Too many "churches" are nothing more than community clubs. People come to hear announcements and/or reports of those in their group. The bearing that these reports have upon eternity or identity with the Living God is really incidental, and of no real consequence. The primary objective is the community report. More audience participation occurs at this time than at any other time. If a leader asks for testimonies of praise to God, a wave of silence sweeps across the audience. If requests for pray are solicited, detailed reports are given of those that are ill within that assembly. A call for announcements, however, is sure to activate a lot of otherwise unmovable people.

Candidly, it is not possible to support this approach to our assemblies with the Word of God. The primary news in the assembly is the Gospel, not updates on the affairs of the community.

This is not intended to be a condemnation of these activities. Rather, we are to see them as an area of vulnerability. They allow for distraction, opening the door of our hearts for the entrance of things that diminish the glory of Christ. This is not something over which disruption should be caused. It is, however, an area in which we must become sensitive. If we want our services to yield the great benefit, there must be a reduction of every distracting element, and a corresponding increase in our focus on things eternal.