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Top Tips & Templates to Enhance Your Church Announcements

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Published: Dec 13, 2021

Your church announcements are going out regularly, yet the response is lukewarm at best. There is no striking decline in the number of attendees, sure. But there is no positive enthusiasm or active buzz either.

If this problem seems relevant, you’ve arrived at the right place. This blog is all about making your church announcements exciting and getting them to invoke active participation. 

We cover

  • Tips for writing effective church announcements.
  • A basic template to write a church announcement.
  • Weekly church announcements ideas.
  • Church announcement samples.

Let’s begin.

Tips for writing effective church announcements

Every church announcement is an opportunity to ensure your congregation members appreciate it enough to look forward to the next. A one-off drab announcement is okay, but it must be an outlier. If your announcements are regularly off-putting, plain, or non-informative, you are gradually losing the interests of your church members.

The following tips help you keep the church announcements engaging.

Remember this formula for church announcements as gospel

A good announcement = Relevant information wrapped in a story + a prominent CTA.

This formula should guide all your announcements and be at the center of every other best practice you follow. For instance, even if you are announcing sermons or mass summaries, tie them with a story (e.g., if something happened in the church or how a verse is relevant in a current situation) and end with directing the reader to a link or to donate to the church or reply to the text.

Keep it simple and to-the-point

People are busy with their lives. And your church announcements shouldn’t feel like a lengthy task. Instead, when you offer a quick read that conveys just the correct amount of information, it results in more people reading it sooner rather than later.

Avoid fluff when formulating your announcements. You can do so by re-reading your message before sending it and checking whether each word and sentence is directly relevant to the story or the CTA. If not, scrape it.

Here’s an example of a long Vs. short message. Both texts convey the same message, but one takes longer to reach the point. Which one would you choose as a reader?

Hello {first_name}, it was great to see you at the church today. As we mentioned at the mass today, we are sponsoring the education of 10 children as part of our 2021 Christmas initiative. We need your support to collect the $10,000 needed. Would you please consider contributing $25-100 and keeping the Christmas spirit alive? It will help us keep the faith and our community strong. You had expressed your wish to contribute. We’re so grateful for that! Click on this link to donate {link}.

God bless you,
{Pastor name) 
Hello {first_name}, you expressed your wish to contribute to our Christmas initiative and help sponsor the education of 10 children. We’re so grateful for that! Please consider donating $25-100 by clicking on this link {link}

God bless you,
{Pastor name}

Know when to use images

Images add color to text messages or emails. They give you a break from the black and white text and can hold attention for longer. So, should you always include images or videos in your church announcements?

NO! And here’s proof.

Several studies by industry leaders show that text-based emails tend to get higher open rates and click-through rates than those with over 20% images. 

On the other hand, MMS (a type of texting which includes images, videos, or other media) generates higher click-through and opt-in rates than plain-text SMS. So, should or shouldn’t one have images in church announcements?

Determine that by asking the following questions:

Question 1: Are you distributing through email or text message?

AnswerOutcome
EmailAdd 0-20% images
Text messageCan add images

Question 2: Is your objective to get people to click?

AnswerOutcome
Yes (For text messages)Can use images
Yes (For text emails)Avoid images

Question 3: Does your target audience own a cellular phone or smartphone?

AnswerOutcome
Cellular phoneAvoid images
SmartphoneCan add images

Question 4: What is the purpose of your image? (in texts)

AnswerOutcome
Visual representation/to convey informationCan add images
DecorativeCan add images

Question 5: What is the purpose of your image? (in emails)

AnswerOutcome
Visual representation/to convey informationCan add images
DecorativeAvoid images

Use multiple communication channels

The first aim of your church announcements is to reach people. So, you must employ all the channels that your members prefer but use only that channel for an individual that they prefer. Some effective channels include emails, texts, calls, and direct mail. Even if you have all these channels at your disposal, send texts only to those who have mentioned that as their preference.

You must be already sending a welcome message to new members. Use that opportunity to ask them their preferred mode of communication (provide definite options to avoid preferences that you can’t offer). Segment all contacts based on their choices and send your announcements only on those channels.

Additionally, you must use social media for all the announcements, so you reach people beyond your contact list.

Don’t send welcome texts to new members yet? Here’s how texting starts nurturing congregation members right from the first day: Church texting services – using SMS for your congregation.

Address the person directly

When you address a person by their name, it tells them that the announcement was, in fact, meant for them. It makes them read the message further. In fact, people have become used to reading their names in a message. So even if its presence doesn’t surprise them, the absence can put them off.

