Running over

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by mountainrun, Aug 22, 2002.

  1. mountainrun

    mountainrun
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    I would like the opinion of the pastors here on the subject of sermons running over.
    I'm talking like 15 - 25 minutes every Sunday.
    My pastor says the Holy Spirit is moving him in his sermons and he just can't cut him off.
    However, when he has something to do right after church, such as preach elsewhere or a fundraiser for his youth ski trip, he seems to be willing to cut the HS off at the knees.

    Attendance is dropping off and most of the people have expressed dissatisfaction with the matter.
    I no longer attend the worship service, leaving right after Bible study, as I no longer have a worshipful attitude.

    The altar calls, which somehow turn into another sermon, consist only of his wife and kids and one other person every single Sunday.

    Nobody wants to go up and drag things out after an hour and a half service. The Spirit is apparently not speaking to very many of them.

    Your thoughts?
     
  2. GIG

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    Tough one, but here are a few thoughts...one, you by not attending the worship service are definetely not hurting anyone but yourself...two, I can't find anywhere in the Bible that we are to question The Man of God and whether the Holy Spirit is actually leading the Service..Three, I also can't find anywhere that there is a time limit on sermons, if your favorite baseball team went into extra innings 6 games in a row would you stop going to the games and critisize the team??? Four, if you really believe that he is not following the guidance of the holy spirit then Pray, Pray, and Pray some more because biblically that is the only recourse you have... I am definetly not saying that all pastors and preachers are following the holy spirit in their sermons because they are all still 100% flesh....however I don't see in your post where you have mentioned that he is out of the book or preaching wrong doctrine, only a time issue..hope this helps
     
  3. mountainrun

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    Never question the pastor? Hmm.
    Whether the HS is leading the sermon or not is not the question.
    If the HS is leading the sunday school teachers, they are still expected to finish on time so the service can begin on time.
    We are to worship in an orderly fashion, not everyone on his individual schedule.
    I have been to many services where the preacher finishes on time after a wonderful sermon.
    Can't the Holy Spirit get his message across with MY pastor, complete with one-liners, in one hour?
    Actually the alloted time for the sermon is about 25 minutes.

    My only recourse is not prayer.
    I can confront the pastor, leave the church with the others, or simply continue to skip the sermon and worship service.

    Telling me not to question whatever the pastor wishes to do in my church is hardly a help.
    I do not belong to a cult.
    The deacons have discussed it with him and he will not remain with the schedule.
    Our church is suffering over the matter and I have asked for advice.
    To follow blindly is not what I expected to be told here.
     
  4. onevoice

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    [ August 22, 2002, 04:13 PM: Message edited by: onevoice ]
     
  5. onevoice

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    I can see this in two ways:

    Usually when I am in a service that is really being led by the spirit that goes nto "overtime" I don't realize it. . In fact most everyone is so into the sermon that it feels as if they hae only been there for a few moments.

    On the other hand. . .

    Maybe the people in the church are not listening to the Holy Spirit. It is possible that they are so worried about their own lives that they are not concerned enough about the things of God. In the Bible does it say that Church should stop at an hour??

    Just something to think about. Look at self first, if that fails, then talk to your Pastor on level ground. Tell him face to face in his office (privately) what your concerns are and that you don't feel the spirit in his sermons. If he is an understanding pastor and you handle it correctly I think whoever the guilty party that is not listening to the spirit will be able to better evaluate him/herself, leading to better worship services for everyone.

    One thing to avoid is talking behind his back about the problem. That is NOT the correct thing to do and is very easy to fall into. If you hear people complain about the pastor the best thing to do is direct them to him. If he is not willing to listen, it's time to go to the deacons or other ministers in the church (if you have them).
     
  6. GIG

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    I'm sorry Mountain run, I assumed you had already went to the Man, because biblically that is your 1st step....If you have ought against your brother then you should attempt to make it right or your Prayers will not be heard...mark 11:25 Heb 13;7 remember those that have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God....I am sorry but my best advice to you is still to Pray. Ask yourself this question 1st " Do I really believe that this is God's man that he called to our pulpit??"....If anyone can give me "in context " scripture that puts a time limit on Pastors or even would give us scriptural right to question his length of sermon, I will be glad to listen with an open mind...But I sense from your posts that you probably have other issues with your Pastor and may already be questioning wheter he is actually God's called man...All I am saying is be very, very careful before accusing The Pastor of anything unless you have solid biblical backing...because the Bible is very clear about who is the Under-shephard of the New testament Church.
     
  7. go2church

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    Interesting thought, I would love to see the Baptist church that never questioned it's pastor!
     
  8. SaggyWoman

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    Why is it we can sit through a three hour movie or a long sporting event, but when it comes to the preaching of the word, we have to be out by noon?
     
  9. DocCas

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    Mini-messages for mini-Christians? [​IMG]
     
  10. mountainrun

    mountainrun
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    Maybe, Saggy Woman, it is because we expect a three hour movie to last three hours and a game to be over when the rules say it is over.
    Ahh, and now I see DocCas questioning the level of my Christianity.
    I do not consider a sermon that finishes on time to be a mini sermon, DocCas.
    Nor am I a mini-Christian.
    The problem, as I stated, is that we are in danger of becoming a mini-church, due to the lengthy sermons.
    Including Bible study and the sermon we are in church for three hours.
    Not long enough for someone as Holy as thou, I'm sure.
    However, for the rest of us who are not as worthy as ye, and who must work shift work including weekends it means half of the only day off some of us get is gone.
    Those with older children cannot keep them quiet for and hour and a half sermon.
    Those working in the nursery have their hands full keeping the little ones occupied for this amount of time.

