The reproach of too many meetings is the making of announcements. Let it be clear that the gathering of the saints is not a time for the community bulletin board, as sacred as it may appear. Making announcements is particularly absurd when it consists of reading things that are already written in the traditional bulletin. The vast majority of announcements that I have heard have had very little to do with the work of the Lord. Too often this time consists of an update on everyone that is ill, with extensive apologies for not being aware of how additional people were "under the weather." I am not sure where all of this originated, but I am sure it was not prompted by a word from Scripture.

If the purpose of the assembly is to give us an advantage in the good fight of faith, why is so much time spent speaking of things that actually detract from that accomplishment? In my judgment announcements should be made that alert people to divine commitments. What about announcing, "God is our Refuge and Strength, a very present help in the time of trouble" (Psa. 46:1). Announcements should be made that are harmonious with the reason for our gathering. Everything not immediately related to the faith-life should be held in abeyance.

If we leave our assemblies thinking of the announcements that have been made, we have been disarmed. This is not the time or the place to be brought up to date on the activities and plights of our friends. Spirit, not flesh, is to dominate our assemblies. Jesus said, "the flesh profiteth nothing" (John 6:63).

A period given to extensive announcements opens the door for more evil than good. I have often observed that people noted for remarkable silence during a discussion of the things of the kingdom become a veritable warehouse of information at announcement time.

Recently, I have noticed a period of time allotted to announcements at the conclusion of the service. I realize that people are well meaning, but they are not wise. Believers should leave the assembly with the Word of God on their mind, burning in their hearts. But, alas, this is not so when we close with multitudinous announcements. Here we leave with an acute awareness of earthly activities, the problems of fellow members, and the incidental schedule of events for the coming week. This effectively neutralizes the power of God's Word, diverting the attention of the people to matters of lesser consequence. So, while the godly minister has labored to rise above the mundane, the services close with us being dragged down into that realm again. Such results should be taken more seriously. They are hindrances to the people, although they were given in professed consideration of them.

Announcements can be posted on the bulletin board. Those that are not interested enough to read them, do not need to hear them. I understand that we stand the risk of offending some "well meaning" people. But if they are offended by the exclusion of earthly things in favor of a heavenly focus, they are not "well meaning." On the other hand, a misplaced focus will incur the disfavor of God. If faced with a decision on these things, our assemblies must decide whose favor they prefer.