Length of message

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Salty, Jul 25, 2009.

  1. Salty

    Salty
    Expand Collapse
    20,000 Posts Club
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2003
    Messages:
    22,126
    Likes Received:
    220
    Some preacher will preach a message in less than 15 minutes, other will go an hour and half.

    What do you think is a good rule of thumb?

    Can a message be too short or toooooo long?

    Other thoughts?

    Salty

    ps I usually preach 30 - 45 minutes (then my tummy clock goes off :laugh:
     
  2. Crabtownboy

    Crabtownboy
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    Messages:
    16,632
    Likes Received:
    158
    A well constructed, well thought out short message is the best. Of course, it is also the hardest. A person can ramble on and on and loose his audience. As one preacher told me, "It is better leaving them saying, 'I wish he had talked longer' than have them saying, 'I though he would never shut up.' "
     
  3. sag38

    sag38
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Messages:
    4,394
    Likes Received:
    1
    I hate the saying, "Sermonetts make Christianettes." Mainly, because it isn't true. I've heard some pretty bad long sermons (some bad on theology and some terrible on delivery). Then again I've heard some phenomenal shorter sermons (excellent exegesis and right on delivery). Length of sermon, be it short or long, is not the determining factor. Whatever it takes to get the message across in an effective and relevant manner seems to be the best thing.
     
  4. Tom Bryant

    Tom Bryant
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2006
    Messages:
    4,439
    Likes Received:
    0
    someone once told me that the mind can only absorb what the seat can endure.

    I think it depends on the preacher. Some guys are finished long before they're done. Other guys can preach for 45-50 minutes and still have people stay with them.

    But like eerything else in the Lord's work, unless the Holy Spirit is involved and working in both the preacher and the congregation, it won't matter if the sermon is short or long. But when He is... the heavens come down.
     
  5. Mexdeaf

    Mexdeaf
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2005
    Messages:
    7,051
    Likes Received:
    0
    Award for best answer right here!:applause:


     
  6. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2004
    Messages:
    7,406
    Likes Received:
    99
    Depends on the preacher, depends on the audience.

    One of the best sermons I've ever heard was only 18 minutes long...another of the best sermons I've ever heard was 70 minutes long.

    Often the worst preachers I've heard prattle on and on with little true insight. I usually say if you can't get to your main point, inductively or deductively in 20 minutes you probably have too complex a point. This isn't a hard and fast rule of course.

    An engaging preacher can keep people engaged for much longer than one who struggles and has poor form.
     
  7. Berean

    Berean
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2006
    Messages:
    817
    Likes Received:
    1
    All sermons have a begining and an end , and the closer together the better. Where I heard this I can't recall
     
  8. Jim1999

    Jim1999
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/Jim1999.jpg>

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2002
    Messages:
    15,460
    Likes Received:
    0
    If you can't say it in 20 minutes, you prolly can't say it in 30.

    We expect people to attend through Sunday School, morning service, get home for lunch and back in early evening for Evening Service, and still ramble on for 30-55 minutes in the morning!

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  9. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Messages:
    38,332
    Likes Received:
    786
    When I was in India we preached to hundreds some days and thousands others who get up early, work in the fields all day and come in after dark. They would then sit on the ground or in plastic chairs to hear the wonderful gospel of Jesus Christ.

    In America many would not come if the A/C is not working, if they are not feeling all that well, or any number of trivial reasons. What a sorry state the church in America is in. Why does it not hunger for the gospel? Why is it so focused on convenience? So what if your backside gets tired? We are undisciplined whiners who have let our prosperity make us the wimps of the world. We have set aside our personal cross and hang on to the world much like the rich young ruler. No wonder this country is in moral decline.
     
  10. sag38

    sag38
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Messages:
    4,394
    Likes Received:
    1
    I hear what you are saying Rev. but length for the sake of length or discomfort for the sake of discomfort is just as wrong as insisting that there be a cold blowing AC or that the preacher finish early so everyone can beat the Methodists to the fried chicken. I've come to the sad realization that many folks in church are more worried about the setting on the thermostat than they are about there being lost folks in the community. We should be more concerned about the setting of the Holy Spirit and His moving in the service be it a ten minute or three hour sermon. When He gets to moving, from what I understand, no one cares about time or comfort.
     
