People zone out when it comes to announcements in church. The reality is, unless you’re a stand up comedian, your church announcements are boring and usually become nothing more than the half-time show in the worship service. What makes it worse is that there is no other avenue where the average person in America actually assimilates information by sitting down and listening to someone verbally rattling off bullet point information in a never ending series of announcements. In a day when people are addicted to sound bites, 140 character limited communication, and customized news sources and information the old school church announcements need to be put out of their misery. Understanding this, a couple of years ago we decided that instead of fighting reality we would start using the media tools that were available to us. We began prerecording announcements via video through out the week and showing those in our services, similar to the ads that you would see prior to a movie. The payoff has been worth the investment. Here are the top 6 wins we experienced by moving to video announcements:
#1 Say exactly what you want to say
Have you ever had that guy on stage doing announcements who, either gave the wrong information, said it in a way that didn’t reflect your culture, or was an aspiring pastor and simply couldn’t figure out how to wrap it up and get off of the stage? The great thing about video is that you get a couple of takes to get the wording and the information exactly the way you want.
#2 Say more in less amount of time
As a result of editing, specific word choice, multiple takes to “get it right,” and faster transition times in and out of announcements you can actually communicate more opportunities for those in your church body to take the next step into community in less amount of time than what it would take to do it live.
#3 Develop a system that saves time
If you have a good system in place to plan out what you want to announce publicly in your worship services, you could actually get on a rhythm to only shoot footage once a month.
#4 Get more personalities on stage
You can make use of the opening and closing portions of the video announcements that rarely change in content to introduce Staff Members to your church who would otherwise would never get a shot to be on stage in front of the whole body.
#5 Make your announcements advertisements and drive them to the information
A rule of thumb to keep in mind in all of this is that, “your best announcements are advertisements.” That is, they engage and affect the heart essentially answering the question of, “Why should I take advantage of or get involved in this opportunity.” On the other side of the coin, is that effective announcements should provide a clear, simple, and easy step for people to take to get involved in what is being announced.
#6 Start somewhere
You don’t have to shoot HD in front of a green screen and incorporate motion graphics. Grab a decent consumer line camera (someone on your staff probably has one) and go to a fun site to shoot announcements. The simple fact that you’re doing something new and different will engage your audience at a deeper level.
Posted in Creative Arts