As a church communications director, I have learned over the years that people respond to stories better than information. As a speaker, I know this is true. In fact, the Bible is almost three-fourths narrative. Jesus used stories as his teaching, almost exclusively. Why is it then that we look at announcements as just announcements? My proposition is that announcements are invitations to join in the larger story of God’s work in our church and the world. Are we thinking too small of our announcements in worship?
When looking to rebrand our announcements, which are exclusively in print and on video, I employed the tactic of story telling. The catalyzing player in this was the partnership with Sam, a young creative professional who had pertinent reflections on how we were not telling the story of who were are as a church with our announcements. So, with the addition of another young creative named Daniel, we embarked for weeks to craft a story for the bumper for our taped announcements.
Weeks of work went into crafting about 20 seconds. Sam took our conversation and made story boards. We picked three story boards as a team and then Sam and Daniel filmed it all in one day. Part of the process was finding a location and filming test footage to get a feel of the location. That paid off. Also, we wanted to highlight our new 3:1 super-wide screen. With multiple screens, we had b-roll playing on the side screens. That is the second file you will see below.
I acted as the producer, Sam the director, and Daniel was our videographer. He used a steady cam to get the effect we wanted.
Now, the story we wanted to tell was that our church invites you on a path or journey and that this journey is not one we take a lone. The next phase is trying to write the actual announcements. Instead of talking heads, how does what we say invite people to join our path: worship; connect; serve; influence?