Make Church Announcements Great Again

TGC - The Gospel Coalition | 9/29/2017 | Staff
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How would most church members describe the announcement portion of their church’s worship service?

Too often, churches treat announcements in three main ways.

First - News - Update - Bare - Facts

First is the news update. The bare facts are presented with little to no emotion or biblical context. Consequently, the spiritual weight of what congregants can participate in isn’t communicated fully or at all.

The second treatment is the salesman/telethon manner of repeated pleas for assistance or attendance over a multi-week period. Social incentives such as “It’s a great way to get involved and feel a part of something,” or “This is an excellent way to meet people,” or “This is going to be a fun opportunity” are oft-repeated. With this method, joyful and Christlike volunteerism is replaced by communal or emotional enticements.

Treatment - Presentation - Whether - Announcements - Fashion

The third treatment is the presentation as commercial. Whether live or pre-recorded, the announcements are given in an entertaining fashion so the congregation pays attention and “buys” what’s being announced—as either worth their time or a financial donation. Churches may also use slick production techniques as an attention-grabber.

The problem with these delivery styles is that the stated motivations don’t match the glory and weight of what the congregation is being asked to participate in. The magnificent blessing of the event or service opportunity is masked by the mediocre delivery system. Churches shouldn’t take an event intended to display the truth of God and serve it on a platter of mediocrity.

We can do better.

Shortly, after he began pastoring a new church, David Prince—professor of preaching and pastoral ministry at Southern Seminary—was discussing with his fellow church leaders their upcoming vacation Bible school event. They expressed a desire to cancel VBS, noting the difficulty of attracting children and recruiting volunteers. Though the congregation used to staff the event sufficiently, numbers had dwindled in recent years. Prince said that if...
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