No doubt, if you are regularly involved in the planning of worship gatherings you have run into problems with “announcements.” Figuring out where to place them in the service can be like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. They are necessary to the body life of the church but they disrupt the flow of the worship service and are often poorly executed. I personally don’t know of any minister who finds joy in making announcements or taking time out of the service for them. So how can we make announcement time less of an issue going forward?
Here are 10 basic principles I have learned over the years (in no particular order)…
1) Don’t feel like you have to make every announcement. All announcements are not equal.
2) Set a deadline for announcements to be submitted and don’t budge. This is not mean, it is leadership.
3) Only announce things that are pertinent to the MAJORITY of the people there. Your ministry is not more important than the others in the church. Don’t give valuable time to things that only affect a small percentage of people. Worshiping Jesus and hearing from His Word is much more important than our most important announcement!
4) Pick the 3-4 most important things that you want your entire congregation to know and leave it at that.
5) Ongoing church activities (youth, senior adults, mission groups, etc) can be communicated in different ways (i.e. bulletin, regular meeting times, slideshows, newsletters, email, phone, social media, etc).
6) It matters who makes the announcements. Have your pastor make the announcement if there is something that is vital to the life of the church. In most situations, the pastor’s words carry more weight.
7) If you are in charge of the announcements, predetermine what you are going to say. Write it down and think about how to transition from one point to the other as seamlessly as possible.
8) Don’t preach a sermon – just deliver the announcements. If every person that steps into the pulpit on Sunday (announcement guy, deacon, scripture reader, soloist, youth pastor, worship pastor) feels the need to preach a sermon, your pastor won’t have time to preach his.
9) Realize the limitations of public announcements. People respond best to one on one personal invitations. If you need someone to serve – ask them personally.
10) If there are no announcements to make, don’t make any. Seriously, take a deep breath, it is okay.
I think we can all say that a service with fewer announcements would be great! Less is definitely more!
Do you have ideas that I am forgetting? Please comment!