We’ve all seen it. The service was great, and it’s almost time to go. Folks are starting to think about picking up their kids from children’s ministry, getting home to let the dog out, and making decisions about what they want to eat for lunch. About this time, someone walks on stage with the task of going through a long list of community happenings and announcements. They stumble through notes or scroll their phones trying to keep the attention of a restless crowd. No matter how hard they try, it just seems like no one is listening.
What if there was a better way? We think there is! Try using your church presentation software to aid the person giving announcements, or some would say better yet, even use your worship software to take over the responsibility entirely. Instead of having to go through a long list of announcements, your announcement person can focus on acting as a service host and making people feel welcome at your church. This will help your congregation remember event dates and details, and will help them stay focused during the announcements.
Using visual aids and graphics will help people stay engaged while they are shown information about upcoming events. It is very important to not only have the information communicated audibly but to display it visually as well. People need both audible and visual announcements to be able to remember what you are telling them. Everyone retains information differently, so make sure you are hitting all of the marks. You are more likely to grab your attendee’s attention and get them to follow through with anything they may need to act upon afterward, like signing up for a Mother’s Day brunch for example, if you use your church presentation software to show a slide with the information on it. If they really wanted to sign up for that church event but didn’t quite catch what the service host said, they can simply look up to the screen and see the web address or place they need to go, instead of forgetting about it and missing out. Visual aids are so important!
Use The Monitors!
Another great tool your church presentation software should have that would be helpful for the person giving the announcements is the stage display/confidence monitor. This could be a church projector aimed at the rear wall, or a TV mounted in the back, or even on the floor at the front of the stage. MediaShout 7 offers a fully customizable stage display for just this type of thing! This will help the announcement-giver feel confident and also help them to remember everything they need to say. They could even receive a message on the rear screen from the leadership with any additional announcements added at the last minute. This is a great tool to use in the event that church leadership needs to communicate something to the team on stage, but does not want to interrupt what is happening. They can simply communicate what they need to the team running the worship software and ask them to put the message on the stage display.
Make A Loop
Another way to use your church projector software for announcements is to show a loop of the announcements before the service or after as people leave the service. This way you have the opportunity to get visual announcements in front of your congregation a few different times throughout the gathering. The great news is, it takes less time than ever because of the simplicity and church-specific tools found in worship presentation software like MediaShout 7. No more having to build an entire Powerpoint just to show the announcement loop. Another bonus (and a feature of MediaShout 7) is that once you create those graphics on your church presentation software, you can export them as images to post on social media. If you’re not a graphic design expert or don’t have access to expensive programs like Photoshop, the features of MediaShout 7 offer a great basic way to design basic visually interesting announcement graphics. Try this to get the announcements in front of your congregation multiple times, and see how easy it is to put out consistent messaging for your church community.
One final suggestion to update or enhance how you do your church announcements is to use a video loaded into your worship software. If your team is able, have them take all of the slides you create for announcements and make a video with music and a recorded voiceover, describing all of the upcoming church events. This will grab people’s attention and will also keep them engaged as they listen. With this approach, you don’t even have to schedule someone to give announcements with Planning Center. All you have to do is have your media team volunteer click to play the video from your presentation software. We recommend choosing either pre-recorded video announcements OR having a service host verbally go through your announcement slides, but not both on the same week if you want to keep your congregation’s attention. This will eliminate any wasted time with transitions before and after church announcements as well, and leave that time for other things during the gathering.
Overall, the point of doing your announcements in a more effective and efficient way isn’t to rush through the moment but to try to better connect with your congregation and help them engage with every aspect of your gathering. We believe in making room for God to move and staying flexible to His leading in our worship gatherings. There shouldn’t be a time limit where we can help it. After all, spending time in worship is much more important than getting in line for lunch at our favorite restaurant. With that said, by adjusting the way you do church announcements to be more efficient, you can make the most of the time you have together as a congregation to engage in worship and listen to the message.
To sum it up, cutting out the excess simply speeds up routine housekeeping elements of your service and will make more space for what’s most important– worshipping God, being encouraged by His Word, and spending time with others in community. Worship media and church presentation software are just tools to facilitate this effort. People will appreciate the effort you put in to make announcement slides more engaging. They will notice the intentionality in how you spend those moments sharing the church news. They will appreciate clear communication, and they will show up to events because they will have been given several opportunities to take in the information. After all, we can’t expect people to attend church gatherings and events if they don’t even know about them!
Do you have a story or a unique idea on how announcement videos or slides have helped your church engage in this often monotonous part of your weekly gathering? Share it in the comments below. We can learn from each other!