How to Have Better Stage Announcements
We're all bombarded with a million communications each day. Even at church, we have advertisements, emails, texts, posters, a bulletin, and the dreaded announcements. For better or worse, it is part of my job to give the stage announcements each week. And to be honest, it has been a roller coaster to get them better. Here are a few tips I've found beneficial in creating better stage announcements to connect with people.
It is still church!
For me, there is a big temptation to get on stage and start by commenting on the weather or commenting on the volume of the audience's response to good morning, or some other cold opener. I have to remind myself this is still church, and I am not warming up the band's audience. I am making announcements about how people can join with the church as we work together to accomplish our mission. If I feel like I need an "opener," I start with prayer and directly connect my prayer to the church's mission. Do what you can to make the announcements part of worship.
Being prepared should be a given. The pastor works on the sermon during the week. The worship team practices at least once during the week. I should also read through my announcements a time or two. Pick what announcements are necessary for the stage. Figure out what you will say around the announcements. Don't just grab the bulletin and read from it—the audience can do that.
The rule of 5
Don't get on stage and read the bulletin. If your church is a busy place, too much will be going on. When you read everything, then everything receives the same importance, which means nothing sticks out (and thus, nothing is essential). Remember, this is just one form of communication. Everything is in the bulletin, it's on the paper and digital calendar, and reminders will go out. You need to pick the most important things people need to know this week. I typically stick to no more than five announcements. It is a number that should work for people to remember what you said.
To figure out how to pick your five, ask these questions:
- Did they get me the announcement with time to prepare?
- Is this big? (Will this take weeks of informing people?)
- Is this a significant ministry focus? (If you're a family church, kids and youth should get priority.)
- Is it new? (New things need a push.)
- Is it from the board or the lead pastor? (They may have something that trumps other communications.)
Let someone else do it
Delivering the announcements takes two skills—reading and speaking. You should have a high talent pool in your church with those qualifications. Do not save this job for the pastor. Give it away. By delegating the task of delivering stage announcements, you promote healthy teams and leadership. It gives you a chance to start training people to be public speakers. Forming a team could be the beginning spot for potential teachers and future preachers. The state announcement slot is an easy job to share.
In my time of delivering stage announcements, I've come to appreciate these four tricks—they help me provide consistent, quality announcements each week. What tips would you add to this list?