I was a little bit surprised that so many people spoke out in defense of announcements at church. I want to be clear that I’m talking about things that are generally covered in the “news” section of a church bulletin, and hopefully these days the church’s website and Facebook page*.
Announcements are dead wood. They should be cut. Like a pine forest. They should just be printed on literal dead wood.
I don’t buy into the whole “seeker sensitive” style service where everything is run for visitors and the people who are part of the church family are ignored. But if you’re spending 10 minutes reading out the handout that everybody is holding already** that’s 10 minutes of wasted time. You could, though I wouldn’t, fit three more songs or one long prayer in that time. There are myriad things that can be done in ten minutes that are more beneficial to church life than boring advertisements for things that are no doubt already boringly described in your boring newsletter.
You know what happens when church is boring – people fall out of windows and die. And Paul isn’t going to pop in and resurrect the poor souls that expire during your overly long promo of the church working bee.
* Here are some great tips from Mikey for how churches (and in fact any organisation) should use Facebook. He’s much better equipped than me to comment on this matter… I’ve only got 27 fans on my Facebook fan page after a week of relentless self promotion… you could become one now. It would make me feel special…
Here are some more Facebook friendly resources I found through Church Marketing Sucks… an e-book called “Facebook for Pastors” and a set of general principles on using Facebook for your business.
**And while I’m on that note – what’s with churches (not just ours, though it’s guilty here) being so miserly about the number of handouts they print. One per couple? Per day? Are you serious? My attendance isn’t worth 5 cents to you? You’re expecting me to “give generously” when the offering comes around and yet I have to share the handout…
I also miss handouts with sermon outlines written in them.