Preaching time limits

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by NaasPreacher (C4K), Mar 29, 2004.

  1. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K)
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    This thought was provoked by a comment in another thread.

    When speaking in a church where you are not the pastor and the pastor asks you to keep to a time limit, how important is that to you?

    Do you strive to stay as close to his limit as possible?

    Do you preach on with the feeling that the Holy Spirit is leading?

    Does that pastor have the right (not sure that is the right word) to limit your preaching time?
     
  2. USN2Pulpit

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    I would always respect the pastor's instruction. He is the pastor and shepherd of that church body. Most pastors, however, would be open to an extension of time if you thought the Spirit was truly leading. This would be something to work out in advance though.

    But absolutely, I would submit to the pastors authority in this matter.
     
  3. j_barner2000

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    In my defense.... As a pastoral intern and a relatively inexperienced preacher I planned for about 15 mins. I did my best to keep it under 20 minutes, but, unfortunately, had no watch on and the clock was stuck. With no clock to reference, I lost track of time and my wife told me I went 35 mins after I got into the car.

    I was surprised because I normally only go for about 15 mins.
     
  4. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K)
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    No defense needed barner - you statement just got me to thinking. I have heard views from both sides over the years.
     
  5. j_barner2000

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    I know... I do not make a habit of preaching overtime, though, but there are times that a man "feels compelled" to say more than he had planned. That was one of them and I was told someone who was struggling with an issue needed to hear some of the stuff I said unplanned.
     
  6. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K)
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    Hmm, I see your point on that.

    However, I do feel firmly that if a man has graciously shared "his" pulpit with me I should always accede to his wishes.

    The Holy Spirit, IMHO, can do His work in the time I am given if I am faithfully expounding His Word.
     
  7. onestand

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    Keep in mind, the Holy Spirit is not going place overtime preaching on one pastor's heart and not the pastor in charge...both will sense the leading of the Holy Spirit and go with it.
     
  8. j_barner2000

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    The pastor said it was fine afterward. He was aware that I was being led and there were some who told him afterward they needed to hear what I was led to share.
     
  9. Trotter

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    I have found when the Spirit is doing the speaking, time flies by. But when I am doing the speaking, it stands still.

    Translation: If the Lord is supplying, get comfortable.

    In Christ,
    Trotter
     
  10. JAY WILL

    JAY WILL
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    i don't beleive in putting time limits on a pastor, because when you do that your putting a time limit on God, and besides if Gods truely amoung your flock than everyone should be caught up in the message put on the preachers heart and now worrying about the time.............
     
  11. GODzThunder

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    If you are a guest in the Church you must remember that God made the pastor the shepherd and the pastor alone. If the Pastor gives you allowence to preach and gives you a time limit then it is biblical to respect that.
     
  12. USN2Pulpit

    USN2Pulpit
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    That's what I'm saying, GODzThunder.
     
  13. NateT

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    I'm curious. How often of an occurence is it that the pastor of the church you are preaching at is actually there? I think I have done this two times. My first sermon was this way and my sermon where I was licensed was this way. And this weekend for my going away will be that way. However, by and large it is an anomally that it happens that way. Even when I've filled in for pastors who are gone on vacation, they have basically left me with no instructions other than the time the service starts.

    I've had members tell me what time they normally get out, but never had a pastor tell me to only preach for X minutes.

    However, I think I agree with the bulk of the comments above. If a pastor asked me to preach for only 20 minutes, I would do my best to do that.
     
  14. Bethelassoc

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    Fortunately, I've never had to experience a timed service. On the contrary, one church that I preached at told me that they would take the clock off the wall if it were to become a nuisance to me.

    I think above all, we are not to quench the Holy Spirit. If a pastor has a problem with that, then stay away from that church.
     
  15. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K)
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    Amen - as a missionary I got "in the habit" of obeying the pastor's wishes. I now ask, no matter where I guest preach, "How long is acceptable" and go with what the pastor says.
     
  16. j_barner2000

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    I stand duly corrected. I thank God for you, my Brothers.
     
  17. Johnv

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    I think a time limit is generally a good thing. Never put on the plate more than the stomach can digest. That goes for spiritual food as well. The church experience shouldn't be an all you can eat buffet where you're considered bad if you don't overeat.
     
  18. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K)
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    Barner (and all),

    This was not meant by any means as an effort to correct anyone, I apologise if I did not make it clear enough that it was viewed that way.

    It was simply an effort to see various views. Some men genuinely feel that it is wrong of a pastor to limit their time. Some willingly ignore that wish, feeling that they are being Spirit led and that no man is going to stop them. This was kind fo an informal survey to see how you felt.

    Your comment in the other thread, barner, just got me to thinking.
     
  19. USN2Pulpit

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    Basically, it just comes down to submitting yourself to the authority of the pastor. I personally would have to admit, however, that I have gone overtime also - albeit by accident - I lost track of time and began to ramble, I guess.

    (Now I have a large analog clock behind everyone (avoid digital) so that I can better keep track of my own use of time.)

    I think that using a solid timeframe as a tool will keep any speaker (preacher or secular) from rambling on and on. It forces us to prepare the message, know the direction and milestones and hit them without going down a bunch of rabbit trails.

    That's not to say there aren't exceptions when we go over though.

    P.S.-&gt; j_b, keep us informed of your whereabouts!
     
  20. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K)
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    All of us have gone over at one time or another.

    Deputation was the best for me in that regard because I habitualised keeping to a requested time frame.

    Now when I am preaching in our own little church here it is a different story ;) .
     

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