Members falling asleep

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by Tim_D, Nov 19, 2006.

  1. Tim_D

    Tim_D
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    I am having trouble with people falling asleep in the services. I don't want to be a circus act but i am no Ben Stein either. I don't know what else to do. I keep the room at a "moderate" temperature. I walk away from the podium as to "keep attention". I don't know. I talked to these members on the side, and they say apologize and the next service...they are :sleep:


    :1_grouphug: discussion please.




    (iceyHot worked but i don't think it is good to use again):BangHead:
     
  2. LeBuick

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    Is it only during your messages?

    How about other parts of the service?

    How about with visiting preachers?
     
  3. Tim_D

    Tim_D
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    No


    :tonofbricks:
     
  4. Tom Bryant

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    Videotape your messages and sit down and watch them. Get a friend whose love and friendship you don't question to critique them: not for content but for style and voice inflection.
     
  5. LeBuick

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    Do you have any sermons online that we can listen? Don't need written, audio would help a lot.

    I wouldn't suggest a show but I am sure guys here will have suggestions?
     
  6. Trotter

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    It may not be your messages. Late nights, sleep patterns (I work thirds and can couch for that one), sleep apnea... all of these can make someone nod off.
     
  7. Tim_D

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    Good Point.:godisgood:
     
  8. Tim_D

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    http://victorybiblebaptistchurch.com/sermon_index.htm


    MIND of Christ

    Comfort in Suffering
     
  9. Tim_D

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    I could understand that. I worked loooooong hours too. I may be reaping what I sowed earlier.:thumbsup:
     
  10. SBCPreacher

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    I have some older members who are on medications that make them sleepy. Could that be the case?
     
  11. LeBuick

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  12. Tim_D

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    I am not counting ANYTHING out.

    One is 51 and has no Job.
     
  13. Jim1999

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    These might be the same people who nod off watching a telly show that goes on and on for at least a half hour.

    Then, people who work out of doors all the time have difficulty keeping awake indoors..farmers, field works and such, even construction workers.

    I know one pastor who had this problem. He learned to whisper parts of his message just to get attention and then raise the voice,,not shouting,,just raising the voice to keep that attention, followed by a colourful story that relates to the message.

    Mr. Spurgeon said that illustrations are the windows of truth. Sometimes we need large and wide open windows throughout the message.

    Speak in short sentences, and repeat the point in different phrases, with good voice modulation.

    Charles Dickens used very long sentences, but the average audience can only handle short sentences....listen to a well delivered political speech.....always short terse sentences that make a point,,,then elaborated...

    I don't use pa systems. I found that they create the right intonation conducive to sleeping.

    Introduce a hymn mid-way through your sermon just to get people standing.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  14. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    Does Jonathan Swift's message "On Sleeping in Church" have any merit here ;)?

    http://4umi.com/swift/sermons/2.htm

     
    #14 NaasPreacher (C4K), Nov 20, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 20, 2006
  15. standingfirminChrist

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    A good policy to adhere to is 'Sunday morning begins Saturday night'. If you get into this mindset, you will want to get to bed early enough to get the rest needed so as to not fall asleep during services.

    If you do have congregants that sleep during services, be pleased. After all, Psalm 127:2 says the Lord delights in giving His beloved sleep. Your parishoner is just proving that he is loved by the Lord!:thumbs:
     
  16. Scarlett O.

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    I think this is a good idea.

    One of the best things that ever happened to our faculty at school was when some of us decided to video-tape each other teaching and interacting with the students. We took the tapes home and watched ourselves. We all saw room for improvement and it was quite enlightening watching ourselves from the viewpoint of the student.

    Are these the same people falling asleep? It may not be you, brother. It could be a whole lot of factors.
     
  17. LeBuick

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    Well, my Donkies lost so I didn't listen till today... I like to pray and be in the right spirit before the preaching.

    First I will say you are a good preacher, you are studied and present the material with authority. You have humor and use your voice well. You are not "canned" or sound like your preaching someone else's sermon (well, maybe your wife since she writes the outlines and keeps you strait :)) You don't say you, you, you need to but instead say we, we, we need to. This is a good thing. You don't want to preach at people.

    First sermon was 43 and second 46. You may want to get them inside of 30 mins. Don't ask me how to do that cuz I'm working on this myself. :)

    Pacing... Slow down. Give time for things to soak in. Give time for things to register in our minds. Give us time to think. I find I'm trying to visualize what you're saying then I feel I may get left because you keep going. You make some very good points but without the time for it to soak in they just mix in with the other words. Most minds are like file cabinets, you give us a label for the folder then give us time to put everything neatly inside. Rush and we'll have messy files or won't know where anything is.

    You have good natural places to pause, for instance in the first sermon you made a joke about your wife being perfect. Pause. Give us time to get the joke. Your Church is willing to talk back to you so someone like me may have said, "all wives are perfect" there would have been more laughing to lighten the room then move to your next point. I like to interact.

    You later asked "what is Charity"? Great question. Pause, give us time to come up with two or three answers of our own. Repeat the question slowly two or three times. Reword the question if complicated? Now when you begin to answer the question, we'll be listening closely to see if our answers matches yours. You'll see this by a few heads knodding yes or someone may lift a hand in agreement. Some of these people been in Church 30, 40 or more years, some of the message should be familiar.

    Lastly... Serve less meat. This will help points 1 and 2. You read a lot of scripture then don't take time to associate the verse(s) to the subject or to explain how the verse is relevant. Preaching is like feeding guest, you want to have fixings along with the meat. People want vegetables, starches. I like gravy with my mash potato and bread with every meal. A lot of meat is heavy, heavy theology and will put folks to sleep. Try to serve meals...

    Use more analogies, stories, things that help you develop and prove your point. Keep repeating your point. You did this better in comfort in sufferings as you kept prooving you can't find comfort for others unless you go through that sufferings. Listen to your first point in that message. That is excellent authority and mastery of the subject. I'd rather have two or three well explained points than than a whole lot of scripture that I don't understand.

    Also, bringing less meat will help you slow down because you won't feel rushed and your sermons will shorten up by default.

    Remember, you don't have to serve it all at one meal, they'll be other times to preach. You can't be afraid to cut off half way through and come back with part 2if necessary.

    Hang in there Brother and remember to always give God the Glory!

    Your Brother in Christ,

    Chuck
     
  18. Baptist Believer

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    I certainly appreciate your willingness to be balanced. As others have suggested, seek counsel to determine what steps you can take to become a better communicator. Whether we have been preaching for 6 months or 60 years, there is always room for improvement.

    But most of all, don't get discouraged about it. Even the Apostle Paul had people dropping off (literally) when he went on longer than some of the congregation could endure:

     
  19. Tim_D

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    WOW!!

    Thank you Chuck for taking time to listen to my situation and then helping in giving me points to ponder.


    Can you tell i never went to homiletics class?:smilewinkgrin:
     
  20. LeBuick

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    No, didn't notice. Then you have the God given gift so stay in there...

    Not like Paul and preach um to death but preach um to life instead... (I forgot about that one BB :laugh: :laugh: )

    PS... Hey BB, you think the people did that one finger up in the air thing when they snook out on Paul? Where did we get that from?
     
    #20 LeBuick, Nov 20, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 20, 2006

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