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If you?re not paying close attention to the work and wisdom of Phil Bowdle, you should be. Phil is the Creative Arts Director at West Ridge Church and an all-around great guy (oh, and a Sunday| Mag contributor, too).

When Phil and the team at West Ridge are planning worship services and deciding what events and ministries qualify for an announcement from the stage, they start with a pretty simple filter: if it doesn?t apply to at least 80% of the audience, it?s probably not going to be announced. (Phil mentions a couple of exceptions in this helpful post.)

I don?t know about you, but recently I?ve been thinking that a filter like that would make my life a lot easier. With that in mind, I thought we should seek the wisdom of the crowd through a little informal poll. Here goes ?

Do you have an established method for deciding what does and doesn?t get announced from the stage in your worship services? If so, give us an overview of that process in the Comments section below.



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11 replies on “Announcement or Not ??How Do You Decide?”

We have tiers of advertising, from least sought-after to most sought-after: posters around the building bulletin boards, social media, web events/web rotator images, special sunday handout, bulletin, and verbal.
We are limited on time for verbal, so we have to take into account a few things.
1) Does the verbal announcement affect the majority of the church, or just a small subset?
2) Does the verbal announcement line up with the church’s main mission/goals?
Often, we will deny verbal announcements for ministry retreats, smaller events, etc. because only 30% of the congregation is the target audience. We reserve most verbals for church-wide news like business meetings, missions/community outreach initiatives and major church-wide events, etc. Sure, ministries get upset because they aren’t “important enough,” but when we show them the 5 other ways (and more) to get the word out, they tend to back down.

When I was on staff at a pretty large church, Philip announcements were gold. They drove exponentially more traffic to events, websites, etc than anything else.
So we began to utilize that for announcements that were for the church at large, and not a subset (as referenced above) unless it impacted a significant portion of the church.
On a different note, we realized we had a communications problem since pulpit announcements anyone paid attention to. We began exploring other ways to communicate and eventually created and iterated other forms of communication. It worked great.

We have started something called The Feed. It’s a 1-minute (max) video that highlights important announcements. We show The Feed at the end of our “say hey to your neighbor” time following the first song (usually). No filming needed. We use an After Effects template and drop in graphic slides for each event, so people have a visual to go with the voiceover. I have a simple microphone and my wife does the VO each week. It’s professional enough, and helps give people an quick overview of what’s coming up, then points them to the bulletin and website for more info/next steps. Then we use stage announcements to highlight or drive home REALLY important stuff for our community. It has really helped us fight the battle of “information saturation” well.

The pastor doesn’t really allow us to advertise from the stage or through videos on sundays unless its in the format of a testimony, which kind of makes for a weird testimony when its something that most people don’t care about.

Thank you. We are suffering Information saturation. What I appreciated the most are the suggestions (other ways) info can be conveyed. I’d like more depth, what and how. Some may not be possible in China with no fellowship building, but it may lead to other ideas.


The 80% rule is actually a good rule to follow. We have different tiers of advertising avenues (i.e. study guide, website, e-newsletter, marquee and verbal from stage). If it doesn’t apply to a vast majority of our congregation it won’t be mentioned from the stage. This time is reserved for major events within the church and it works well.

I have begun the “Take Two” moment which only allows two minutes to do a greeting and announcement and it has worked very well over the last months. If you oversaturate your people with too much information from the stage they will tune you out in after the second announcement. Conciseness is the key.

If there is another announcement that would benefit coming from the senior pastor, we use the offering time to communicate. For instance, if there is a newcomers lunch coming up, it’s much more impactful if the senior pastor does the inviting versus another staff member.

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