Church Announcements Revisited

by vernsanders on December 2, 2011

True confessions: I don’t like anything extraneous in a worship service. I understand that a congregation is a community, and that any community needs to be informed about stuff, but, to my mind, worship is an activity, not a gathering. So having announcements during worship has always bothered me.

Some pastors have told me that announcements are part of the “go and do” mandate, and I can accept that. But it always has bothered me that, at least in my experience, announcements are kind of like congregational hostage taking. On the one hand, whether you are interested in an activity or not, you have to listen to an announcement about it. On the other hand, the leader of that activity tends to think that unless there is an announcement about that activity IN WORSHIP, then the church leadership doesn’t value the activity.   …sigh…

Which is why I read this blog post: The Epic Fail of Church Announcements, by Adam Stadtmiller. I resonated so much with the content that I almost quoted it whole. But that would be, in a sense, plagiarism, so, let me just say that I think that if you “do” church, it is required reading. After much deliberation, I’m only going to put this part of the post here, and I especially draw your attention to the meat of bullet points 3 & 4:

Announcements need to be valued in the same way you value worship and teaching. No, I’m not saying that your announcements are on par with the eternal word of God, but they should contribute to a functional life-giving worship experience.

  • While there is not a spiritual gift of “announcements” listed in the scriptures, I do think you want your most talented and Sprit-led people doing them.
  • Next, these people need to be prepared. Think memorized with no notes. Nothing crushes announcements like the presenter not knowing the details. When that happens, they are telling the audience, “I don’t care about this enough to know about it, so why should you?”
  • Announcements need to be covered in prayer and directly relate to the global mission of your church. While the Yahtzee ministry’s rummage sale is important, I’m not sure the entire church needs to know about it. But a night to support all the missionaries your church supports would be. This means that your in-service announcements need to push the ball down field for the whole church, not just a small section of it. The rest goes in the bulletin. Trust me, people read the bulletin.
  • Another important lesson is not to focus on what you’re doing, but why you’re doing it. The practical details of next week’s service project won’t entice anyone to come (“It starts at 7:30? Yes!”), but a story of how it changes someone’s life probably will. Put the details in the bulletin. Put why it matters on stage for people to see.

I couldn’t agree more. What do you think? Leave me a comment, please.

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Church Announcements Revisited | Harp and Bowl Worship
December 2, 2011 at 1:28 pm

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eric December 2, 2011 at 10:18 am

You need to check out they provide churches high quality video announcements that bring to mind many of the points you cover. They look great, get to the point and are delivered early in the week so the Pastor can slot them in however he/she need to for a given church service. They are helping many people out with this service. I just saw you blog and their service came to mind.

vernsanders December 2, 2011 at 2:43 pm

Thanks for the info Eric.

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