The Seven Deadly Sins of Church Announcements

Have you ever had a cringe moment listening to church announcements?

Most of you are probably nodding your head affirmatively.

So what are the biggest factors in bad church announcements?

Here are seven of the deadliest:

1. Not beginning on time. 

Most church announcements precede the worship service. If they begin late, the entire service is thrown out of kilter.

2. Not being scripted. 

It is best for the person making announcements to have a verbatim script that he or she has rehearsed. For the more accomplished speakers, detailed notes are a minimum.

3. Going too long. 

Announcements should be crisp, clear, and brief. Don't take time away from prayer, music, and preaching in the worship service.

4. Trying to be funny. 

Church announcements are not the place to try your infamous humor. And don't try to tell jokes. You will go too long and the jokes will probably fall flat.

5. Speaking in code.

Here is an example of an announcement made in code: "The MYPL will meet in Santuck 183 instead of their regular place. If you have any questions, you can ask Dorothy who will be at her usual spot after the service."

Here is a clear test to make sure you aren't speaking in code: Could a first-time guest understand exactly what you are saying if they knew nothing about your church?

6. Asking others for information in the announcements. 

Have you ever been in a church service where the person making announcements says something like these words: "Hey, Jim, how long do you think your meeting will last on Monday night?"

Cringe moment. Awkward moment. Bad announcements.

7. Taking personal privilege. 

I once spoke at a church where the man making announcements decided "to take a moment of personal privilege." He then proceeded to tell us about his double hernia surgery, and how grateful he was for the prayers. He even got choked up and had to pause for an interminable moment. Don't get me wrong. The sentiment was nice. And hernias are nothing to laugh about. Especially double hernias. But the announcements were really not the place and time for his comments.

Some churches are avoiding the "announcements risk" by eliminating them altogether. Instead they are keeping announcements confined to the newsletter, website, emails, or texts. Other churches have video announcements, either recorded in house or by an outside firm.

Originally posted at thomrainer.com.

Dr. Thom Rainer is president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.