’s about finding someone who can communicate to large groups well. This won’t always be your outgoing people, either. Experiment, but find one or two people who are really excellent on your staff, so you can keep it interesting and serve up announcements the best way you can.

This is a guest post by Ryan Imel. In addition to running Aspiring Indie, Ryan also blogs and runs Theme Playground and Cool Church Websites.

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