Why does this matter?
The News spot sets the tone for who we are and is an imoportant opportunity to show leadership. It is not just conveying routine information but is the articulation of what matters to us and why we do what we do. It will normally be assigned to someone in a leadership role.
Before Sunday: Friday Briefing
The Friday meeting is attended by the small team who organise Sunday logistics and is normally at 9am. After this meeting, someone from the team will brief you on what the News items are and provide texture and background as required. Look on the runsheet to see what will be on the screen.
Every News item should major on the WHY IT MATTERS and minimise WHAT ARE THE DETAILS. Give people a reason for why this matters and they will look up the dates, times and details on our website.
Each item should not just be aligned with our mission and values but be an opportunity to articulate them in some way. Rather than say: “Kids Church is on break”, say “Our Kids Church teachers do an amazing job each week, not child-minding, but teaching our little ones the good news about Jesus in an age appropriate way. Its important they get a break from time to time to stay fresh in this important ministry. So, kids church will be on break for the next two weeks. We still want church to work for families and there will be activity packs for primary aged kids and a quiet play area at the back for little ones. More details on the website.”
We want people attending (perhaps investigating Christianity) to get an accurate picture of what being part of church involves. We don’t have hidden agendas. We don’t hide announcements about money or setbacks in a seperate ‘members only’ meeting but strive in News to provide a transparent picture of how things work at church.
Seek to persuade people to respond, rather than manipulate them especially with shame or guilt.
The team on Friday identify which items will be announced using a matrix of priorities. (The Session are responsible for what gets announced. Week by week this responsibility has been delegated to the minister who runs the Friday meeting or delegates this role to someone else in his absence.)
Not too many. Three things at most. Not everything happening at church is verbalised on Sunday. Every week some worthy items get cut.
Not too long. 4 mins overall. Keep things tight and brief and stick to the identified news items. Details are usually listed on the website so you don’t need to verbalise too many details, facts and figures. The more we say the less people hear.
Not too often. There is a schedule so the number of items can be spread evenly and mentioned when most appropriate. News items are scheduled where possible to align with the Bible Talk and other Items.
Not too personal. We normally don’t make announcements on Sunday about individuals (e.g. sickness, etc.) but do this in Hub Groups. Only pass on personal information if it is cleared with the Platform Coordinator, who among other things will consider the precedence being set and will ensure that there is consent from all persons involved.
The Session has a policy on which outside events and causes get announced.
Be warm and welcoming – Help set the tone for the morning by being personal and engaging. Give your name and your role at church. “Hi, I’m Claudia and I’m one of the deacons here at church.”
Always mention our giving. This will set the visitor at ease who may be wondering when the money bit will happen and will remind regulars about giving.
Always ask for feedback (via the QR Code).
Speak in a way that is helpful for believers and unbelievers, for long term attendees and first timers – its safe to assume on any Sunday that there is a range of people attending. Be respectful to everyone. Avoids inside jokes.
On the Day: Be organised and on time.
30 mins before
Ahead of the prayer huddle, be available to hear about any last minute additions or changes to the News. If there is a PowerPoint check the slides with the AV team.
15 mins before
Attend the 10:15am prayer huddle.
The Co-ordinator(s) manages the team. This is a behind the scenes role. A coordinator is available (rostered in Elvanto each week) to deal with last minute drop-outs and other issues where you and the Up Front team need support.