Help! I’ve Been Asked to Deliver the Announcements
Delivering announcements can be intimidating, but thank God it’s less difficult than it sounds. What’s difficult is finding the humility to prepare well for what feels like a less-glorious part of the worship service.
What makes for good announcements? In four words, they should be specific, worshipful, credible, and brief.
The point of announcements is to make sure everyone knows the details about what’s happening and how to follow up. Though that information is probably available elsewhere, repetition keeps the group on the same page.
The most important details are those that answer the question, “What should I do if I’m interested?” This could sound like anything from, “Sign up in the lobby,” to, “Come to the information meeting this Tuesday at 7 p.m.” Give them specific details, and tell them exactly what to do next.
Often announcements are bemoaned as a distraction from worship—and they can be. But if everything a church does together is part of our worship, announcing them on Sunday should be also. In these announcements, we get to hear concretely how Scripture is moving this congregation to act together.
Sometimes, it helps to explicitly make the connection between worship and an announcement, but it’s partially conveyed through your tone. If there’s a baby shower tomorrow night, you probably don’t need to give a treatise on Psalm 127. But there should be a warmth in your tone that whispers, “God was so good to give this couple a baby.” Reverence is what keeps the moment worshipful for the whole room.
Enjoy the deep happiness of looking out upon the gathered people of God. It’s such a great view of the people you love! Enjoy it, keep your tone worshipful, and occasionally say something that connects the announcement to the work of God among them.
Sometimes, giving announcements is hard because they’ve just come off a stirring sermon, or a particularly moving set of songs. So where you place them is often just as important as what you say during them.
Some churches I know have sought to alleviate this, at least somewhat, by placing all the announcements at the beginning of the gathering, even before the Scriptural call to worship. This order of service isn’t inspired, but it does help to avoid the occasional awkwardness of, “Do I really have to do announcements after that?”
Give the announcement. Then stop.
The easiest way to be specific, worshipful, distinct, and brief is to prepare. Familiarize yourself beforehand with the details of the announcements and the order you’ll say them in. Unless your job has you speaking in public regularly, practice delivering the announcements.
Your church probably has a standard way to give the announcements. If it helps, here’s what we do.
First, we start by saying in a different way each week, “Good morning, we are here today to…” This is our chance to remind everyone why we have gathered–to worship Jesus.
Second, the speaker introduces himself. “If you don’t know me, my name is _________, and I’m _____________________ (role at the church).”
Third, we greet newcomers. We say something like, “If you’re a guest with us, I want you to know that we consider your presence here an answer to prayer. We’re so glad you’re here.” That newcomer may feel uncomfortable, but let them at least think to themselves, “I can tell these people are glad I’m here.”
Finally, we invite people to turn to the page in the bulletin where the announcements are found, and then we walk through them in chronological order, unless there’s a pastoral priority to highlight first.
Announcements may be understated, but good ones set the tone for a worship service and keep the congregation informed. The time it takes to do them well is worth it.