007 – The Worst Part of Sunday Morning [Podcast]

The worst part of Sunday morning

photo credit: clipartbest.com


In this episode I talked about what is, in my opinion, the worst part of Sunday morning in most churches: THE ANNOUNCEMENT TIME.  I talked about some things I have actually seen and experienced when it comes to making announcements in the worship service that are probably, in all actuality, dis-incentives for people to be excited about and get involved in church activities and ministries. I also shared just a few simple principles and tips for making announcements not only tolerable, but powerfully effective.

Some things I have actually seen:

  • The unprepared announcement maker … often someone who has been assigned (I have seen a rotation of deacons do this) … reads from the bulletin … doesn’t have all the information, so he (or she) has to ask for more details … asks if anyone else has an announcement … opens the door to rabbit trails … personal agendas … hurt feelings
  • The unenthusiastic announcement maker … might as well be reading the ingredients on the side of a cereal box … shows no interest or enthusiasm … not only doesn’t have all the information, but gives the impression that he or she has no plans whatsoever to be personally involved
  • The unending announcement maker … THE MOST COMMON PROBLEM … too many announcements … tries to cover every possible church activity for the next month … research shows that you lose 50% attention with each subsequent announcement … if you have 80% attention on the first one (a miracle in itself), you’ll have 40% on the second, 20% on the third, 10% on the fourth … so what happens when you get to the tenth?
  • The irrelevant announcement maker … makes too many announcements that are only for a small fraction of the congregation … women’s Tuesday evening Bible Study … men’s Saturday morning coffee club … youth camp parent meeting … once someone tunes you out because an announcement doesn’t apply to them, you won’t get them back for one that does
  • The distracting announcement maker … when other things are going on while announcements are being made … movement in the room … set up on platform/beginning of service before people are settled/end of service when they are gathering purses, bibles, and children … such multi-tasking actually communicates that the announcements are only “filler” to avoid dead space … sometimes even announcements on the screen that are not the same as the one being spoken
  • The announcement making committee … this is where there is a line of announcement makers, each one with a difference focus, making announcements for things with which they are involved … the intent is good (to have people who are involved, enthusiastic, and informed making their announcements) … the results are similar to the unending announcement maker … too many … focus is all over the place … one is more enthusiastic or has warmer personality than another … not relevant to the entire congregation … once tuned out, you can’t get them back


Principles & Tips:

  • Be Strategic … Plan ahead of time
    • Who: Not just who is going to … who is the best person to make announcements … communicates well … winsome personality … believes in what he or she is announcing
    • What: What will be announced this week … what is happening soon enough that it is currently actionable … what is happening that really needs our congregation’s focus … especially, what is happening that is an application of the pastor’s message for this Sunday
    • How: How should announcements be made?
      • Spoken in the service … only those things that we want the entire congregation to focus on today … and no more than 2 or 3
      • Announced in Sunday School or small group meetings … detailed info (including who the contact person is) printed and given to group leaders
      • Printed in bulletin … coming events … announcements that are targeted toward subgroups within the congregation
      • Projected … only things that are current … powerful images with few words
      • Email during the week … google groups or yahoo groups are easy to set up and allow group members to share announcements with the entire list … email newsletter that always happens on a particular day so people are expecting it
      • Social media … Facebook, twitter, instagram … things that are immediate (if you are not using social media for your church, you should be … that doesn’t mean the pastor has to do it … someone in your church that enjoys it could be enlisted as the point person)
    • When … Sunday … weekday … what time of day (social media … when people are likely to be on social media) … day before an event reminder
    • Why … may be the most important question … helps answers all the rest … why is this the person who should make this announcement … why should this announcement be made … why should this one be spoken, printed, email, etc … why should this one be made Sunday or another day
  • Be enthusiastic … don’t expect involvement or excitement about something that church leaders are not involved and excited about

Resources Referenced:

The unSeminary Podcast

unSeminary – 8 Reasons People Aren’t Listening to Your Announcements

Thom Rainer – How to Make Announcements in Worship Services

How to set up a Google Group

How to set up a Yahoo Group

Keith Cooper (Guitar Music)


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