Updated: Dec 4, 2019
I have the privilege of ministering in great churches and among great friends. I get to observe what we do well
and what we don't. Often, announcements are not only inefficient, but they can also be counter-productive. May I offer a few observations? I think the announcement time to most guests (notice I didn't say visitors) is a mystery in regard to what is going on. More often than not, even as acclimated to church life as I am, I often cannot discern the announcements. People don't know what certain things are. For example: “The Overcomers will meet tomorrow.” Who are they? What do they do? Why is it important? How does it tie into the vision and purpose of this church? When an announcement raises more questions than inspiration, not only has it not helped you, it's hurt you! Another observation of an announcement creating more questions is: “If you want to know more or sign up, see “Bill.” Who is Bill? Here are some announcement guidelines: --One of the rules of preaching is never use the pulpit to say in public what should be said in private or to a small group. The same should be true for announcements. If the nursery workers need to meet, call them, text them, email, etc. --Announcements should be key vision casting time. Why is this event important to our church? How does this announcement advance the vision? --Another rule of preaching is plan and prepare. The people making announcements are the voice of our vision. If they have not planned and prepared, it’s ugly. Have you ever seen a person get up and not know the details? What does that communicate, except that what we are communicating is really not important. The people making announcements should be modeling and preaching our vision! Would you let an untrained person preach? Before handing over the microphone, we need to train on vision-casting. Here are some rules in regard to announcements:
No last-minute announcements.
No announcements unless they are vision critical. People announcing all kind of things that may be good, but are not vision central, water down your vision and send an unclear message. Put those things in the bulletin.
Always introduce the person or teach them how to do "self-introduction.” Make sure they know the details, especially the “why” and tie it to the "what.”
Make sure every announcement is directly tied to the next step of information. Example: It's on the website, or The ushers have a hand-out, or It's in the bulletin, etc.
Please do not tell them to see "Bill”; most people won’t. It's ok to have “Bill" ready and available, but if he's the only contact point, your vision is restricted. Like being at a fast food restaurant with a long line.
Have a dress code. If you want the church to take announcements seriously, then the announcement maker should dress to be taken seriously.
Train your announcers, give them guidelines, and have them do mock announcements until they are good enough for Sunday morning.
This time is about corporate communication. Announcements are not a time for inside jokes or references that only church insiders understand. This, of course, makes everyone else an outsider.
No chatter with those on the front row, which hijacks the corporate vision and instead makes your church look like a club.
When we preach, we can't say all we want to. The same is true for announcements; don't drown people with announcement overload.
Now, if you like the response you get from your announcements, don't change. But for most churches I am in, I would venture to say that they are not satisfied with the response (or lack of) from announcements. If you want to move the people with vision, if you want to model mission, if you want enthusiastic followers, then leadership is required. Your announcements are the point of the arrow of your ministry—they need to be sharp and hit the target!
In His Master's Service, Keith Tucci NRP Apostolic Team Leader