making announcements work better (frideas aplenty)

When I first posted this, it accidentally ended up behind the “10,000 dips” post. If you missed it on Friday, here’s this week’s Fridea… and the follow-up will be posted midday Saturday. Sorry about that.

Last week, I wrote a post with 7 ideas for “upping” our weekly Large Group Meetings. One of those was to make our announcements more engaging, and thanks to a follow-up comment on that post, I wanted to revisit that idea with some ideas… maybe even all weekend long!

So this Fridea will be continued (at least) tomorrow.

And I would LOVE to hear any ideas you’ve got. You’ll benefit a lot of campus ministries…

I’ve visited an awful lot of college ministries around the country, and this is certainly an area I feel like, on the whole, we could give a little more focus. I’ve also led in ministries in the past, and I know how tough the announcement experience can be…

So, some ideas.

1. It all starts with purpose. No matter who’s doing announcements, if they’re not starting with purposes in mind, those announcements aren’t going to be as good as they could be.

And yet what do most of us (or our students) do? We just get up there and “do announcements,” counting on our personalities and humor to share this important stuff. If, instead, you’ll actually plan your announcements with a very clear idea of what you want the audience to leave knowing, feeling, and doing, this important part of your meeting will improve.

2. Students! If don’t feel like your announcements are hitting the target, using students in this role can be a real win. Yes, there are some college ministers who are particularly good at taking this role. But overall, that might be the exception, not the rule. (Plus, adding variety to the “stage personalities” in any given meeting is a helpful thing.)

A wise and fun and strong-communicator student (or better yet, a pair of ’em) will fairly naturally relate to their peers well. If they see this as a ministry – and start with #1 above – this could suddenly become one of the best parts of your Large Group Meeting.

3. Cameos! A corollary to #2, another interesting idea would be bringing in a different “cameo” each week. Different students each week, faculty or staff of the school, local “celebrities” in town, whatever. Give ’em the announcements to make, and enjoy their spin (or their stumbling).

Now, information is still information, and if this format keeps #1 from being accomplished, that’s NOT a win. But if you do this in a way that both draws interest AND communicates, then that’s the ticket.

4. Video. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen video announcements in a college ministry, but I’ve seen them in several church worship services. And I love ’em. Some are even set up like little news reports, with different “anchors” and all that. The audio-visual combo is obviously helpful for retention, and it can all be pretty fun, too.

Don’t let this zap all your time, no matter how much you enjoy editing videos. Plus, a highly-stylized video won’t necessarily accomplish those Purposes much better than a quick YouTube video shot on your iPhone. Furthermore, this is a great task to give to a student or a team of students.

And speaking of YouTube, if these are fun to watch, you can put ’em online and get even absent students to watch Announcements. Imagine that!

5. Refer back… even with prizes! My dad, who helps out with the youth at his church, gave me this incredible idea. If you give announcements early in the meeting, what if at the end you gave prizes to those who can remember details? “Where do you need to meet on campus to leave for the retreat?” “When are applications due for student leadership?”

Even if you don’t give out prizes, asking questions at the end doubles-up your announcements without exactly having to cover all the same ground. Not a bad idea, especially for the most important stuff.

More to come – find the follow-up post here.

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  1. Pingback: why random little methods might just be awesome « Exploring College Ministry blog (daily notes about our field)

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