James: A number of years ago our church switched from doing live stage announcements to the video announcements. And I think this is becoming more and more popular. And there's a reason for it. And Joanna you're gonna share a little bit behind the scenes of why that decision was ultimately made at our church.
Joanna: Right. So like many churches we were doing live stage announcements and that had various levels of success in various renditions of how that happened even figuring out where in the service the liturgy the order of the service is the best place to put announcements because it always feels like our core no matter where you put them if you start with them before you get into worship. A lot of people haven't even shown up yet. So they miss them and if you wait till the end. People are kind of itching to leave and if you do it in the middle it feels like it kind of interrupts the feeling of the worshipfulness of, you know were singing songs and giving and studying scripture and then there's these announcements in the middle. So it's always a weird thing. I'm just gonna name that off the top. But we've done it with different levels of success I think over time. But ultimately we made the switch from purely live in front of people standing on the stage a person talking announcements to predominantly doing that through video for a few reasons. Number one we could time it. It meant that someone wouldn't ramble on and on. Number two. We could say it exactly how we wanted to say it by if we made a mistake or didn't say it clearly enough or wanted to do teleprompter or things like that we could have it exactly how we meant to say it with all the correct details. And another thing was as we were moving to a multi site reality there was information that we wanted to have consistent across all our sites. And so it was easy to do that through video rather than trying to make sure that each local campus pastor or site pastor as we called them was able to translate that exact information about something they may or may not even know much about because it's maybe not their area of expertise in the church. And yeah. And beyond that the other thing was acknowledging that people don't come all the time. So if people only come one out of three, one out of two, one out of four Sunday's the stats seem to say people are coming physically less and less but they're still engaging with their church online. And so doing video announcements is a way to get those announcements in front of people on social media or in an email. Even if they haven't shown up that Sunday at church they're still able to get the news.
James: I mean I remember some of the live announcements. I had a buddy who used to do it. And I would get excited for it because you know as a younger person I would sit in the back and we would laugh because it was always a train wreck.
Joanna: Are you talking at our church or you.
James: I am talking about our church. You probably know no person I'm thinking of.
Joanna: Im wondering are we thinking of the same person?
James: But we used to call it the person's name experience because it was always very rough and that person was generally very confident. But as soon as I got on stage they got they stumbled over their words they forgot things they had to reach in their pocket to grab their notes to read what had happened. They said things that I think I know jokes that I believe weren't appropriate cause they were so nervous and it was it was always a train wreck but it was always a good reminder that when we switch to video like how much more professional and smooth it was because as much as I and my friends found it entertaining that this announcement was always such a train wreck. That's only because we knew the person and we could see the humor in it and giving them a hard time afterwards about it. But if you're a new person actually I would be a huge negative to walk in and have this awkward five minute rambling and being like well what is going on here what was that what did I just I don't really know what just happened this is really uncomfortable. And if the person feels real uncomfortable and you're new there you're already feeling uncomfortable yourself. So it's remembering that you're still always trying to be inviting to guests and having smooth presence or having people that are comfortable on stage can be hard. Not everyone is meant to be onstage. Only a small percentage of people have the ability to stand in front of a crowd and be comfortable and speak fluently. And that whole risk is avoided when you do record because you can. I mean we've had times Joe where we've recorded news and it hasn't worked out and we've had to go back and rerecord because either A information was wrong which now we're able to fix or b the person who we thought might be really good at it wasn't able to pull it off and we were able to find that out. And without having to have it be done in front of the entire congregation and it saved that person embarrassment it also allowed us to just. All right we're going to record a new one with someone else and now no one you know no one knows that that was an issue and you just you look way more professional in your job and as a church in general to visitors.
Joanna: Yeah. And it doesn't have to take away from the personal side of it. I think sometimes as you're saying it can lead not just personal but awkward when people are maybe using weird inside jokes or referencing people from the stage they know personally or just generally acting a little bit uncomfortable and then people who are new or unfamiliar with that person don't understand the joke or don't understand what's going on. And so they have less grace for those mistakes. But the other thing I think also is I think there's this weird thing psychologically that things that are by video, people seem to pay attention to more than than a person standing right in front of them or things that are on video seem to hold more credibility. I don't know what that is but said he seemed to seem to prove that over and over that things on video seemed to have more than credibility.
James: I also think even at our church I think you know that it's going to be succinct like we never do when that's longer than two minutes. Yeah. So I think there's an expectation like I need to listen I'm going to get the information but I'm not I'm not committing to something really long winded right now. It's gonna be really quick I'm going to get the bullet points and then it's going to point me towards more information. Yeah. And the other good thing is we also we try to we have we have a rotating cast of six or seven different people who are all different levels of staff members. Yeah. And they always introduce themselves and we put their name in their title on the screen so that if someone is new can least put an you know a face to a name. And then ideally they they will recognize that person when they're leaving that Sunday.
Joanna: That's it. It's this idea of you know there's lots of people like for example if they're running a kids or youth program during the service they're never maybe gonna be the person who's up in front on the stage. By the nature of the kind of role that they have on Sundays but putting them in a news video allows them to be introduced as a familiar face to the congregation. And you know I've I always had the dream actually that it just never happened at our church that we'd have like two interns for the whole year. They were the announcement people and they would work and run with the announcements for the whole year. But in the end it never happened. My dream never came to fruition at C4. But beyond that. I think it was really good that we've been able to feature a ton of different staff from a ton of different departments and get people familiar with them in a way that protected them from themselves even of their own rambling. And for me I say I'll be the first to say that in person even as a polished communicator I speak in front of people almost every week of my life. But I find that it's easier to stick to the script. I mean to literally to stick to what I've intended to say. In my own head or on that little piece of paper when it's on video as opposed to you get in front of people. The adrenaline starts going and then you lose track of how long you're even speaking for so video analysis. We've talked on another. Another episode of this podcast about how to do it it doesn't have to be super fancy. And there are some ways that you can do it simply and affordably. Check out another episode for that information.