One of the most challenging things in church service planning for pastors and communication leaders can be managing stage announcements from the pulpit. Without a system and strategy in place, you can quickly find yourself stuck in a rhythm of spending 10 minutes on announcements at the beginning or end of the service, while not being effective with any of them.
Time is limited and pulpit announcements are not always the best method for sharing important information with your broader church community. How can you determine which events and ministries qualify for an announcement from the stage? The Pareto Principle (also known as the 80/20 rule) is a good place to start to answer this question. The Pareto Principle sets up a relatively simple filter that can breathe life into developing a strategy for what announcements are heard from the stage:
If it doesn’t apply to at least 80% of the audience, it’s probably not going to be announced.
This concept, when applied, means that if your announcement doesn’t apply to 80% of the church then it shouldn’t be shared from the stage. That doesn’t mean that the announcement isn’t valuable. But the way you are thinking about announcements might be an old world paradigm. With the variety or ways we communicate today, a pulpit announcement is only one of the MANY options available to you to share information within your community. By doing announcements from the stage, you’re assuming that everyone is in their seat attending one of your Sunday services. But, the average church attendee only makes it to church twice a month. So on any given Sunday, you are missing one-half to two-thirds of the people who you want to hear your announcements. Scary, huh?
So, is the stage really the best place for announcements on Sunday mornings? Desiring to get the right message to the right people isn’t a bad thing. But, it’s all about the strategy you choose and what mediums you rely the most on to get the word out. In addition to considering the 80/20 rule, other questions you could ask include Does the announcement send your audience down a rabbit trail of next steps Is what you’re sharing simple enough to be remembered? Am I announcing too many things (information overload)?
All of these questions give us something more to think about, which helps refine the announcements strategy and make it the best it can be for your church. Your ultimate goal of announcing something from the pulpit is engagement. You want people to go, talk about, share, or do something with what you are telling them. At aware3, our primary goal is to help you build deeper and meaningful engagement within your community. That’s why we offer various channels to communicate and engage with everyone. Whether via in-app push messages, geo-fenced alert, or a text message, all features are focused upon engagement. These tools work together to help keep your congregation engaged and informed in real-time.
Geo Targeted Push Notifications
Since we know not everyone attends every single weekend, using a geo-targeted notification allows you to communicate pertinent information to just the people who came to church that day. For example, you may want to let everyone know that there’s pizza in the lobby after service, or that they can follow along with the sermon notes on your app – but you want to be sure to notify only the people there, and not the poor mom home with the sick kids.
This is a great way to cut through the noise and reach people wherever they are. Users don’t even need to have your app installed; you can add their direct mobile numbers and reach their text inbox directly. For example, perhaps you need to let everyone know how to register for the upcoming missions trip – and there’s a lot of details to share. Rather than spending the time providing details on a Sunday morning, simply ask those interested in learning more to text a keyword (“Haiti2017”) and they’ll be sent the registration form and a custom message right to their device.
Announcements, just like every other part of your worship service, can be a key time that will ultimately spread the Gospel. By considering alternative mediums for communicating announcements, you’ll be able to increase clarity and reach more people.