As a pastor, I always struggled with the best way to do announcements. Whatever we did, it never felt right. Over the years, I’ve noted what other churches have done – and I’d do announcements differently than I ever did back then. Here are some suggestions for doing announcements well:
- Send weekly emails – Either in place of, or in addition to, making announcements during the service, send 1-2 emails each week that give the details. Encourage those folks who do not use email to note announcements in the church bulletin.
- Capitalize on social media – Use Twitter, Facebook, etc. to remind members of events during the week. Not only can these announcements be much needed reminders, but they can also be calls to prayer for the particular events.
- Organize announcements well in the bulletin – One of the problems with announcements in print is that a bulletin is sometimes so cluttered it’s hard to figure out what’s happening. Prioritize clarity and conciseness by using a bullet point for each announcement.
- Promote prayer through announcements – If the church’s bulletin or website includes a calendar of events for the upcoming week, train your church to view that calendar as a prayer list. Get them to pray for each event on the day it occurs, and you might lead some members to pray more than they’ve ever prayed for some events.
- Use video announcements – A single brief video that covers all the announcements helps in several ways: (a) it gives folks an opportunity to correct any mistakes before releasing the announcement; (b) it limits the time folks use for announcements; (c) it provides a resource for the website so others who miss the service can still hear the announcements.
- Don’t disrupt the service – No matter how you do it, announcements in the middle of a service almost always seem to be disruptive. There are so many other options available that I see no reason to do announcements this way.
- Don’t do the announcements at the end of the service – My reasoning here relates to my understanding of spiritual warfare. Jesus told us that Satan always seeks to snatch the seed after it’s sown so those who hear won’t believe (Mark 4:14). If that’s the case, the enemy is at work while the Word is taught and immediately after it’s taught. My fear is that if we turn quickly from preaching to announcements, we unintentionally introduce distractions the enemy might use.
- Choose the right person to make announcements – I prefer only one person making the announcements – someone who is concise, clear, creative, whimsical, passionate, and time sensitive. Even if you use video announcements, I would look for the same type of person.
- Do announcements just as the service begins – Obviously, then, this approach is my preferred one. Whether via video or a live speaker, use announcements to call the church to order just prior to opening the worship service. Do them well, but get them out of the way before worship begins.
- When appropriate, refer to events as sermon application – If the sermon is about meeting needs of the community and the church is scheduled to do a food drive in the next two weeks, refer to that event as application. It’s always good when the church’s events are appropriately connected to the Word.
What are your thoughts about the best way to do announcements?
Be sure to check out Dr. Lawless’ daily blog posts at www.chucklawless.com. Chuck Lawless currently serves as Professor of Evangelism and Missions and Dean of Graduate Studies at Southeastern Seminary. You can connect with Dr. Lawless on both Twitter and Facebook.