We have a rule at our house. if I’m picking up more than 3 things at the store, I need a written list. My wife knows not to trust my memory, but there is a trick that I’ve found that helps me remember more than 3 things without a list, and that’s to make those things connected somehow – make up a song that includes 5 or 6 items, or create a quick story that ties those ideas together.
For instance, I have no problems singing the alphabet (which means I remember 26 things in order) but if you asked me the 10th letter of the alphabet and I recited it, I would pause after ABCDEFG (just like the song…) before I get to HIJ
But a grocery list isn’t exciting. It’s a bunch of individual items with no given correlation – potentially like your announcements. Lists or groups of ideas get easier to remember if they’re tied together or associated. So inspire a response with your announcements by making them memorable, rather that expecting the listener to create that system.
I’ve found 2 ways to do this effectively with church stage announcements:
- Talk about your announcements as if it’s just 1 thing to remember
- Create a memory trigger for your announcements (like the alphabet song)
Talk about you announcements as if they’re just 1 thing to remember:
We have our information center that is the pivot point for all of our communication, so I’ll tie that as a common thread into all 3 announcements.
If you’re here with us for the first time, we’ve got a gift for your family at the information center. It’s a Life Church mug with more information about how to get connected here at Life Church, and one of the pieces of information you’ll get is about our Life Groups. They are small groups that meet around our city on a weekly or bi-weekly basis based on common interests or growth goals. We’ve heard many stories of how friendships have been developed through Life Groups, and another great way to meet new people at Life Church is to join one of our teams, serving in Kids Life, or with the ushers, or in the cafe. You can find out more about those teams at the information center in the foyer.
In this case, the 3 announcements are:
- Gift for new visitors at the information center
- Sign up for Life Groups at the information center
- Sign up to join a team at the information center
I tie them together with a common thread of going to the information center, and our team there is prepped to ask leading questions – If someone comes to sign up for a Life Group, then the guest service team will also ask about serving on a team, or vice versa. I use screens that show the different topics I’m talking about, but I don’t stop to refer to them.
I want it to feel like one thought about going to the information center and the things that can be done there. The one thought: Stop by the information center.
Create a memory trigger for your announcements:
This could be an acronym
What you need to remember is as simple as ABC. A: Apple pie social this afternoon B: Bring a friend to our coffee shop on Friday C: Connect with others from our church at a Life Group. (Then go on to explain the ‘why’ for each ABC topic, and at the end remind people: A is for Apple, B is for Bring a friend, C is for Connect)
Or maybe you could use a common acronym already at your church. If your church is First Baptist Church and you call yourself FBC, then maybe those could be the letters in your acronym or use a short word like LOVE or JOY to help people remember.
You could also use an external association like a song – It depends on the personality of your church and what permissions you have during announcements, but changing the words to a popular song could trigger what you talked about when later in the week, someone hears that song on the radio driving or in their office or in a retail store.
Be sure that whichever strategy you use, that you tell people WHY they need to respond to your announcement and HOW.