How To Make the Announcements An Act of Corporate Worship

Preparing the corporate worship service can be one of the most annoying activities of a pastor. You’re not simply picking the songs for Sunday’s service. If you want your worship service to coordinate with the sermon and promote heartfelt worship there are a number of factors you have to wrestle. One such factor is the announcements. The announcements can feel like such a nuisance to our corporate worship. There are several ways, however, that our announcements can be part of our corporate worship.

I was reminded of this recently when one of our elders was teaching a Sunday evening class on the spiritual discipline of worship. He explained how all of life, and all of our corporate gathering, should be part of our worship. It was a good reminder to me. After all, we need the announcements. We can’t simply ignore them. The corporate gathering is the rare occasion when the whole church is together. It’s that time to help people know what’s going on in the life of our church and point them in the direction they need to go to get the proper information. We can’t just abandon the announcements if we’re going to serve our congregations well, but there has to be a way to make announcements that promotes our worship of God, rather than distracts us from it. If Paul believed that mundane things like eating and drinking can be done to the glory of God (1 Cor. 10:31), then so can announcements.

First of all, we may need to limit announcements. Not everything needs to be shared at the corporate gathering. Most churches have multiple mediums for sharing information with the congregation as a whole. Some things can be put in the bulletin, on the projection screens, in the weekly newsletter, or on the website. Some things can be announced in Sunday School or at youth meeting. We ought to limit our announcements on Sunday mornings to things that are particularly relevant for the whole body. Too much information not only distracts us from worship, but it actually makes it more difficult for people to remember important information.

Second, we ought to shift the focus of the announcements to their Biblical implications. You are not simply announcing upcoming ministry events; you are inviting people to pray for them. You are not simply announcing funeral arrangements you are showing love those who grieve. You are not simply announcing youth mission trips you are celebrating the advance of the Kingdom of God. Shift the focus of your announcements from the communication of information to the communication of the Biblical implications. Even our announcements can be occasions to trust God, love others, and celebrate the gospel.

Finally, take time to pray. I love that during our announcements we pause to pray for what’s shared. Do we need to pray for our VBS this week? Do we need to pray for grieving families? Do we need to pray for our upcoming sermon series? Our announcements can always provide us with an opportunity for corporate prayer on behalf of the life of our church. Seize this time to orient the congregation again towards God and his great love and sovereign control.

These are three simple but strategic changes we can make to our announcements. Most people focus on where you place the announcements in the flow of the service. The point is trying to avoid disrupting the worship, so that means doing it early enough that we don’t have to interrupt the singing. But if we think more carefully about the point behind our announcements and the way in which we communicate them it doesn’t really matter where you put them in the service. I might still recommend doing them early in the service, but that doesn’t make them any less a part of our corporate worship. All things are to be done to the glory of God. “All things” includes your church’s announcements. Preparing the order of the service can still be annoying, but thinking differently about the announcements can make them slightly less annoying.

Dave Dunham is associate pastor at Cornerstone Baptist Church in Roseville, MI. He is a graduate of Ohio University (BA) and The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (MDiv).

Comments
One Response to “How To Make the Announcements An Act of Corporate Worship”
  1. Mark says:

    Taking this information to heart when the next time we have church life information to share. Love the point on praying for the events that we are seeking God’s lead in. Will pass this on. Thanks Dave.

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