Church announcements are a vital communication tool for congregations. A typical page of church announcements will list upcoming church events, weddings, memorial services, birthdays and requests for prayer. It’s important to write clearly and directly, but there’s no need for church announcements to be boring.
All event announcements should include the date, time and location of the event. Be as specific as possible--for example, a time might read “6:30 p.m. to help with setup, 7:30 p.m. start.” A location might read “at the western end of the parking lot, under the oak tree.”
Make it clear who is invited to an event. Is the recital strictly for members of the congregation, or is the general public welcome? A class might be intended for married couples, while a meeting may be restricted to members of the planning committee. Do attendees need to RSVP or buy tickets? If so, when is the deadline?
Include a contact person for every announcement. For church events, this may be the church secretary. For private events such as weddings and memorials, it will usually be a family member. Always get permission from the contact person before publishing their phone number or e-mail address.
Be upfront about costs. Don’t be afraid to point out a good deal--“We have a group discount for church groups, so bowling night is only $7.50 per person!” It’s also wise to let people know in advance if donations will be solicited.
Where possible, check with all people named in an announcement before publishing. A well-meaning friend may ask to place a prayer request for someone coping with grief or illness when that person would rather keep their situation private.
Personalize announcements with special details. For example, the announcement for a memorial service might include a favorite Bible verse of the deceased. Or, include a funny fact about the bride and groom in wedding announcements.
Spread excitement about upcoming events with fun teasers. Has something wacky already been donated for the silent auction? Is the pastor or priest practicing his tennis swing for Family Day? If it’s a recurring event, recall a memorable moment from last time.
Liven up an announcements page with jokes and stories submitted by members of the congregation. Scan and include artwork from the nursery or Sunday school, or profile a community member. Including fun elements in church announcements will ensure people look forward to reading each week.
Hailey Williams is a freelance writer and editor from Los Angeles, California. She has a particular interest in culture, lifestyle, health, and women's interest reporting, and her work has been published in magazines including TV Week and Sugar. She graduated from the University of Sydney.