Nine Observations about Announcements in Worship Services

January 7, 2015

To have or not to have announcements in the worship services? That is the question many church leaders ask today. And indeed there are several tendencies or trends related to announcements, and they are often related to the size of the church.

I asked a number of church leaders of congregations of varying sizes about their practices in this area. They pretty much confirmed what I am seeing as well. Here are my nine observations:

  1. More church leaders do not think announcements should be a part of the worship services. Their churches are more likely to have announcements projected on a screen prior to the worship service, or not to have them at all in the worship center.
  2. Large churches (700 and up in average worship attendance) are highly unlikely to have announcements as a part of the worship service. As noted above, they may have the announcements projected on a screen prior to the worship service.
  3. Smaller churches (under 200 in average worship attendance) are very likely to include announcements as a traditional part of the worship service. Excluding them would likely cause some level of conflict in the church.
  4. Video or projected announcements have grown commensurate with the growth of projected lyrics during the worship music. Because the technology and equipment is available for the music, more churches also use it for announcements.
  5. With greater frequency, pastors limit making announcements unless they are a major or visional issue. This trend is growing in all churches except smaller congregations.
  6. More congregations limit announcements before or during the worship services to those issues that affect most or all of the congregants. For example, it is becoming less likely for announcements to be made about a committee meeting that involves only six people.
  7. Many pastors are still asked to make announcements right before worship services begin. Often they are handed a slip of paper or told adamantly that something must be announced. I will address this issue in a later blog post.
  8. Pastors also receive pressure from different groups and individuals to make certain their announcements are made. Most every church member has his or her own idea about priorities in the church. One pastor recently told me that a church member got mad at him because he did not announce that the member’s daughter was named salutatorian of her senior high school class.
  9. Most church leaders believe that the retention rate of announcements by members is low. If retention is indeed low, it would indicate that most times of announcements are done due to pressure or tradition or both.

What is your church’s approach to announcements in the worship services? How effective do you think they are? What is your reaction to these nine observations?

photo credit: Leo Reynolds via photopin cc

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110 Comments

  • Bro. Rainer: I am almost in tears. As Music Director/Leader of our Worship Team, it breaks my heart that over the past 30 years, church leaders have not decided where the announcements should be. We are a 3,000+ member church and announcements are after the Team ministers. Thus, people are shocked from their prostrate positions on the floor before the Lord to the sound of mega booming bass video clips with hip hop songs and various announcements. We as the Team have resorted to uttering “Lord, forgive us” because we aren’t able to reverence His presence. I am about to retire and it breaks my heart that this hasn’t changed. Question, should I change our order from “entering His gates with Thanksgiving/Praise” into worship or minister all up tempo songs that lead into the disruption to follow with the announcements? Another thing is that our Bishop doesn’t recognize the people will do what they see him do. He stays in his office until it’s time to preach. More is caught than taught. Please pray with me that the Lord will show me if I should change the order or just my heart in this area.

  • This is an issue that has been discussed a great deal over the past three years. We are a church of 1300 but due to the culture and history of the church announcements still seem to be of importance. Here is the strategy we established for announcements:

    1) Pre-service announcements projected on screens final 10 minutes before service begins.
    2) Announcements in Sunday bulletins
    3) Rotation of pastoral staff (1 pastor p/Sunday) responsible for making announcements as the service begins.
    4) Announcements are limited to no more than (5) each week and for no longer than 5 minutes. As announcements are made during this period slides are projected on all screens to highlight announcement.
    5) At the conclusion of the worship service the same assigned rotation pastor follows the pastor’s conclusion with a quick 30 second reminder of all announcements before the dismissal prayer.

    Thus far, this seems to be working out quite well. Thanks for your article. It’s great to see how these issues affects other churches and are being addressed.

  • #7 all day long. This typically only happens from the more seasoned in our Church family. Not only announcements, but I am asked to read cards (of thanks, etc.) as well – which I respectfully decline. This happens less and less for me, thankfully. We don’t make announcements, unless it is related to a new Bible study or class that is offered, and then only once. I make it clear to everyone that if they want an announcement made – it has to be mission critical or they are given space in the bulletin/facebook/twitter/website, etc. That was a hard change for many as the Church used to be a small country feel Church, but now has many more people.

  • Great Post. We do announcements through 1 – 5 minute video. Group season it is the full time, some weeks it’s just 45 sec. We try to focus on three things a week and give them 30 sec. We utilize Adobe after effects to make them visually engaging and not a bunch of talking heads. For context we are a 400 person church and have been doing this since 325 or so.

  • I forgot to mention, we also posted the announcements in the church bulletin. That’s eight to nine times they are mentioned

    Adrian

  • Our church made announcements by facebook, monthly newsletter, video announcements before and after services, Sunday School. phonetree and our website. Each announcement is mentioned in each of the above means. That’s six to seven times. It would be difficult for anyone to miss the information. Besides, announcements should not be a part of the worship services. The services should focus on
    “Jesus”.

    In Jesus’ Name,
    Adrian

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