Ugh. ::rolling my eyes:: “Here come the boring announcements.”
Where does your church put the announcements? In between the music and preaching? At the end while people have half a foot out the door? How do you give important information and keep people’s attention in a service packed with information?
1. Be prepared.
Make sure the announcer has all the correct and pertinent information. How many times have you seen someone on stage calling out to the crowd or looking around for the point person who knows the answer to shout it (without a mic) from the back of the room? If you think it’s easy to lose an audience while preaching, if you miss a beat during announcements people are already tuning you out and thinking about their lunch plans or what time the game starts.
I helps to use Powerpoint slides that have all the information on them, so people can read along and get the message visually. Many churches show the announcements as a Powerpoint slide show before and after the service as well.
2. Don’t assume any details are already known.
I was new to a church a few years ago and heard the following announcement:
“Join us this Friday at 7pm for Stillwaters! You don’t want to miss it, and you never know if Miss Puddin’ might show up!”
What? If I’m a guest or new to the church, what the heck does that mean? Later on I found out that Stillwaters is a Motown-style night of singing and comedy and “Miss Puddin'” is a Madea type comedic character that dresses in costume and does jokes. But that type of announcement alienated anyone who did not already know what it was, and did not create interest for anyone new to check it out.
3. Be Creative.
More and more churches are using video announcements. People react to video and perk up and pay attention. It is a good way to break up the monotony of a service, although anything that you do every week the same way will become monotonous if you’re not careful. It could be as simple as someone delivering the same type of announcement as they would on stage, but in a different setting (outside, a living room, a popular location around town) can add just enough interest.
One of the most creative announcements I’ve seen was during my internship with a College and Young Adults ministry. One of the worship team members would periodically get up and make up funny/silly songs to play on his guitar and sing the announcements. He’d turn the key points into a catchy chorus and the crowd would sing along, helping them to remember it. This is something to be used sparingly as it would get old really quick, plus be difficult to keep coming up with creative songs.
Using some type of comedy skit is another way some people might use. However, the way most churches present skits is usually awful, clichéd and hokey. I recommend not using this method unless you have a talented and established drama team of some sort that knows what they’re doing. You’ll do more harm than good if it’s bad. As with songs, use this method even more sparingly to just shake things up now and then. Perhaps only use it for major announcements.
Some churches go for a big stunt, such as some crazy youth worker sliding up the aisle on a Slip N Slide to announce the youth group water park outing. Use discretion and caution with these types of stunts!
4. Keep it simple, but effective.
Overall, it’s best to keep it simple. Choose people who are effective communicators and are not boring. Cover the key points (date, time, location, deadlines) and direct them to the website or bulletin for more information. You don’t have to treat it like a prescription drug commercial and cover every detail.
A well-made Powerpoint slide or bulletin announcement that is clear, concise and informative is always effective.