It’s always going to be the same problem… people want to have their thing announced from the platform. They think, “if I can get Pastor so and so to take 30 secs to plug my annual Horse Radish Fundraising Contest to raise money for kids in India, we will succeed.”
If you are in ministry, you have dealt with this tension many times. And I hate to say it, but this tension will NEVER go away.
The problem is if we announce everything from the platform our services will become as obnoxious as PrimeTime television with commercials interrupting the message.
Because this problem will never go away, as the leader of your church or ministry, you need to create a system to handle and understand these requests. As the church leader, you need to know what is the best avenue for the announcement. As the ministry leader requesting the announcement, you need to understand why your event can’t get a primetime spot. It doesn’t mean it isn’t important. It just means the platform isn’t the place for this communication.
At Westside we have a simple filter in the form of 2 questions to determine what gets announced from the platform.
Is this Global?
Who does it affect? Is it for a group of people or the entire church community? If it’s for the children’s ministry alone, then it gets a different medium.
If it applies to the entire community then we apply the second filter…
Is this Strategic?
Does this align with our mission? Does this help us move toward a church-wide goal? Whoever is the “go to” person for the announcements needs to have a clear understanding of this mission and be passionate about protecting it because everything that is announced from the platform communicates your mission. That’s right… EVERYTHING.
Pastor, please be clear about what you boundaries are with the announcements. Create filters that determine what pipeline announcements get channeled through.
Email (kasey @ p341.com) me for a chart of how Westside funnels our announcements.
In addition to this post, Kim Meyer recently posted three good ideas regarding announcements.
- Use the platform to reinforce and promote core values and macro steps from the platform, not individual events or teams. It might look like this:
- Announced from the platform: Volunteer, Join a Group, Bible Classes, Be Generous
- Not announced from the platform: Men’s Hunting Trip, Book Discussion for Singles, Scrapbooking Overnight
- Then, reinforce everywhere (from the platform, the bulletin, pre-service slides, postcards, business cards, etc.) the one place where people can find everything. For us, it’s our web site. It’s the one place where all information for every team is up to date and everyone—staff, volunteer, attendees, secret shoppers, the information counter—has access to it 24/7. For you, the one place might not be the web. It might be the information counter, or the weekly newsletter, or an events blog. Whatever you choose, stick with thatone place and drive everyone back to it. When you talk about big, all-church steps like volunteering, joining a group, etc., that one place is where people can find the specific opportunities that appeal to them with dates, times, directions, registration, etc. (I’ve written about our web communications strategy before.)
- Of course, there are always special events that warrant specific priority attention from the platform. Usually this makes sense for big deal events that affect the entire church like Baptism, Membership Classes, unique opportunities that directly apply to the topic you’re discussing in the sermon (i.e., Financial Freedom class when the message is about money.) But, even when you talk about specific events, remember to keep driving people back to that one place to find out the rest of the story.