By Thom S. Rainer
Announcements in the church service may seem like a trivial issue. But for many churches, they carry great importance in how they are made, when they are made, and by whom they are made. So today, Jonathan and I explore this topic and how it relates to churches communicating what’s important for their congregation to know.
Some highlights from today’s episode include:
- In churches, redundancy of communication is important.
- I went to a church service recently and a business meeting broke out.
- Announcements made during a worship service are often of utmost importance and for large audiences.
- Pastors are often pressured to make certain announcements for certain people in the church.
- Announcements made by the pastor from the pulpit carry more weight and emphasis than others.
- The placements, style, and vehicle for announcements is a major issue of how a church communicates..
I asked a number of church leaders of congregations of varying sizes about their practices in this area. They pretty much confirmed what I am seeing as well. Here are my nine observations:
- More church leaders do not think announcements should be a part of the worship services.Their churches are more likely to have announcements projected on a screen prior to the worship service, or not to have them at all in the worship center.
- Large churches (700 and up in average worship attendance) are highly unlikely to have announcements as a part of the worship service. As noted above, they may have the announcements projected on a screen prior to the worship service.
- Smaller churches (under 200 in average worship attendance) are very likely to include announcements as a traditional part of the worship service. Excluding them would likely cause some level of conflict in the church.
- Video or projected announcements have grown commensurate with the growth of projected lyrics during the worship music. Because the technology and equipment is available for the music, more churches also use it for announcements.
- With greater frequency, pastors limit making announcements unless they are a major or visional issue. This trend is growing in all churches except smaller congregations.
- More congregations limit announcements before or during the worship services to those issues that affect most or all of the congregants. For example, it is becoming less likely for announcements to be made about a committee meeting that involves only six people.
- Many pastors are still asked to make announcements right before worship services begin.Often they are handed a slip of paper or told adamantly that something must be announced. I will address this issue in a later blog post.
- Pastors also receive pressure from different groups and individuals to make certain theirannouncements are made. Most every church member has his or her own idea about priorities in the church. One pastor recently told me that a church member got mad at him because he did not announce that the member’s daughter was named salutatorian of her senior high school class.
- Most church leaders believe that the retention rate of announcements by members is low. If retention is indeed low, it would indicate that most times of announcements are done due to pressure or tradition or both.
What is your church’s approach to announcements in the worship services? How effective do you think they are? What is your reaction to these nine observations?
This article was originally posted on ThomRainer.com.
Thom S. Rainer is the president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources.