Church anniversary services are a religious tradition amongst Christians. The celebration is usually held annually, and helps in encouraging the church's members to continue the diligent work of building and supporting the body of Christ as a unit. A woman who is chosen to preside over the anniversary service is given the title of "mistress of ceremonies," and the way that she handles this role greatly influences the flow and atmosphere of the program.
Every mistress of ceremonies will begin the anniversary service by giving a mini-speech about who she is and why the service is important to her. Generally, this speech will inform the congregation of her name, her church affiliation and her reasons for accepting the role. Be careful, however, not to make this a "stiff" introduction. You want to incorporate light humor during this speech to set the tone for an inviting event. Also, avoid the temptation to welcome the congregation. Remember that the welcome is a separate part of the service that will be given by another speaker.
Introduction of Service Order
Recognition of longtime church members, presentation of the church's history, presentations to the pastor and first lady, and acknowledgment of members who have made notable church contributions are all a part of the program, in addition to musical selections and speakers. It is your job to make sure that these transitions are all well received by keeping the congregation informed of what is going to take place next.
Introduction of Speakers
Introducing speakers is important as it serves two purposes, it informs the congregation who will be speaking to them next, and it allows the next speaker time to make his way to the front of the church. Each introduction should be short and accurate. Announcing that the next speaker is a deacon when he is really an elder could not only be embarrassing, but offensive. No speaker introduction should last longer than one minute.
All throughout the program you want to be mindful of the "spiritual atmosphere." When the spirit of God is moving you, you want to share how you are being affected. Let the congregation in on how a song touched you, or what you feel God is doing during the program. These brief "personal testimonies" encourage the congregation to enjoy the entire experience. A mistress of ceremonies who is able to do this effectively is regarded as being spiritually in tune.
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