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Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Salty, Dec 17, 2011.
How long does the message normally last in your church?
Most of my sermons are in the 25-35 minute range.
Most of mine are between 35-45 minutes long. Of course, my wife says that the sermon was done long before I quit preaching.:tongue3:
I can't say I time them each week (although I have teasingly done so when our pastor says, "this one is going to be short....the last "short" message was 35 minutes) but we begin at 11 and we are rarely dismissed before 12:45...so 30 minutes before he starts preaching means...ahh an hour or so of preaching. I can honestly say it's so good I don't ever see anyone looking at their watch.
Long enough to get the point across, but short enough not to lose the crowd!
Normally 45-60 minutes. Too often, I feel this is not enough time and wish we would have more time available. Our worship service normally begins about 10:45 and ends at 12:15.
I really enjoy a preacher that introduces personal insights to include his experiences over the years. Heart felt little tid-bits of life, a little humor on occasion. You know, a down to earth and friendly kind of speaker. The more "formal" the message, the longer it is.
I am fairly consistent at around 35-40 minutes.
I write a sermon manuscript for every sermon with about the same number of pages, formatted the same way. I then deliver mostly without notes, but use the notes only to keep on track and for quotes that need to be spoken correctly. The time may varry a bit in actual delivery versus what I have written as does the content actually delivered.
50-55 minutes. All on line at www.sovereigngracechurch.com (although the last one was 57 minutes and really dull)
I preach expositionally and it takes time to deal with the verse(s) to be certain that the message and application is God's and not Bob's.
I prefer a good, tight, well thought our 15 to 20 minute sermon. It is harder to preach short sermons, but your congregation will be more attentive. Go over 30 minutes and you are going to loose the attention of most of the people. I have gotten into the habit of taking notes. It keeps me more attentive to what is being said. I met a man from England who had numerous small black books filled with notes from sermons he had heard. He had notes on every sermon he had heard for something like twenty years.
In fact, they may have "fried preacher for lunch". :laugh:
People can sit through a 90 minute movie but that do not have the attention span to sit through a God ordained message for more than 15 or 20 minutes? I don't buy it. In fact it is just flat out not true.
I have been known to preach as little as 15 minutes and as long as 60. I do not set a time but preach the message God gives me. No more no less.
IMHO there is a huge difference between a sermon/lecture and a movie/play/concert. I really believe a movie with one person giving a sermon or lecture would be a real bust at the box office. But a movie like "The Robe" will keep the attention of the audience for several hours.
Since our primary preaching venue is our Sunday services we want to prioritize effective communication. Given our context and method we try to keep preaching to 20 to 25 minutes. We try to prioritize spiritual growth through our groups ministry and believe our Sunday services are a doorway to those environments.
It's not personal. It's not a slur against pastors.
Yes, people can sit and be entertained for 90 minutes. And yes, those same people will have trouble listening to one person lecture for 60 minutes.
Apples and oranges.
Let's not reduce it to less than what it is. It is not just one person lecturing for 60 minutes. It in most cases is the Word of God being delivered. so yes it is apple and oranges. One is bears an eternal importance and the other is frivolous. If we can give attention to the lesser than what a shame we will not give the same or greater attention to what is most important.
You make a very valid point that I agree wholeheartedly with.
I guess my point is this. As a passive pew-sitter with 50 years of experience with listening to preachers - be they brilliant or not, inspired or not, learned or not - it comes down to this.
Sometimes when I have listened to a man preach past the 40 minute mark and head into the 60 minute mark - I can usually carve his sermon into at least two separate ones. And sometimes - not all of the time - the really long sermons are too long because they are so highly repetitive and/or full of too many anecdotes or unrelated material.
I have heard the rare hour+ sermon that was totally life-changing. Short sermons don't always mean quality and long sermons don't always mean overload.
I've taught school for 29 years, conducted chapel at a Christian school for 4 years, taught bible classes for 4 years, have taught Sunday School for over two decades, and have spoken at various Christian women's groups. I know what it's like to become so euphoric and excited about what God is revealing to me. And I always want to share it all - right NOW! :flower:
But I've learned that I have to keep in mind my very passive listeners and to consider their ability to absorb excessive amounts of material in one sitting.
A preacher should preach according to how God directs him. And yet, he should also be aware of the receptiveness of his listeners.
He should but we need not assume that the time length automatically means a poor sermon. And a sermon can be poor regardless of the length.
If you cant say it in 20 minutes you're just being verbose...when it comes to public proclamation on Sundays.
I'll be honest, I struggle condensing things to 20 - 25 minutes. But I also don't try to preach three messages on Sunday mornings. As a communicator my goal is to 1) faithfully proclaim God's Word, 2) exhort the body, and 3) give people something to do with what has been said.
Nobody can honestly say sitting and listening to someone for 30 minutes is like watching a football game for 30 minutes. It isn't nearly the same thing.
When I teach in non-Sunday morning times I will, generally, take longer and get into the text more deeply. The challenge Sunday is how can we faithfully proclaim in a way that leaves people with something to remember and apply?
Says who? That is a ridiculous claim.
I don't preach beyond noon in the morning, and about 25 minutes in evening.