Service Planning: Sermonized Announcements
Even the most Oscar-worthy announcement risks a thumbs down response, no matter how well it’s done. In some circles, the idea of movie announcements in church is as sinful as the organ, drums and guitars have been (or even still are?).
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Team Management ResourceWorship Facilities Magazine, September-October 2017
The September-October 2017 issue of Worship Facilities Magazine offers a glance at a Granger Community Church, and their recent install of a Lawo audio mixing console system.
“Then Boaz announced to the elders and all the people…” Ruth 4:9 (New International Version)
It’s the snarkiest of times, it’s the most troublesome of times. It’s time for the church announcements, the bane of a worship planner’s planning. What to do!
You could mention them at the start of the service of worship, like the preshow curtain speech in theater. But then, the people don’t hear them.
That’s because they’re getting settled waiting for the real show to start … the music; the real worship, you know?
Or for the music to stop. That could be another 10 minutes. More people would be in the audience to hear them. But then … ?
If the announcements are in the middle of the service, either before or after the sermon, they interrupt the tone set up by the music to receive the message, or the ability to reflect on it afterward.
If they are after the decision-making, maybe tied in with the offering, they run the risk of being dismissed as a superfluous afterthought. These days with so many announcements being produced as mini-movies, that can be demoralizing, running the risk of an unhappy video ministry.
On the other hand, even the most Oscar-worthy announcement risks a thumbs down response, no matter how well it’s done. In some circles, the idea of movie announcements in church is as sinful as the organ, drums and guitars have been (or even still are?).
At best, announcements have become the annoying white noise between the sermon and the parking lot release; at worst, they are akin to audio-cranked, strobe-paced TV commercials that blur the line between the kingdom and the world — “We interrupt our Worship of God to bring you this news about us.”
Even if it’s the next-to-last item in the itinerary before the day’s exodus, there’s visual cacophony– often boisterously written on the congregation’s faces — when hearing a James Earl Jonesian announcer (the Voice of God?) intone, “We return you now to our regularly scheduled service of worship.”
That leaves a gamut of announcement options. These vary according to a church’s size, resources, expectations and clock-watchers: keep them short in passing; interweave throughout the elements, just don’t do them. Let people read the bulletin or go online. Enough with the tongue-in-cheekiness.
However they’re presented, however much creativity and energy is spent, even if they’re diligently absorbed by the most steadfast listener, the question remains: Do our “announcements” fit the idea of a service of worship, which is focusing on God?
Latest ResourceWorship Facilities Magazine, November-December 2017
The November-December 2017 issue of Worship Facilities Magazine offers a review of the 49 New Product Award entries this year, as well as those entries up for Solomon Awards in 2017.