This past week, I had a conversation with someone about making announcements in the worship service. Here’s what I shared as well as some additional thoughts. They express my philosophy and approach. I view them as guidelines, not hard and fast rules. They are flexible and can be adapted as needed.
Publicity for a ministry and/or ministry event should make use of any and every medium possible and appropriate—brochures, posters, video, pictures, verbal announcements—pulpit or classroom, bookmark, bulletin board, letters, email, website, etc. The more the better, the more variety the better.
Announcements in the worship service should be reserved for church-wide events, or ones that touch at least half the church such as the women’s retreat. Announcements that affect a single class, small group, or team should be done through personal contact.
Pulpit announcements for a church-wide event should be limited to 2 weeks, or at the most 3 weeks, in a row. (This follows the law of diminishing returns.)
If the leader of a ministry ask to make the announcement themselves, it should be limited to one Sunday.
Announcements are good at communicating information, but they do not motivate people to participate. In contrast, the best recruiting is always a personal invitation. Whether asking people to serve in a ministry or attend a dinner, retreat, picnic, etc., people need and want to be personally invited.
While I am willing to include as many inserts and announcements in the bulletin as necessary, I believe we need to guard the opening of the worship service and limit the number of verbal announcements.
During the opening portion of the worship service, I want to be warm and welcoming, cast vision, and call people to worship. When making an announcement, I try to show how the upcoming event helps us accomplish our vision.
I believe the bulletin should be reserved for publicizing the ministry of FCBC. It should not be used for personal ads or publicizing the ministry of other churches, unless of course, we are partnering with another church for a ministry.
I try not to make announcements prior to my sermon. I will on rare occasions if it is an event that I want to encourage everyone to attend.