You can read Part 1 here.
A Theology of Announcements?
This Gospel-centered threefold lens way of thinking through all aspects of congregational life can be applied to any church activity, ministry, or decision. It constitutes an attempt to ensure that our congregational conduct is “in step with the truth of the Gospel” (Gal 2:14). It is possible to hold the proper doctrinal positions but to walk out of line with the Gospel. It is also possible to hold the correct doctrinal position in the abstract but to speak about practical matters in a way that is out of line with the Gospel. A commitment to the centrality and primacy of the Gospel in the church is not an exclusively cognitive matter. Do you have a theology of announcements at your church? Announcements are another one of those things that most church do but do not give any thought to in relation to the Gospel.
I will not work through the entire Gospel hermeneutics for life and ministry process again but I do want you consider the broad strokes of the way our approach informs and shapes how we do announcements in corporate worship. While the Bible does not specifically address announcements it has much to say about corporate worship. Redemptive history teaches us that corporate worship is unique and vital. Corporate worship is not simply a helpful way to gather individuals for spiritual edification but is a communal event in which we are “addressing one another” (Eph 5:19), “teaching and admonishing one another” (Col 3:16), and we “consider how to stir up one another to love and good works” (Heb 10:24).
All of our addressing, teaching, admonishing, and stirring up of one another in worship centers on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Without the person and work of Christ there are no worshippers. Eschatological fulfillment in the Kingdom of Christ reminds us of our blessed hope of consummation when all believers from every tribe, tongue, and nation will be gathered for eternal worship in a new heavens and new earth. But until that time we recognize that corporate worship gathering are to be a light to the nations and a call to all people to worship God through faith in the crucified and risen Christ (Is 2:2-4, 56:6-8, Ps 47, 100, 105, John 4:21-26, Acts 2, 1 Cor 14:24-25, 1 Pet 2:9). When we gather for as the body of Christ to worship our living head, Jesus the Christ, we do so with the awareness that unbelievers are present and listening.
These Gospel considerations shape the content of our announcements and shape what we say. Corporate worship is a unique communal blessing and what we say in the service, including what we say in the announcements, should reflect that reality. We only announce things that have to do with the entire congregation in the corporate worship service. For instance, we would not announce a deacons meeting because it is not a congregational event. Specific groups or ministry team leaders can communicate information to those specific groups outside of the context of the corporate worship service. We also assume that visitors, believers and unbelievers, will be present in the corporate worship service. All announcements in corporate worship should be communicated in a way that gets the first-time visitor up to speed and must be free of insider language where a visitor would feel alienated from what is being said. The announcements should reflect and help expose our heart for Gospel ministry and respect the visitors we know are there by including them rather than excluding them by the way we speak. What you say about any ministry or activity shapes the way your church culture thinks about it. In everything you do you want to cultivate a culture that is thinking and walking in line with the Gospel.