First, Google Translation has now been added to all Newfrontiers websites including my blog! For my blog see the panel on the right.

Traducción atraves de Google-traducción ha sido añadido a todas las páginas web de Nuevas Fronteras, incluyendo mi blog! Para ver a mi blog , ver al panel de la derecha.

Notices pt 2copy-of-nigel-giving-notices-21
Having touched on the Why? and What? let us now ask three further questions – How? When? and Who?

Notices are about public communication and need preparation (and prayer!). In considering what you want to communicate ask yourself what you expect people to do with the knowledge – the ‘take away’. Then plan how best that will be achieved.

Visual aids
It is well known that visual communication is more effective than spoken communication – it has been said that ‘a picture speaks a thousand words’. So are there ways in which you can use visual aids, remembering that they are aids and not an end in themselves? Similarly, verbal ‘pictures’ help people to remember what you are communicating, so use stories where appropriate (hence the power of personal testimony).

Visual communication can use many different media – printed (good if some response is required), PowerPoint, Video etc. Be creative as far as your budget allows! But be careful to prepare such visual aids so that they enhance what is being communicated, not distract from the theme and purpose. Sometimes visual aids are remembered more than the content they are trying to convey, like some stories in a sermon which may be remembered more than the topic they are illustrating.

Traditionally notices come in the middle of a meeting, often between the worship and the preaching. This has benefits such as:

1. It allows people to relax after what may have been an intense time of worship. But be careful not to ‘lose the Spirit’ by bringing notices insensitively.
2. People’s time span of focussed concentration may be only 30-40 minutes, so something different helps between the worship and preaching. But beware not to lose a ‘bridge’ if the Spirit has been speaking in a way that helps introduce the preaching.

On other occasions a flow to the meeting may be anticipated which should not be interrupted – perhaps a special Christmas service. It is then worth considering having the notices at the start. If so, make sure they are not just ‘tucked in’ to get them out of the way but that they are still relevant and important.

Who gives them?
It is not everyone’s skill to give notices! Consider what needs to be communicated and, if appropriate, you can even have more than one person. Some notices need to be communicated with passion – almost preached – so ensure that the right person is appointed who can achieve this. For instance, finance is not easy to present with vision and passion so choose someone who has faith for finance and can highlight the key points without getting lost in a myriad of figures. And try to find alternatives to graphs and pie charts – be creative!

In addressing Notices in this two-part series I hope I have conveyed that they should be given more thought and preparation than is often the case. They can then serve you in your church and illustrate your relational values by the manner in which you give them, not just dry information.

Finally, I have just seen Mark and Bev Landreth-Smith of the Beacon Church in Camberley giving notices at last year’s Together@ Butlins 2010 Weekend. Why not mark them out of ten against my (relatively boring) checklist?! I give them eleven!

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