The Importance of Preaching the Announcements

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Nearly every congregation does it…whether early, mid or late in a worship service there is a pause for the announcements. Information is shared, excitement is garnered, and volunteers are sought for upcoming events. Announcements typically feel like an intrusion into an otherwise sacred event.                                                    

There is, however, another way to communicate information that enhances worship and underscores mission. That approach is to “preach the announcements.” Preaching the announcements focuses on the “why” rather than the “what” of upcoming activities. For example, instead of providing multiple details about an upcoming Cadet/GEMS pinewood derby, preaching the announcements sounds more like this: “At Faith Church we’re committed to building bridges to near neighbors in the name of Christ. This Wednesday’s pinewood derby is another bridge building opportunity. Join us as we warmly welcome neighborhood children and their families.  This may be the first step in connecting disconnected neighbors to faith and faith family. Information is found in the bulletin. Volunteer sign-up is at the information center. Join us as we live into our commitment to make more and better disciples of Jesus Christ.”

Here’s how to preach the announcements… 

CONNECT ALL ACTIVITIES TO A GRAND VISION

The first goal in preaching the announcements is connecting programming to purpose. The question that begs communicating is, “Why are we doing what we’re doing?” The “why” always precedes the “what.” When mission is highlighted a congregation begins to see higher purposes in everyday ministry activities.

LEAVE THE DETAILS OUT

Announcements typically repeat information already available. Remind people where details can be found but do not allow the “what” to trespass on the “why.” When announcements communicate details congregants are trained to ignore other communication tools knowing full well that necessary details will always be communicated verbally.

REFUSE TO THROW MONKEYS

Announcements often become a time to throw monkeys on congregant’s backs. Many times announcements are a last ditch effort at guilt-tripping people into participating in an event. Preaching the announcements, on the other hand, is about the power of vision to draw people into participation. If people don’t participate after the announcements are preached then it is a clear indication that the vision is either insufficiently compelling or insufficiently owned.

KEEP IT FRESH

There are multiple ways to preach the announcements including testimonies, skits, videos, original songs, a creative piece of art or a newly created poem/rap. When announcements are connected to vision and communicated in unexpected ways they have the power to enhance both mission and worship.

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Thanks for an insightful and incredibly practical set of guidelines. This is something I've innately tried to do, but never have put words to it nor have I ever seen it distilled into a principle like this.  We really appreciate the work you at the church renewal lab are doing!

Thanks John for the encouragement.

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