An interesting comment

Discussion in 'Baptist History' started by rlvaughn, Aug 7, 2003.

  1. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn
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    Last night I visited a revival meeting at a nearby church. The man who was preaching is 90 years old, and within his sermon he made a comment about how revivals "used to be." He referred back to the days when he remembered the meetings lasting two or even three weeks. He also mentioned that most of the churches were only "quarter-time" (met once a month), but that the preachers commonly preached 1-1/2 to 2 hours. He went on to say that though the churches were only quarter-time, the people probably got as much preaching then as they do now. I had never thought of that, and I found it intriguing. I quickly formulated a comparison of this group of churches now & then.

    Now the churches meet twice on Sunday & on Wednesday night. Wednesday is prayer meeting, so the sermons are usually only Sunday am & pm, about 30 minutes each. In addition, the annual revival meeting is usually Mon-Fri, with 30 minute sermons each night. So we have 1 hour for 52 weeks of regular meetings plus 2-1/2 hours from revival services. If figured correctly, this comes to a total of the regular attendees hearing 54.5 hours of sermonic material.

    Then the churches met one weekend a month, usually on Saturday night & Sunday morning. Accepting the lower figure of 1-1/2 hour sermons, this comes to 36 hours of sermons from regular meetings. Also accepting the lower time with the only two week revivals comes to 21 hours of sermons from revival meetings. The total of hearing sermonic material for them is 57 hours. Actually most of the revival meetings had two services - morning & night - so that would add even 21 more hours, for a grand total of 78 hours.

    So among the missionary Baptists of east Texas, the old folks back in the 30's in quarter-time services actually heard more preaching than their counterparts in the 21st century. No major point - I just found this interesting and thought it would be contrary to our common notions.
     
  2. dianetavegia

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    Sir, that is so astounding! I can't tell you how many of the folk in my S/S class only attend Sunday mornings and complain because our preacher goes on for an hour or so......

    May I share this with my church family? I have the emails of hundreds out of the almost 1,000 members and I think it speaks volumes.

    Dine
     
  3. Jim1999

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    Is it how long we preach, or how well we present what we preach?

    Times are different. Not many years ago, Sunday was the Lord's Day, even in non-Christian life. Church attendance was a major feature. To-day, we cram so much of living in those same hours. I am not sure it is meaningful living, but nontheless time taken.

    Our attention span is geared to the telly...an advert every ten minutes and half-hour visual programming. We do adjust to the times. With this in mind, will people hear a twenty minute sermon in an hour of preaching?

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  4. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn
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    Diane, you are certainly welcome to share that if you like. Though it was not an exact quote, you still might wish to know the name of the man who made the comment. His name is O. H. Griffith. I believe he said he was ordained in 1936. I can find out for sure tonight.

    Jim, I might clarify that the speaker was neither advocating a return to quarter-time church nor 2 hour sermons. He was merely making an observation that those people in that day got a lot more preaching than one might suppose, given they met only one weekend per month. Certainly the quality is more important than the quantity. From reading after some of those old elders, I don't think the quality was lacking.
     
  5. Walls

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    Our church has an hour 1/2+ of preaching, dinner and fellowship then an hour of preaching each week, at mid week prayer service there is usally 30-45 min of preaching. So that would be 3-4 hours a week (not counting special services or Bible teaching class)x52 =156-208 hours a year.
     
  6. Bro. James Reed

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    I've been to two church meetings(what some might call a revival, but I wouldn't) in the past two weeks. Thursday evening through Sunday afternoon both weekends. The only breaks we had were for meals and, obviously, sleep. I want to tell you I can't remember the last time I felt so full of the spirit.

    BTW, I can't remember the last time I heard an Elder preach for only 30 mins. Why, even I, an unordained young man, went on for 1 hr. 45 mins. once. Maybe I should take my watch into the stand next time...NAH. [​IMG] I see what everyone's saying about quality not quantity, but it takes our preachers the first 30 minutes just to get warmed up. I can't wait for Sunday to get here. [​IMG]

    God Bless. Bro. James
     
  7. Frogman

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    It would seem as though the time between meetings caused the Gospel fire to burn in those elders of that day.

    Bro. Dallas Eaton
     
  8. Jacob

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    I think today many Christians also listen to Christian radio and TV programs. I know I listen to at least 2 radio programs a day. This would qualify as "sermonic" material.

    Jacob.
     
  9. Salty

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    Lets see, a two hour sermon once a month, or a 1/2 hour sermon per week?
    Suppose we subistute the word meal for sermon.
    Lets see, a two hour all-you-can-eat buffet once a month, or a 1/2 hour typical dinner weekly? I think I would go for the weekly dinner! (And remember, some months have 5 weeks!)

    SEVEN DAYS WITHOUT CHURCH MAKES ONE WEAK
     
  10. go2church

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    I remember those week long revivals...lot's of good naps!
     
  11. tyndale1946

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    Brother Robert... That is interesting to have a meeting last two to three weeks... But how many take their vacation times in these days and times to go to a revival?... Now Old Baptist of the Primitive kind have 5th Sunday meeting or Associations but then again time is the factor. Maybe not just time but priorities and where are they and what are ours?... What enabled those to meet in those days for 78 hours?... What disables us not to meet for those 23.5 hours that are lacking.

    Should we look at it that way... We have radio's... tv's... cd's... tapes and the internet and can call up past sermons with the click of a mouse or the turn of a button... We can hear a sermon live and right from the source at the time... A point of fact we may be able to find in written form if it was penned down some of the sermons talked about by Brother Robert to read. Don't know haven't researched it but who is to say some of them were not published for those unable to attend in the church papers.

    Can we actually say with absolute conviction that those during that day had better preaching?... Can't say I was not there but we know one thing in those meetings and revivals God got the praise and the glory. I suppose we could say that the people of God who attended those meetings that the worship of God was their highest priority. There are so many things today to take us away from the worship of God but were they any less than in the 30's... Has 73 years changed the way we worship God?... Are we more or less zealous?... Brother Glen [​IMG]
     
  12. gb93433

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    In the first church I pastored we has Sunday School for one hour and a service for one hour. Each week the majority of people were in a Bible Study that lasted two hours. They had to prepare about 2 hours for that study. So each week they interacted with scripture and each other about the Bible about 5-1/2 hours each week. Once a month we knocked on doors as a church for about two hours on a Saturday. Some of those people in Bible studies also led other studies with people in the community.

    Know any revivals that would come closee to that?
     

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