It is funny how making announcements becomes a contentious issue in the church. Some people wonder whether there should even be announcements. Others can’t stand when the announcements go on for 10 minutes. Still others find the placement of the announcements within the worship service is disruptive.
When it comes to whether or not there should be announcements in the church, then answer is it depends. It depends on the style of worship you use, the size of your church, and what other means of communication you use to let people know what is happening at the church.
I have been to many small churches where the announcements are folksy, from announcing next Saturday’s Ice Cream Social to announcing the BBQ and Gospel Sing at the Ruritans in a few weekends. There is nothing wrong with this and the guest is not turned off when they come to church and hear these announcements. In many of these places church is still an important part of the community.
For a large church with many things going in it might be impractical to rely on announcements from the pulpit to communicate church and community happenings. If a church is new and never had announcements, why start now? Again, it is important to find an alternative way to communicate.
Church announcements, despite what some people think, are not the holy grail of communication nirvana. I have heard many a church member say “If we can just get the pastor to announce it on Sunday!” This is lazy and chances are persons are not listening especially well anyways during the announcements. Send an email to your group and stop putting all your eggs in one basket relying on the pulpit announcement!
If you do have to make announcements in church, limit them to a warm welcome from the pastor and two major announcements that apply to the whole church. Don’t make announcements that pertain to the ten women in the United Methodist Women or the six couples in the Sunday night small group. Ensure they are church-wide announcements. Believe me, you will not make friends if this has not been the practice of the church. But for the sake of the guest and flow of worship you must institute such a rule and be consistent.
Call me a control freak but I always think the Pastor should make the announcements. I never wanted someone wandering down a rabbit hole when they made an announcement, giving a sermon, or not talking loud enough for people to hear. It is also one of those things, once you let one person do it you open the floodgates.
Lastly, don’t ever say, no matter how small your church, “see Mary Jane who is collecting orders for pie if you want to order a pie.” Not everyone knows who Mary Jane is- don’t assume they do. Always have some type of written announcement with contact info.
What are some of the worst announcement practices you have seen? What are some of the best?