What's in this session?

  • What is a host? (1:24)
  • Reason #1: Your speaker and worship leader have enough on their plate already (2:57)
  • Reason #2: Don't let your guest welcome be an after thought (4:32)
  • Reason #3: Service momentum (6:10)
  • Countdown welcome segment script (7:59)

Show notes and resources

Free Bonus: Click here to download The Church Announcements Script Bundle – this free download includes 8 pre-written announcement scripts that you can swipe and start using in your church

The Transcript

Brady Shearer: There’s a little technique that my church uses in every one of its services. What’s amazing about this approach is that it ties our entire Sunday experience together. In this episode of Pro Church Tools, I’ll reveal to you what this method is, and exactly how you can use it every single weekend. … 

Speaker 2: [Singing 00:00:14]

Alex Mills: Well, hey there, and welcome to Pro Church Tools, the show where in 10 minutes or less, you’re going to get a dose of tips and tactics to help your church share the message of Jesus while we navigate the biggest communication shift in 500 years. I’m your host, Alex Mills, joined as always by the boss man, Brady Shearer. 

Brady Shearer: Alex, when I began volunteering at the church that I’m at now, my whole life, I had always served on the worship team. 

Alex Mills: Okay. 

Brady Shearer: Drummer in youth group, then I learned how to play bass, upgraded to- 

Alex Mills: Classic transition. 

Brady Shearer: Rhythm guitar. 

Alex Mills: Yeah. 

Brady Shearer: Upgraded to lead guitar. I had the very first Strymon timeline delay pedal; the very first batch. True story. It was delivered to me, and I realized I do not want to play guitar anymore, I want to get married to my fiance. 

Alex Mills: Sold it. 

Brady Shearer: Sold the pedal in the first week on Kijiji, the Canadian version of Craigslist, for $600. I had only purchased it for $500. 

Alex Mills: Making moves. 

Brady Shearer: I had enough money to, at that point, buy an engagement ring. 

Alex Mills: For $100. 

Brady Shearer: For $100. My point being is that the role that I’m serving at now at my church, which is called Host, was brand new to me and something that I had never done before. What is a host? Why can your church benefit from it? Well, the first thing we need to do is define what a host is. 

Alex Mills: Of course. 

Brady Shearer: Basically, the foundation of a host at a church within a church service is the church announcements; but it’s an expanded announcements role, because at my church, it also includes giving, it includes the guest acknowledgement, it includes the connect card and new visitor walkthrough, and it includes all transitions within service. 

Alex Mills: Okay. 

Brady Shearer: So think of it as the on stage presence, the person that’s talking on stage that’s kind of tying everything together; because you’ve got the worship at the beginning. You’ve got the message, the sermon at the end, and then there’s all of these in between parts. That’s where the host comes in. What we’ve found is that there are really three reasons why your church can benefit from a host, and why our church benefits from it. 

Alex Mills: You know Brady, at our church, we were kind of going through this transition a few years ago where when it came to transitions in our services, we were having a time. We noticed that the people who were volunteering to do the announcements, let’s just say it wasn’t their spiritual gift, okay? 

Brady Shearer: Okay. 

Alex Mills: We noticed that people were getting disinterested, or we were losing them during those times. There was a point where we actually had to cut back and say, ‘Okay, we’re going to skip these parts of our service all together, because we just weren’t doing it well.’ I think what we’re going to learn in this episode is like you said, what a host is, but also how your church can benefit from a host, and why it’s so imperative that you have a good host to handle these delicate moments in your service. 

Brady Shearer: Three reasons why your church can benefit from a host. Reason number one: your speaker and your worship leader already have enough on their plate. What I’ve found is that normally, the announcements, the transitions, these in-between moments get left to the speaker or the worship leader. Why? Well, they already have a mic, so let them figure it out. But if you are delivering the sermon on a Sunday morning, if you’re leading the worship, you’ve already got so much that you need to consider, that you need to know about. You’re like, ‘Okay, I got to deliver my three points, and I make sure I want to hit that story here, and the slide has to go up here.’ 

Or if you’re the worship leader, you’re like, ‘Okay, I know the drummer needs to come in at this point. And oh right, my backup singer, they’re singing on this verse, but I’m leading on the chorus, and then they are harmonizing on the bridge, but not on the second bridge. If they harmonize on the second bridge, people might walk out.’ There’s so many things to consider. 

What you don’t want to leave is these important transition moments to someone that is already focusing on something else. 

Alex Mills: Yeah. 

Brady Shearer: Give someone this responsibility and then it actually becomes a priority, which is good.

Alex Mills: This is literally happened to me multiple times as a worship leader, and as a teaching pastor in our church. Often this job will get delegated to me if I’m in either of those roles. Like you said, there’s so many other things that your worship leader is thinking about, that your teaching pastor is thinking about, that I just find … and I’m usually pretty good at remembering this kind of stuff. I can be pretty … I can be pretty particular about these kinds of things when I’m not the one responsible for them, but I find myself just … forgetting, like just plain out forgetting what to do because these other parts of the service occupy so much of my mind. There has to be someone, one singular person, dedicated to this job. 

Brady Shearer: Second reason your church can benefit from a service host is you don’t want to leave guest acknowledgement as an afterthought. Guest acknowledgement is so vital, and I see so many churches just jumping over it, assuming, ‘Look, we don’t ever get guests.’ Then, there’s a Sunday that the guest does come, and they don’t acknowledge them because they don’t normally expect it to happen. Maybe there’s a reason why guests never come, or never come back, because they are not acknowledged. 