It could be very cumbersome to type out messages individually when your contact list is long. So, texting and emailing tools have the “merge tag” feature to automate the process.

When you upload a contact list (with names and numbers) and add a merge tag to your draft, the tool recognizes the connection between the number and the name. It replaces the placeholder with the person’s name (first name/last name, as you choose).

When you draft the messageWhen it reaches the person
Hi {first_name}!Hi Tanvi! 

Learn more: How to personalize conversations in CallHub

Time it right

Say you send a church announcement when someone is rushing to work. Or when they are about to go to bed. They open the message— to check if it’s something urgent; realizes it is not, and puts it away to read when they’re free.

There’s a very slim chance they will remember to read the message again.

You’ve lost that opportunity.

Repeat the mistake of sending messages at the wrong time several times, and you may risk an opt-out too!

That’s why timing matters.

The best way to time your church announcements right is to study your previous campaigns, gain insights into the best and worst-performing hours, and replicate the schedule for future campaigns.

No idea of your previous schedules or response rates? Maybe a study of text blasts by other nonprofits can guide you in the initial phase: The Most Optimum Times to Send Nonprofit Text Blasts.

Schedule fixed church announcements ahead of time

Scheduling your announcements beforehand when their date and time are decided checks off one job from your list. Here’s why:

  • Automating the schedule is more convenient than having a person be available at the right time if you’re using emails or text broadcasts to reach out.
  • Scheduling announcements for calls and peer-to-peer texting ensures no communication is initiated in the wee hours and irking church members.

On CallHub, you can set schedules when you’re setting up a campaign. You set:

  • The start date and time.
  • Days and times when the campaign is active.
  • The end date and time.

This way, you don’t worry about human error in starting or pausing church announcements. 

Use sermons and mass assemblies for church announcements

Congregations and assemblies are the best time to set the stage for your announcements. You have a large group at one place— already attentive to what the pastor is saying. 

Make the first announcement at church itself. You can gauge the mood and enthusiasm in person. Follow up with a text or email (do it 1-2 days after introducing the occasion) for announcements such as church events. At the same time, draft another message introducing the announcement to people who weren’t present at the church.

Depending on how high-value the announcement is, you can schedule more texts, calls, or emails in the following days. 

Finally, make the announcement in person and send reminder texts when the deadline or event date is close. 

Scheduling the announcements (as we discussed previously) helps a great deal in planning the announcement dates.

Leverage peer-to-peer conversations for church announcements

Peer-to-peer fundraising is when a church member solicits donations from another on behalf of the church. This could be in the presence of others or through personal text conversations. Irrespective, peer-to-peer fundraising can leverage a certain social force or influence and compels one to donate. Similar logic goes for peer-to-peer church announcements and their CTAs.

Here are some best practices to follow:

  • Try to connect members that share a close personal relationship.
  • Assign those without a solid or obvious connection to the most active, people-friendly, and knowledgeable person.
  • Add testimonials or mentions of members who have already donated, confirmed attendance, or acted upon your church announcements.
  • Ask your members to provide multiple options to act upon.

Keep the church announcements highly relevant

Your church announcements must, at all costs, be relevant to the contacts. There must be some level of intrigue, interest, curiosity, or other involvement from the person.

For instance, an announcement about the “men’s group starting their hike next Sunday” is not a relevant announcement for a single lady who has never shown interest in such activities.

Relevancy will keep your congregation engaged with your church announcements. If you keep sending irrelevant notifications often, they will ignore all announcements.

List segmentation is thus a crucial part of every communication.

How do you write a church announcement?

There’s no denying that every church announcement will have varied characteristics. Be it the character count, overall length, or the use of images or videos. These factors depend on the nature of the announcement and the channel you choose.

However, we provide a basic skeleton of a church announcement here. You can expand or shrink each section as per the requirement of each announcement.

Introduction

This is the first line of your text, email, or letter. For introductions to church announcements, you can pick from

  1. Appropriate greetings (e.g., hello, hi, good morning, happy thanksgiving.)
  2. Personal address (e.g., {first_name}, member of the <church name>).
  3. Agent introduction (e.g., I am <name>, the oldest member of the church, this is <name> on behalf of the <church name>).
  4. Cold opens [use only for urgent church announcements] (e.g., two days for the Christmas fundraiser! Giving Tuesday is around the corner).

You can pick from two or more introductions from the first three options too! (e.g., Hi {first_name}, this is {agent_name}).

