As I noted in the category intro, the whole point of this topic is to talk about unintended consequences. I underscore the point again because I know myself fairly well, and I don’t think I’m that different from everyone else. And when I inadvertently cause something bad to happen, my initial response is, “But I didn’t mean to,” as though my grand intentions made everything okay. Certainly, things would be worse if I had done the bad thing intentionally. But often the consequences are what they are, regardless of intent. And the first step to making sure that it doesn’t happen again is to recognize what went wrong the first time.
So with that as prologue, let me raise my hand and ask a question about something that is growing more and more popular in many churches around the country: Video Announcements. While it may not seem like a big deal, I’ve begun to wonder if the effect of video announcements on churches may be bigger than we think. In this post, I’ll simply clarify what I’m talking about and give four reasons a church might give for employing them (feel free to give additional reasons in the comments).
All churches, but particularly larger ones, struggle with how to communicate key information to their congregations. Most churches give some kind of announcements during the Sunday morning services, either at the beginning or at the end. Obviously, as the church gets larger, the number of announcements multiplies, and more and more time is consumed during the service. The problem is exacerbated if you have a long-winded or meandering announcer.
To address this problem, some churches record their announcements ahead of time and show them on a big screen on Sundays. Here are some possible reasons for doing this:
1. Consistency – If you have multiple services, video announcements ensure that each service receives the same information.
2. Brevity – By recording ahead of time, announcements can be focused and to the point, allowing churches to pack more announcements in while not taking too much time from the service.
3. Memorability – Recording ahead of time allows for the creative juices to flow. Announcements cease to be a boring list and can become a very memorable and entertaining part of the service.
4. Culture – We live in a visual culture. People are used to getting their information from a video screen (television or computer). Thus, video announcements simply accommodate to what people are used to. It’s just another way of meeting people where they are.
In a future post, I’ll respond to some of the pitfalls that accompany the use of video to make announcements. And, as always, I’d love for this to be a dialogue. So feel free to comment.