The most mundane part of a Sunday morning. You can dress it up in a video or put a smiling, visually appealing church member up there, but at the end of the day – most of us don’t particularly care too much about the announcements.
But – the church does have a responsibility to let its people know what is going on and get them on board with different things happening within it.
So how do you deal with this dilemma? How do you make your announcements less dull? I’m glad you asked.
Here are five reasons people may be tuning out your church’s announcements.
- There are way too many.
At the end of a long week, I am usually carrying all of the stress and events of the week with me to church on a Sunday. All I want to do is skip to the point where we’re singing some worship songs (because that’s one of the ways I connect deeply to God) and to hear what my pastor has to stay about God’s Word.
My soul needs that weekly refresher. And quite honestly, I don’t care about much that happens before that.
I’m not against announcements. I like knowing there’s going to be a free dinner on Friday, a night of worship Saturday, and that small groups start Monday, but:
- There are other ways to get that information out there. (i.e. Social media, bulletins, small groups, meetings, flyers, etc.)
- You really don’t need to let your people know about all of the inner workings of your church going on at the same time.
If you build a communication plan a few weeks, or months, in advance, your people will know what’s going on without being overwhelmed by 327+ announcements. This will also give you the time to focus on highlighting the things that regularly go on in your church.
- You’re not announcing it enough.
The Rule of Seven. It is one of the oldest concepts in marketing. The rule says that “a prospective buyer should hear or see the marketing message at least seven times before they buy it from you.”
Your church members aren’t buying anything from you, but you definitely want them to take the action step of going to an event, becoming a part of a small group, volunteering with a ministry, etc. So we think this is still a great rule to go by.
The thing that makes this old marketing rule so successful is that you’re not blasting your people with the same piece of information seven times in one week, but rather that you’ve formulated a methodical communication plan weeks or months ahead of time.
You’ll want to figure out what information you want your church to know and how you’re going to deliver that information to them.
Say you’re planning a night of worship. Are you going to broadcast e-mail them weekly/bi-weekly? Are you going to post about it on your church’s social media pages? What kind of graphics are you going to create for other’s to share? What will your designs for announcement flyers look like? Will they include the night of worship on there?
In the digital/print age, there are endless possibilities of communicating information. Don’t let that event ‘sneak up on you’. Be prepared and prepare your people for what is happening in your church.
- The announcements are about you.
What’s worse than going to meet up with a friend when you’re down and really need them to listen and they end up talking about themselves the whole time?
Not much – maybe wet socks – but if you don’t think wet socks are the worst, you’re also probably a terrible listener.
Seriously, you know what sinful, human people love talking about? Themselves.
So cater to that.
Meet people where they’re at. Instead of talking about how fantastic your new sermon series is going to be, how podcasts will be available online, etc. – why don’t you mention there’s a community event your church is putting on with your city for families? Or you’re starting redemption groups for people who are going through a really hard time and might need that? Or that you’re providing childcare for parents who want to attend a small group?
You’ll create raving fans in the process (or maybe even get someone to come to something that normally wouldn’t step foot in a church).
- You’re only reaching half your people.
I’ll tell you right now I am not now, nor have I ever been, a math person. Working with numbers make me want to pull a Britney Spears circa 2007.
I am also not an auditory learner. In college I struggled to listen to lectures from professors as well as sermons from pastors. Even with the visual aid of PowerPoint, the information just didn’t sink in for me quite like it did for other students/church members because I am unequivocally a kinesthetic learner (and proud).
Information and bullet points will only speak to half of your congregation (this includes the use of graphics, slides, social media, and anything that is visual/auditory). The other half of your congregations needs to hear stories, see videos, and listen to testimonies.
They need it to personal and tangible for them. Telling your congregation to go to small group is a lot different than hearing from someone who is sharing how lonely they were before joining their small group and how they found a deep community being a part of one. Telling your congregation to give online, or to give a recurring gift, has a different effect than someone sharing a testimony of what the church’s generosity has been able to do for the community.
Don’t just stick to one method. Make sure you’re letting people know what’s going on within your church in a bunch of different ways.
- They are just boring.
Sally Hogshead, author of Fascinate, says that you don’t have to learn how to be interesting. You just have to unlearn boring.
Similarly, you don’t have to have Ryan Seacrest or Carson Daily hosting your announcements, but you also probably shouldn’t have Ferris Bueller’s economics teacher up on stage either.
Even the mundane can be exciting. Try things like:
- Making the announcements a video. It adds a little more of a visual element for people that can’t stand to just listen to someone stand on stage and talk.
- Create some graphics/photos if you’re not going the video route. Again, to give people something to look at. People remember 80% of what they see and do.
- Tell a story. It’s a little different and everyone loves a good story. You can easily tie it to whatever you need to announce that week.
These are just some reasons people tend to tune out the announcements in your church. Do you notice any of these or any others? What does your church do to keep announcements interesting? Let us know.
So What’s Next?
Feel like your church should be growing, but it’s not? From someone who used to be a pastor and church planter, I know it can be frustrating.
Ultimately, church growth is up to God. But are we doing everything we can to ensure our church is healthy? How do we overcome the barriers we feel are in front of us?
We know you care deeply about leading a healthy growing church because it means leading more people to Jesus. As a result we created a free guide to breaking barriers that will bring clarity and help begin to alleviate your frustrations.
Get your FREE copy of the Senior Pastor’s Guide to Breaking Barriers today by entering your name and email below.