Vol.XVIII No.IX Pg.8
November 1981

Stuff About Things

Robert F. Turner

Years ago I preached for a church whose elders were good men, but were seldom before the church in a public way. To begin correction of this failure, I urged them to make all public announcements for a few months. One man was reluctant to do so, for he said he had difficulty "thinking on his feet," but he agreed to try it.

When his turn came he began, "We have our regular evening services tonight at — at — What time are those services bro. Turner?" I told him the time, and he repeated it.

"And on Tuesday morning bro. Turner has a large Ladies Bible Class which meets — let's see, it meets — Where does that class meet bro. Turner?" I supplied the information.

"Then on Wednesday night, we are studying — studying — What is our lesson Wednesday night bro. Turner?" I told him, and he repeated each word.

"And now, we will have one more song, and then bro. — bro. — bro. —" I told him my name was Turner, and he said, "Yes, bro. Turner will then speak to us." We tried hard to be sympathetic, for we loved the man dearly; but it is so hard to sympathize and laugh at the same time. Knowing we loved him, he laughed with us.

But "Announcements" continued to be difficult for him, and for many others. Of course, proper notes would help — not only to remember, but to organize, and give clear and concise information. Notes keep us from missing some important item, and from wandering about endlessly, wasting time that could be put to better use. They help the beginner to do a good job, and gain confidence for future work.

Announcements offer opportunities for some exhortation and edifying but as a rule this should be held to a minimum. Hasty, off-the-cuff remarks may do more harm than carefully prepared teachers can correct.

This does not say, however, that announcements are for men of small abilities. I have often said, "Anybody can preach, but it takes a very good man to make announcements." We really mean, men should prepare themselves well, to do a good job of whatever needs to be done.