Nothing kills momentum in your youth service like stopping everything for 5 or 10 minutes of BORING up-front announcements.  You may be talking about important, exciting stuff, but let's face it - with the attention spans of most teenagers, if you don't spice things up a little bit you'll at best bore them and at worse fail to communicate important info about your ministry and events.

Using video is a great way to break the monotony of announcements.  All you'll need is a decent digital video camera, a basic editing program (like Windows Movie Maker), and an idea.  Youtube is great for the latter - just type in "youth ministry announcement video" and you'll get tons of results that will inspire you.

I've done all sorts of announcement videos - ripping cartoons from Youtube and overlaying our own voices, using action figures with students voicing them, doing the announcements while someone hurts me (!), filming them in an interesting place, etc.  There's really no limit to what you can do!

If you've got a dead spot in your service and it's the announcements, try shaking things up this week or next with a simple (and SHORT) video.  You'll be happy with the results and your students will love it!

- Tim B.