Monday, May 21, 2012
Pastor, Can I Make A Quick Announcement?
The first time that I saw Ricky Smiley do his character, Sister Bernice Jenkins the Church Announcement Clerk, I fell out on the floor laughing. I laughed so hard because of the very realistic portrayal of the announcement clerks in some of our churches. I mean, seriously, how many of us groan when we see the announcement clerk get up to read this laundry list of announcements that are PRINTED in the bulletin? I know that I inwardly cringe! I want to run out of the church. Sometimes, I leave and check my make-up, touch up my hair, use the restroom or whatever else I can think of. Lord forgive me, but I my patience is not that long.
The announcements are an important piece to the service. There are things that we need to know, for example: We need to know if the mass choir has to follow the pastor to a church. We need to know if Sister Beatrice is still in the hospital or at home. We need to know if there is an important church meeting that is being held. What we DON'T need to know is if Sister Beatrice was in the hospital due to hemorrhoids. We DON'T need to know about your two year old's potty training successes. We DON'T need to know EVERY LITTLE DETAIL!
Although, the previous issues give me a pounding headache, the worse for me are the people that jump up and say, "Pastor, can I make a quick announcement?" These people don't know what quick is. Quick to them is speaking, for what seems to be 15 minutes and then they have the nerve to take questions from the congregation. Now to me, the spirit of worship has been replaced by an impromptu business session!
A wise pastor once told me that as preachers, we are sort of like cheerleaders. We are to lead the team (congregants) into worship. We are to help "pump them up" and keep the worship flowing. Okay, I can do that, but I have discovered that after the announcements, it's a hard thing to rally the team back into worship.
So, where do you put the announcements? I can't stand them being in the middle of worship service. Maybe the beginning? Would work if people would come to church ON TIME and not come at the beginning of the first selection. I wonder if the clocks in their houses work or if it's because of the new outfit that they want us all to see. Maybe put the announcements at the end? Nope. I rather love the benediction. Leave church with your blessing and not a bunch of info that no one retains. Because trust me, someone will call me on Monday and ask me, "Rev, what time is the meeting on Saturday?"
I would do announcements before Praise and Worship or Devotions (it's a matter of what your church does, mine does Praise and Worship). Sure, some people won't be there to hear them, but maybe if they miss enough of them they will get to church on TIME. I just want uninterrupted worship. I don't want to quench the Spirit if it's high.
I realize the need for announcement time, but I don't see the need to stop my praise just to listen to them.