How to Write Church Announcements

How to Write Church Announcements

March 4, 2013 by

Regardless of the size, worship style or technology use of your church, writing announcements is a vital communication function. And because department heads or ministry leaders tend to either give you too much or not enough information to promote their event, writing announcements is a chronically challenging task.

People typically try to make announcements sound as exciting as possible by embellishing it with as many adjectives and adverbs as they can. I did. The resulting copy usually ends up being a difficult to navigate set of churchy dribble. Here’s an example:

If you are married or planning to get married the Renewed Marriage Seminar is for you and your spouse. Join our senior pastor and his wife, John and Jane Smith, for this incredible time of renewal and refreshing in your marriage. Having been married 20 years, they will be teaching marriage principles from the Bible as well as from their own experiences. The registration fee is $35 which includes study materials, lunch and snacks. Childcare will be provided. The seminar is on March 9 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The seminar will be in the fellowship hall. Lunch and refreshments will be served in the atrium. Register at the table in the atrium after the service or call Dorothy at the church office.

Compounded with the rest of the churchy dribble in the bulletin, it all becomes noise that collectively scream “Ignore me!

A Better Way
I am not a gifted writer. It takes me longer than most people to organize thoughts into words. Considering the volume of announcements and how much energy and time it takes to manage and write them, I had to figure out a way to do it more effectively and efficiently. I developed a basic format/template that not only simplified the process but has made our announcements significantly more clear and meaningful. Taken the above example, this is how the announcement would look after applying my template.

Renewed Marriage Seminar // Saturday, March 9, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. // Fellowship Hall // Pastor John and Jane Smith are leading the seminar. You can register for $35 (includes materials, lunch and childcare) in the atrium or by contacting Dorothy at 555-555-1234 or dorothy@church.org.

Some key thoughts behind this format:

  • Placing the what, when and where upfront makes it easy for people to find key information they need to know as opposed to navigating through sentences to figure out the basic information about an event.
  • This format shaved off significant time in writing copy for me.
  • It streamlined the communication process of capturing the information needed to promote events from announcement requesters.
  • Putting the day of the week before the date is a good rule to follow. It is easier for people to make scheduling decisions when they know what day of the week an event is.
  • The main purpose of announcements is to get someone to respond to the opportunity. Stating the call-to-action clearly is a must.

This is one of the simplest free solutions I implemented with optimal pay off. Hope it works for you.


We’re thrilled to partner with Creative Missions (our nonprofit parent, the Center for Church Communication, handles the Creative Missions finances). Learn more about Creative Missions and this year’s trip to Alaska and consider a financial donation to help church communicators help other churches communicate better.

For more helpful tips like this, check out Getting Started in Church Communication: Copy Matters. It’s a guide to writing and editing for church communicators.

Getting Started: Copy Matters - "Bad writing tries too hard to impress."

Post By:

Kelvin Co


Kelvin Co gets to do what he loves as the creative arts pastor of The Oaks Fellowship located in the Dallas Metroplex area. Kelvin has been doing life together with his wife and best friend Lucy since 1991, and they have been doting on and pouring into their son Luc since 2002.
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13 Responses to “How to Write Church Announcements”

  • Paolo Genoves
    March 4, 2013

    Thank you for this! I’ve been writing for our church’s video announcement. Our admin always wants me to put many adjectives on the announcement but then and there, I know it should be the opposite. Church members just needs the details of the event and they can always ask more information on registration and other details on the Ushers Table. Or they can access the church’s website and Facebook page for more in-depth information.


  • Kelvin
    March 4, 2013

    You are welcome Paolo! Less is definitely more when it comes to announcements. Hope the change works out for you.


  • Brian
    March 4, 2013

    This very much lines up with my experience as well. I serve a campus ministry and the students I serve were giving me grief about using “too many words” in my weekly email update. I switched to bullet points. They like that better.

    I also wonder after seeing some bulletins longer than some magazines, how much paper/money a congregation could save with this format.


  • Gary
    March 4, 2013

    I’ve been using a similar format in our weekly bulletin for a few years now, although congregants still send me adjective-laden announcements (over-peppered with exclamation points!!!), and it’s up to me to cut the text down. I do suggest, however, keeping some descriptive content, which you can do without adding much length. My version of your announcement, for example, has approximately the same number of words and characters as the original:

    Renewed Marriage Seminar // Sat., Mar. 9, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. // Fellowship Hall // Pastor John and Jane Smith teach marriage principles from the Bible and their own experience. Register ($35 includes materials, lunch, childcare) in atrium or with Dorothy (555-555-1234; dorothy@church.org).


  • Tom
    March 4, 2013

    Great! Thank you!

    I will definately start doing it this way. But I agree with Gary here, who includes the “own experience and Bible” part. Gary, I think you have the winning formula.


  • Kelvin
    March 4, 2013

    Love your version Gary! Thanks Tom!


  • Andy Akins
    March 4, 2013

    There is a bit of a difference when writing video vs print announcements. You can get away with (and should) shorter copy for printed announcements. The less clutter, the better. However, when writing video announcements like the person above you should have more wording than just a few details. Telling people the story/vision behind an event not only tells them why you’re doing it, but also ramps up excitement. Telling information is boring so you should have a why and a call to action when it comes to video. The print, for us, is just the follow-upto the video announcement.


  • Emily
    March 4, 2013

    Shorter is better – but I also attempt to write in active voice. Removing the “to be” verbs. I prefer Gary’s version.

    Great topic.

    How about a post for calls to action in announcements? I’m so tired of “register in advance” or “sign up now”.

    Thanks for making church marketing less “sucky”.


  • Kelvin
    March 5, 2013

    Great idea Emily! I could use a go to list of calls to action.


  • Trees
    March 7, 2013

    A couple of things – audience and platform.

    1. Audience – The organization I’m a part of has over 8k weekly attendees that includes nationals from over 100 countries at 4 different locations. You bet it’s a struggle to address an audience from 20 – 70 yrs old but we do our best. Yes I know, everyone would love to be part of your ministry/outreach but lets be honest with ourselves when crafting our communications.

    2. Platform – If I’m posting online, FB, email, etc, I like to keep it short and use LINKS for the bulk of the content. I tend to use the same approach for the first sentence like I would for writing Google ads – use keywords. Bullet points definitely can help for longer content.
    Obviously if you’re writing for video, try to write the copy so that it sounds like something the person on camera would actually say. It’s that audience thing and all of that.

    My two cents…


  • Nancy Kelly
    March 8, 2013

    Thank you for affirming for me that usually less is better, it’s what I have thought all along but sometimes have trouble convincing others.
    I have been writing the announcements here at Cross in the Desert for the past 8 years. We have screen announcements on Sunday mornings, which I do in PowerPoint, an insert in our bulletin called; “It’s Happening Here”, and a monthly newsletter; “The Oasis”, which I do in Publisher, plus our website. I was writing different promo for each of these, and still getting requests to insert flyers in the bulletins highlighting “special” events. It was very time consuming and frustrating.
    A few years ago I made a wonderful discovery. I somehow figured out that I could right click and copy my PowerPoint ads from the slide sorter view of PowerPoint and paste them in our bulletin insert and newsletter – Voila. I only had to do each promo once.
    It has tremendously simplified my work load and each ad is special. I very seldom have to put additional flyers in the Sunday bulletins – which is a time saver, and a money saver.
    I still spend too much time because I like to make them “pretty” or “cool” or “classy” or “worshipful”, but that is my choice. It has tremendously simplified my work, and every ad/promo is special.



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