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what to do with announcements

Tim Scheiderer writes about the various ways local churches present their announcements on Sunday morning: "The problem with these delivery styles is that the stated motivations don’t match the glory and weight of what the congregation is being asked to participate in. The magnificent blessing of the event or service opportunity is masked by the mediocre delivery system. Churches shouldn’t take an event intended to display the truth of God and serve it on a platter of mediocrity.  We can do better."

And a long-time friend and fellow-pastor in New England recently sent the following out to his congregation:

Sometimes I feel like our Sunday mornings are becoming a stream of commercials or recruiting infomercials for favorite ministries. We are even probed more and more to “book” ministry teams from all kinds of good and profitable outreach organizations—even asking for a whole Sunday morning service to promote their ministry or share their experiences. They will even demand a certain minimum offering in order to come to our church to do this!  All of this places me in a feeling of some conflict. While I very much desire our church to be a hub for supporting all kinds of creative outreaches and missions (and we are), at the same time I feel like our Sunday morning worship should be completely devoted to directing focus to Him, our God, our Savior, our King and our Head. Worship is a unique experience for Christians. He is worth giving Him our complete focus, and that focus should be individually prepared for, entered into carefully and not too casually. Ideally preparation for Sunday morning could begin Saturday night, and then also not be rushed by other Sunday commitments. Indeed, we tread a fine line between legalism, rigidity and formalism on the one hand, but sloppy relaxation on the other. You will see me up front before the services, praying, settling my mind, singing the prelude song and re-calibrating my spirit. I sit up front to minimize distraction before we begin and to enjoy our worship team prelude song (not because I view myself as the head honcho). I try to get all my visiting and hello-giving done before that song begins. I usually wear a tie on Sunday mornings.  Isn’t that funny?  When I came to Christ in 1972 I was very much NOT that kind of guy. I don’t expect any other men to do that, but I just don’t feel completely comfortable without one. It is a tiny gesture towards the process of worship which says, “hey this is a special thing we’re doing, and it is a thing I rarely do for any other event.”  I suppose I am expressing my desire that we all privately and individually go out of our way to place the focus on the Lord on Sunday mornings.  New Christians will learn this from us.  Our kids will learn this from us.  Just a thing that is on my heart…



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