Many churches still use a bulletin or program to share the news of community life.
- Do you proofread your announcements?
- Is the font easy to read?
- Does the bulletin appear professional (not a 7th generation photocopy)?
- Are contact names and phone numbers included?
- If not, what central point can a person go to to get information?
- Do you have group names that don’t indicate who that group is (see below about The Eagles)?
Our church doesn’t use print announcements with the exception of a monthly newsletter that is distributed 1st Sunday every month.
More immediate announcements are given via video.
Many churches make announcements via video screen these days, or in color bulletins, or so forth.
At the church we currently attend, these are shown at the end. They keep attention, are short, and prevent a person from extending their announcement too long.
1. Use images of Contact Person
Many video announcements conclude with “For more information, see Jack Smith” or other contact person.
As long time visitors, we realized
- that we don’t know Jack Smith.
- we still don’t know who to ask to find Jack Smith.
We’d like to participate in Jack Smith’s event, but it’s hard to find information.
A better idea for video is to show a photo of Jack Smith. For more information see Jack Smith, and include his picture so that people know what he looks like.
Simply including a picture would help get around the “everyone knows who Jack Smith is” mentality. Visitors don’t know everyone.
2. Explain Groups
Another video announcement really caught my eye.
It was for a group in the church going to hike in a park.
I thought it was a great idea to help our family connect.
It also was for a group in the church called “The Eagles.” The narration didn’t describe who the Eagles are.
- Are they a football team?
- Are they the pre-k kids?
- Are they the old wise men?
- Are they the local high school football team?
The video featured all sorts of imagery, but no faces of contact people in the church. Looked like fun.
Who do I talk with? I want to go to the park.
The narration also didn’t include where to get more information.
When I asked someone about where to find more, their answer to me was “Everyone knows to go to the table at the back.”
Well, not everyone.
Not visitor friendly.
Church insiders know
- who the group leaders are.
- where group leaders can be found.
- where information is distributed.
Visitors do not know
- who Jack Smith is.
- your sub group names.
- if they are welcome to come.
- information is available at the which of the 5 tables in the back.
With those barriers to hospitality, visitors may not connect at the events in the life of the church you expect them to come to.
Let me suggest this:
Take a look at your announcements over the past few weeks and see what kinds of barriers you have placed in front of visitors who want to make that next step.
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