Message body

Irrespective of your preferred communication channel, the message body will be the longest and most informative part of your church announcements. The actual content will vary according to the announcement’s nature, but the body should ideally include:

  1. A story (the story does not always mean the story of a beneficiary or the church. It implies a storytelling approach to your church announcement— at the root of which is getting them engaged with the message, not making the message too drab, and keeping it light.)
  2. Information (about how to donate, how to contact/whom to contact, additional information that could not go into the story, and educational links.)
  3. Prominent calls to action
  4. Secondary calls to action. 

Make sure to add an identifier for the recipient in the body if you haven’t added it in the introduction.

Message conclusion

For text messages, a message can conclude without a prominent sign-off. But that’s not a best practice because people tend to scan the end of the message right after reading their name. If you have a recognizable name, CTA, or link at the bottom, it increases a person’s chances to read it.

For conclusions, you can pick from

  1. Sign off greetings (e.g., regards, thank you, looking forward.)
  2. Agent/head person name.
  3. Additional links (e.g., link to your church website, a particular landing page, or an educational link).
church-announcement-format

The typical length and space distribution between the introduction, message body, and conclusion in text messages and emails or letters.

Weekly church announcement ideas

Regular (but not too many) church announcements ensure that your congregation stays well informed, maintains their engagement levels, and is not annoyed by its frequency. About one message per week is a good frequency for texts and emails. For calls and letters, you can go for about once a month.

Here we list some weekly church announcement ideas that you can borrow. 

Post mass announcements

Church announcements after a mass keep non-attendees updated and summarize the message for those who attended. Your message need not necessarily be a summary in the strictest term but perhaps could include the verse you mentioned or something interesting that happened at church.

Sample text for the post-mass church announcements:

Hi {first_name}, is life keeping you busy? Sometimes we forget to take time for ourselves and our faith. This verse will remind us to always find some time for our protector. (Bible verse).

Special occasion greetings

Your church must already be sending out birthday, anniversary, or other special occasion greetings to the person/s celebrating it. Why not add the other members to broadcasts and inform them of the special event? The “happy birthday” message will still go to the birthday person, but others will receive an announcement text or email.

Hey {first_name}, today is Arthur’s birthday! He turns 75 this year, and it is such a jolly occasion for the family. Join us in celebrating. Reply your birthday wish to him, and we’ll add it to the card.

Non-personal special occasion greetings

The other kind of special occasion greetings is common to all members. They include season’s greetings, church occasions, or state/national occasions.

Hi {first_name}, wish you a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy Happy New Year! May the next year bring you only health, wealth, and happiness. 

Warm wishes,

{pastor_name}

Giving requests or fundraiser church announcements

There are two ways you can announce your fundraisers. The first one is when you start at the congregation and follow up for donation over text or email. The second is when you introduce the fundraiser as an announcement. Here are script templates: 

Hi {first_name}, we were glad to see your enthusiasm to contribute to our Save the Planet fundraiser. Do consider donating >$20 on {link}. Note that the fundraiser closes on 10th May.

Hi {first_name}, Cornerstone Church is helping a new immigrant family settle in the neighborhood. The Matthews lost everything in the floods last year and moved to Scranton to rebuild their lives. As a church focused on fostering the community, we feel we must help them in these trying times. Would you join us?

Prayer/help request church announcement

These requests are either solicitations to donate items or money but are not part of a planned fundraiser. Churches may even ask members to pray for another member who is going through a crisis. Here are two sample texts:

Hi {first_name}, we have unfortunate news. Sandy met with a terrible accident last weekend and has suffered critical fractures. We’re organizing a prayer meeting for her tomorrow at 6 pm. We will meet at the church and then visit her at the hospital. Do join us.

Hi {first_name}, do you have spare clothes, books, or toys? As you know, the Jenkins are going through a rough time, and we are collecting some items for their twin daughters. Do let us know what you would like to donate.

General group announcements

Besides the occasions and solicitations, church announcements also include general notifications or broadcasts. You can send these out when no event, fundraiser, or occasion is in near sight.

Hey {first_name}, we are renovating the north block of the church this week. The wall plastering was coming off, and we wanted to replace that with brighter painted walls. The work should conclude by Friday. Sunday mass will happen as scheduled.

The way forward

You can make your church announcements a prominent part of your overall communication plan. A solid plan helps you keep the congregation in the loop throughout the year and ensure they are nurtured in the process.

This way, your church announcements fit right into the bigger picture and help you optimize attendance and engagement. Don’t have a communication plan yet? We got you. Read: How to Craft a Church Communication Plan That Cuts Through Ad Noise.

Feature image source: Aaron Burden/Unsplash.

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