  11. swaimj

    swaimj
    Expand Collapse
    <img src=/swaimj.gif>

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2000
    Messages:
    3,426
    Likes Received:
    0
    I usually preach 30-35 minutes, unless I have not prepared well. Then I preach 45-50. :laugh:
     
  12. blackbird

    blackbird
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2002
    Messages:
    11,898
    Likes Received:
    2
    30-45 minutes on average is the length of my messages------thats less than 2 quarters of a college/pro football game

    I would have to question anyones attention span if they can't stay up with the preacher in that short length of time!!!!! There's an epidemic of "spiritual" ADD 'round churches nowdays
     
  13. Bob Alkire

    Bob Alkire
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2001
    Messages:
    3,134
    Likes Received:
    0
    I would say it has a lot to do with the message and the pastor. I recall hearing Al Janney many times and if he gave a long or short message, you felt like it was short and to the point. Time went fast because of the content of the message, and you had a lot to think about.

    I've never heard along message from folks such as R.G. Lee, Adrian Rogers, W. A. Criswell to name a few.

    But most messages are long if your mind isn't into what is going on, but on work, the ballgame, or something else. On the other hand most messages are short if you mind is on worship and learning.
     
  14. Salty

    Salty
    Expand Collapse
    20,000 Posts Club
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2003
    Messages:
    22,126
    Likes Received:
    220
    I think using a ball game is not a great analogy.

    Keep in mind, how many times during a 9 inning game do you get up, use the rest room, buy food, ect, ect.

    Most pastors have fit if you even get up once during a service.
     
  15. menageriekeeper

    menageriekeeper
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2004
    Messages:
    7,152
    Likes Received:
    0
    If I am learning something, it matters not how long the sermon. If I'm not, 10 minutes is too long!

    And I agree that the ball game anology is a bad one. I don't even sit still for one entire quarter/inning even when it is my favorite team playing! lol AND if I'm watching, I'm usually also doing something with my hands. You should see the looks I get if I dare take my crochet work or smocking into a Sunday morning service! LOL Sunday nights and Wednesdays are the only days I can get away with that. :D
     
  16. drfuss

    drfuss
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2005
    Messages:
    1,692
    Likes Received:
    0
    drfuss: A good post. Long winded preachers using stray from the message and usaully end up spending too much time talking about things other than the Gospel.

    I have a salesman, Christian friend who says " The Pastor preaches 20-30 minutes and sells his points. If he goes beyond 45 minutes, he buys all his points back because the audience has lost interest and leaves thinking about something else."
     
  17. Dale-c

    Dale-c
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2006
    Messages:
    4,145
    Likes Received:
    0
    I did not check the time on the service today. I think it was about 45 minutes though and it was not a minute too long. But then when you are listening to a theologically rich sermon void of rabbit trails it is easy to sit and listen.

    Preachers can go too long. They can talk about irrelevant things too much. But if the pastor only preachrs for a few minutes then he has let the people down who came to hear the proclamation of the gospel. Of course often that happens when the people dont want more than 15 minutes.
     
  18. gb93433

    gb93433
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2003
    Messages:
    15,496
    Likes Received:
    6
    The right length of a sermon is to quit before the people do.

    An older pastor told me that a sermon should feel like it was 20 minutes long. Some preachers can make a 40 minute sermon feel like 20 minutes and others can make a 10 minute sermon feel 20 minutes.
     
  19. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2004
    Messages:
    7,406
    Likes Received:
    99
    One note that might be worth it is how a church will , over a time, grow to accept, expect, and anticipate a pastor's style.

    For instance, I served with Dr Charles Stanley for a time and he preaches for one hour every Sunday sermon. When we would have guest speakers who came in they would throw everybody for a loop when they only went 30 or 40 minutes.

    Maybe there is a give and take there. I'm not behind any definite rules on this because each communicator is unique.

    Ironically some of the more, um, emerging/ent preachers are also some of the most long winded...sort of goes with my thought it really isn't anything new. :)
     
  20. Tom Bryant

    Tom Bryant
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2006
    Messages:
    4,439
    Likes Received:
    0

    I had the same response after preaching in an African American church. I preached 40 minutes and at lunch afterwards the pastor said that they were surpised that I was so short winded. :laugh:
     

Share This Page

Loading...