Campus pastors are much more than announcement puppeteers. It pains me every time I hear campus pastors defined as the “announcement pastor.” Strategic campus pastors understand that platform time is about inspiration rather than information. Every time you hold the microphone, you have the opportunity to inspire everyone in the room to action. The campus pastor is the primary voice for volunteer engagement at the campus and what you say matters, it doesn’t have to fall on deaf ears.
Here are four ways I attempt to inspire people to action:
1. Aim for the majority, not the minority.
Without a doubt, you’ll be asked to inspire people in your seats to do just about anything and everything. Student Ministry carwash, the ladies bagels and Bible study, the men’s ministry football game, and to serve in the nursery. Feeling inspired? Me either. Here is a basic rule I apply when considering if an announcement is inspirational: If it doesn’t require 50% or more of the room to make a decision, it doesn’t get announced verbally. Our social media outlets have proven to be a great place to make additional announcements that don’t meet the above rule.
2. Start with why.
Most people think they know what you want from them already, more of their money or more of their time, right? What they often don’t know is why. The why behind what you are asking people matters more than what you are asking them to do. One way to develop the why is to focus on what you want people to feel about the topic you’re addressing. Emotional connection moves people to action, stir the emotion. Spend more time on the why. Start with the why. Why are you supporting the local crisis pregnancy center? Why are you delivering meals on Thanksgiving morning? When people understand the why behind a project or outreach, they are more likely to get involved in some capacity.
3. Don’t ask everyone to do everything.
I think it is crucial for platform communicators to recognize the different stages of engagement people are at in their journey with a church. Not everyone is ready or capable of contributing to every opportunity at hand, acknowledge that. I find it helpful to recognize that some people need to receive in certain seasons or that some opportunities are for those who already connected. Identify your target audience clearly and inspire them to action. What do you want them to do? Everyone can’t do everything, nor should they. Give people the permission to chose their level of engagement.
4. Make it memorable.
Tell a story. If you’re inspiring people to get baptized, tell your audience a recent story of how someone went public with their faith. Use humor. Making people laugh creates a memory and emotion they won’t forget anytime soon. Don’t forget the power of illustrations and images. People are visual and when they can visualize themselves in the picture, their interest and engagement peaks.
I hope this helps you to think critically about how you use your platform time this weekend. I’d love to hear what you do to inspire people to action.