Why You Should Never Apologize for Church Announcements

Go to any church service and observe how people act during the announcements. Some pay close attention, some browse their smart phone, and some engage conversation with a neighbor who might rather be trying to pay attention or browse their phone. If you ask people who listen to announcements and who give announcements, you’ll find a universal response, though: everybody says they are an exercise in drudgery.

Then again, if these kids did the announcements things might improve:

What can make announcement time even more of a drag is when the person amking the announcements apologizes for them. To those announcers I say, “Stop apologizing.”

Here’s an announcement: you have nothing to apologize for

We gather to worship corporately in fellowship with our God and each other. Everything that happens in the service is part of that corporate worship, from the opening greeting through the benediction. In between we have singing, prayer, and the reading and teaching of God’s word. There might be communion and an offering every Sunday or for some churches less often.

All of these are recognized as acts of worship. So what happens when we reach the announcements? Everyone acts like their worship time has been interrupted, as if a television show had paused for commercials.

But announcement time is not an interruption in worship. Announcements are an opportunity to talk about what is happening in the family of God. After all, when families come together it’s completely expected they will talk about family business. The church should be no different. Church services are a gathering of the family of God.

This doesn’t mean that everything the church family is doing should be brought up in every church service. What it means is that just as the scripture and songs and sermon are carefully chosen and prepared for corporate worship, so should the announcements be. And just as the scripture and songs and sermon are recognized as opportunities to worship God, so should the announcements be.

If an announcement is worth including in the worship service there is never a need to apologize for it. Likewise, if announcements have been carefully selected and prepared there is never a need to apologize for the amount of time given them in the service.

This also means that the person giving the announcements should be as carefully chosen as the person leading singing, the person giving the sermon, and the person leading prayer. If announcements are an act of worship – and they are – then as much care should go into them as goes into the rest of the worship service.

That would give you no reason to apologize, and every reason to worship together.

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13 Responses to Why You Should Never Apologize for Church Announcements

  1. Laura Droege says:

    I don’t think I’ve been in a church where the announcer feels the need to apologize for the announcements, though I’ve heard of it. (At my church, it’s usually one of the ministers who shares the announcements after he welcomes guests to our service, midway between the call to worship and the sermon.) Why would the announcer feel that he/she must apologize for telling the worshipers what’s going on? As you said, we’re a church family, and families talk about family business. Budget meetings and nursery needs and all that may not be “fun” but not everything families discuss is fun. To not have announcements about these needs/meetings/etc. would be akin to my kids not telling me that they need to bring cupcakes (or whatever) to school tomorrow: I’d be a little (make that a lot) miffed to learn about the needed cupcakes five minutes before we leave for school!

  2. FW Rez says:

    Great points. I’ve never thought about it before, but I’ve never known of a spiritual gifts inventory/discovery program that pointed to Announcement presenter. Wonder what that would like? Hopefully, it would not parallel the track to stand-comedy.

  3. I don’t think I’ve ever seen announcements apologized for. I could be wrong, but nothing comes to mind. I do remember being a part of discussions on how to minimize the presence of announcements in the worship service. It always struck me as odd. To me announcements have their place for the reasons you present.

    I suspect a lot of the issue with announcements come from a faulty definition of what worship is. Worship is music, prayer, and the sermon so announcements are just getting in the way or worship is just Sunday so the events the rest of the week aren’t nearly as important. While announcements aren’t always exciting, communication is important and what other time would work so well to communicate with the family of believers.

  4. Heather G says:

    I think you’re on to something. By downplaying announcements – apologizing for them – we’re actually TRAINING people to think that the announcements are not very important. But often the announcements are about the real lifeblood community stuff of the church.
    One pet peeve I have though is when preachers say, “You are released to go.” That type of language creeps me out. No one was holding me captive – were they? Wasn’t I free to leave anytime I wanted to? Were you holding me against my will? People need a better way to end a meeting than announcing that people are “released” – that just don’t make sense in any context. No other gatherings in our society end with the people being told they are “released.”

    • Tim says:

      I’ve never heard the “released” language. It does sound a bit odd to my ear. Perhaps it’s a tradition in some denominations.

      • I’ve never heard “released,” but I often hear “dismissed,” which sounds like you’re at school! These transition moments are where liturgical churches do it so well:
        “Go in peace, to love and serve the Lord.”
        “Thanks be to God.”
        What could be a better closing than that?

  5. Interesting topic, Tim. I think it’s a lot better to make verbal announcements than to default to “Check our website” — the latter can alienate people who don’t use computers (e.g. many older folks) or people who for financial reasons can only access public internet at the library, etc. I like your way of describing it as sharing information about our family life.

  6. Great prospective Tim! Thanks for a new (to me) view of weekly announcements!

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