Finding the "Win" in Your Announcements
Let’s be honest, if we could push a button that would permanently eliminate the “announcements” part of our service forever, most of us would have pushed it years ago. I know for our team, collecting, writing, and shooting announcements week after week can be a bit of a grind so we’re always asking ourselves “why are we doing this and could we be doing it any better?”
After a recent trip to North Point Community Church in Atlanta, we were challenged to establish more clear wins for everything we do in our services, something North Point is VERY good at. So, this past week we sat down for a couple of hours and debated just exactly what our win was for our video announcements. Here’s what we came up with:
Announcements Win: To orient guests to our church and provide clear next steps for attenders.
Ok, so let me break that down.
Anytime you physically enter a new space there’s always an orientation period where you’re mentally establishing where you fit physically in relationship to the space. This is what happens when you enter a store in the mall you’ve never been to before. Your mind, perhaps even subconsciously, starts to sort out where everything is and take note of the things that are most interesting to you. The same is true socially. When you go to a party, you instantly begin to take note of who’s there and what social circle within the party you fall into.
As we see it, there’s also an orientation period that takes place when guests visit your church and mine every weekend and we see it as our job to tell them where they fit in relationship to our community. For us, “announcements” provide a perfect opportunity to do just that.
Here’s what that looks like practically, and keep in mind we’re still working this out, but what’s your mission as a church? Why do you exist? Someone who’s new to your community might find that information helpful in deciding if your church is right for them. How many locations do you have? What are some easy ways new attenders can go a little deeper in your community? Again, all of this information is useful to outsiders who are doing a little exploring and helps them figure out where they fit in. Additionally, that kind of information says that you not only expect new people to be in the room but that you actually care.
Now what do we mean by providing “clear next steps” for attenders? Well, it’s pretty self-explanatory. We want everything we “announce” in our video announcements to be what we consider to be a next step. For instance, an announcement about the church lost and found would NOT qualify as a next step, but a men’s breakfast would. Why? Because the lost and found is simply an announcement. It’s nothing but information, and for most of our audience, it’s irrelevant information which translates to BORING! So we put information like that on a pre-service slide or on our Facebook page, but never as a live or video announcement. Think of it as a de-cluttering tool and when you strip away all of the stuff that affects very few people in church you end up announcing a lot less, but with much more effectiveness.
Here are some of our next steps:
- The Next Move - a class designed to explain the vision and values of Church on the Move.
- First Steps - An environment designed to give people real, actionable steps towards an authentic, life-changing relationship with Christ.
- Topical Workshops - Small group environments formed around specific topics.
- Men’s & Women’s Events - These could range from a breakfast to a retreat.
- Kids on the Move: Live - A monthly service for kids and their parents
- And there are loads more.
Hopefully now it’s pretty obvious what I mean by next steps. It’s not just about giving people a clear way to respond to each announcement, it’s about giving them a clear path into the life of the church which is what I think most of us are after.
So, have you ever taken the time to establish the win for your announcements? If not, maybe it’s time to have that conversation. Your win may be the same as ours and then again, maybe it won’t be, but at any rate I can promise you that finding your win will help bring some meaning to one of the most boring parts of your service.