In my hosting role, every single week, there’s this portion. I say the exact same thing every single week, but the culture of my church knows we’ve got new visitors coming all the time. We never want them to feel like we don’t care for them, that we’re not readily available to serve them, whatever they might need; and that we know they’re there. Just acknowledging them can make all the difference. It’s like when you go to a restaurant for the first time and they say, ‘Hey, is this the first time you’ve been here?’

Alex Mills: Yeah. 

Brady Shearer: You’re like, ‘Yeah, like I don’t know what this is about.’ ‘Well, everything is a sharable plate.’ You’re like, ‘Well good, I was only going to order one thing, and then I would have been so hungry.’ 

Alex Mills: Yeah. 

Brady Shearer: It’s important to acknowledge a first time guests, and you don’t want to let this, again, be an afterthought. You don’t want to forget about it because it’s always somebody’s first time at church. You only get one chance of making a good first impression. 

Alex Mills: This was a hurdle we had to handle in our church where sometimes it felt a little bit repetitious, because we’re a smaller church. Sometimes it felt redundant or repetitious to say the same thing every week. Like you said, maybe there isn’t a new visitor this week; but we just had to push through that, move forward, and like you said, it becomes part of the culture. People who belong to your church, they get used to it. They don’t put a second thought to it, but now you know that any time and every time there’s a first visitor, … or a first time visitor in your church, they’re going to get welcomed. 

Brady Shearer: Reason number three, final reason has to do with service momentum. The worship at our church has a Thursday night practice. They’ve got a Sunday morning practice. They work incredibly hard. They prepare backing tracks, all to create this beautiful moment where everyone can direct their attention towards Heaven to Jesus and focus on Him during a tough week. There’s a crescendo moment with that final song that’s incredibly intimate and powerful, and climactic. Then, no one thought about the transition, and there’s this really awkward moment where everyone’s walking off the stage and the congregation is like, ‘Do we sit now, stand?’ 

Alex Mills: [crosstalk 00:06:43] … Like do I open my eyes now? What’s going on? 

Brady Shearer: Someone coughs. You hear people shuffling. All the momentum you earned has been thrown away into the trash. What’s amazing about the service host, my role, is that one of the things that I’m most focused on, really the thing I’m most caring about, after the guest acknowledgement, is transitions. I want the transition from the worship to the announcements to be smooth and comfortable. I want the transition from my announcements to the message to be perfect and cared for. It might seem inconsequential. It might seem like, ‘Oh, that’s a … We’re focusing on the things that don’t matter,’ but we put so much effort into delivering a great message that’s sharing the hope of Jesus. We put so much effort into doing these worship songs that are making sure all of our parts are being played well. We’re playing on key. We’re singing with excellence, and then we don’t take any care for all these in between moments. The service momentum can stall. It can be completely thrown away, and maybe you never get it back. 

Alex Mills: Yeah. 

Brady Shearer: Having someone that’s in charge of that, that’s caring for that, is so important. There’s so many intangible benefits that it delivers when someone does have responsibility over it. 

Alex Mills: Yeah, the stuff matters so much. We honestly believe that it matters enough to warrant its own position. This is the host. 

Brady Shearer: Final thing that we want to share on this episode is I wanted to actually give everyone in Pro Church Nation the exact countdown kind of script that I deliver every single morning. What happens at our church is we have a five minute countdown. When there’s two minutes left on the countdown, I walk onto stage and I deliver the following verbatim, word for word script. It’s the same every week. 

I say, “Well hey there, welcome to Central. My name’s Brady. I’m your host. It’s so great to have you here with us today. We’re going to get things kicked off here in just a moment. The band is going to be out to lead us in a few songs. Lyrics are going to be up on the screen, so you can engage with worship however you feel comfortable. And then after that, one of our pastors is going to be out to share a great message. All in all, we’ll be here for just about an hour. Of course, if you’re joining us online, we’re thrilled to have you here with us as well. Wherever you’re joining us from, thanks for making Central part of your weekend, and we’re thrilled to have you as part of the family. 

Of course, if you are in the auditorium, we want to let you know we’ve got fantastic kids programming that’s happening today. It’s safe. It’s secure, and your kids are bound to have a blast; and there’s still time to check them in. If you head to the big orange wall in the lobby, you can check them in there. And with all that being said, we’re going to get things started here in just a moment, so find your seats if you haven’t already, and we’ll get started shortly.” 

Alex Mills: I’m ready to go to church. 

Brady Shearer: You’re ready to go to church. True story, I just got a DM about this yesterday. I’ve shared this script before. A pastor talked about using it at his service for the first time. 

He was like, “It was a game changer. It completely changed the trajectory of the service.” Anyone that’s a first time guest, they’re now no longer feeling those awkward, uncomfortable moments of like, ‘Okay, so like what’s going to happen? Am I going to have to stand? Are people going to be raising their hands? Are they going to blow a show for waving flags?’ They’re probably actually not worried about that until it happens, and they’re like, ‘What is happening?’ It’s like, ‘How long are we going to be here? What about my kids? I dragged them all the way here.’ It only takes one minute, and I say the same thing every single week. You are allowed … I am giving you permission. I’m encouraging you to copy that word for word and use it in your church, because it can make such a big difference. 

That’ll do it for this episode of Pro Church Tools. The featured resource we wanted to highlight on this episode is the fact that we lowered the prices of Nucleus. 

Alex Mills: We did it. 

Brady Shearer: Our first website builder by 50%. We want to give back to all the churches that make Nucleus possible. One of the most exciting moments of my life as a CEO of a company, the full announcement is linked in the show notes for this episode. We’ll see you next time.

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