    Onevoice, thank you for helpful advice. It is not only I that do not feel the Spirit. Quite a few of the regulars have approached my wife, wondering why I was not staying for the service.
    When she told them I was not in a worshipful spirit due to the length of the sermons, they expressed similiar sentiments.
    So you see, it is not only myself.
    As to approaching the deacons, I have not done this as they have already expressed their concerns to the pastor, who insists that the Spirit is leading him to run over.
    I attend on Sunday nites and Wed. nites and notice that the Spirit is able to contain Himself at these times and finish on schedule.
    Now, if the Spirit is working so hard on Sunday mornings, why don't people feel it rather than becoming uncomfortable, restless, and annoyed.

    Remember, DocCas, I am far from the only one who feels this way. One of the women who is perturbed is one of the most spiritually mature women I have ever met, hardly what you would call a mini-Christian.
     
  11. Sojourner

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    another couple of thoughts -

    1)The pastor in your congregation is accountable to ...? A study I'm working in a John Maxwell series talks about the trust that a pastor gets from the congregation or leadership within the church community. Hopefully, the pastor is aware of what his trust level is and how much change he still has jangling in his pockets If he's earned the trust from those who have placed him as overseer, then, let him lead.

    2)If he is running long consistently, there may be justifiable reasons that you may not know of. My sermon preparation takes at least 15-20 hours a week to solidify. I can easily put a message together in just over an hour, on the text I feel God is leading me to preach, but that sermon will run about 45 minutes (15-25 minutes longer than I'm supposed to speak, and I know the attention span or sitting span of my audience is not much longer, so I must shorten it). It takes me a good 10 hours to condense it and polish it, and more time to make sure that it transitions and flows with the rest of the service. If I am called away from my office because of a crisis in a home, or another responsibility which is critically important to the flock, I will go, and try to condense the sermon later. My priorities are to pastor first, then to preach, so at times, the sermon prep suffers and may run longer. My folks do know and understand why, I think. They're not looking at watches, as far as I can tell, anymore, because they know that I'm there to meet their other needs as well.

    I hope this sheds more light than before. God's grace to you, in His peace -
    David

    [ August 23, 2002, 02:49 AM: Message edited by: Sojourner ]
     
  12. SaggyWoman

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    Mountainrun;

    Our services on Sunday A.M. start somewhat promptly at 10:45, and possibly end usually by 12:30.

    Raymond preaches for about 45 or so minutes of that time. The rest of the time is a.) Singing b.) announcements c.) altar call time.

    Yes, we have gotten some complaints from the nursery.

    Yes, We split the time for the older kids in half. I usually go out and take the second half myself with the children.

    The ones in the service who complain about the length of the service are never the ones who are positive about anything in church. They always have something to complain about.

    As for me, I get so wrapped up in the service that I forget what time it is. Sometimes I do get tired of sitting, though, and so that is the reasoning I sit at the back--so I can stand and listen to the sermon.
     
  13. SaggyWoman

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    By the way, On Sunday nights as well as Wednesday, Raymond also preaches about 45 minutes.
     
  14. C.S. Murphy

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  15. Pastor Larry

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    First, where does Scripture dictate a length of service? What is "running over" scripturally speaking? Is it possible that the mountain runner has injected his own personal ideas into "running over"?

    Which brings me to a logical question: If it is 15-20 minutes every week, how is it classified as running over? Is that normal? Running over would imply abnormal. It reminds me of Meridith Wilson's Music Man. When Harold Hill comes to River City, he asks Marcellus what the people talk about. Marcellus responds, The weather ... when its in season. It is a line that goes largely unnoticed but its irony is unavoidable. So it is here ... running over is not running over at all; it is customary it appears.

    One of the marks of this age is their inability to endure anything kind of serious thinking. That will be the downfall of society in general, and Christianity in particular.

    When does a preacher "run over"? When he preaches past the meaning and application of the text in front of him.
     
  16. SaggyWoman

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    Why can't sermons be 45 minutes long? I don't get it?
     
  17. Abiyah

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    It's all in what people are used to and in what
    they expect, Saggywoman. Where I go, the
    sermon starts at around 12 noon, or ten
    minutes till, and ends at 1:45. This does
    include a minimum of two question and
    answer periods, duriing which the speaker is
    directly involved, but that is an hour and 45,
    sometimes 55, minutes, and it involves little
    to no Bible-reading. That has already taken
    place during the service, usually a minimum
    of 2 chapters plus several verses from other
    books of the Bible, upon which the sermon is
    based.

    But when I go, I KNOW this is what will happen.
    When I am sick, weak, or in pain, I often go for
    just the sermon. I know that if I get there just
    before noon, that is about right.

    I think that the complaint of the original writer
    is that, good or bad, the congregation expects
    to be out of the church at noon, but the pastor
    takes liberties to be long-winded on the days
    he doesn't mind staying long, but he manages
    to be on time on the days upon which he wants
    to get out, then he blames the Holy Spirit for
    being long-winded. I think that is disgusting
    and hypocritical, but that is based only upon
    what we have been told. I do think there is a
    possibility that the people just don't have that
    much time to give to our God on their worship
    day, so they have a cow.
     
  18. blackbird

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    Sounds to me like a personality conflict! The preacher goes over--OK!--we let him slide on it a couple of Sundays, no big deal! But then the practice keeps up! The Deacons are called to "Police" the Preacher!! They issue a warning!

    Sorta reminds me of the person who gets pulled over by the cop! He's doing 95 mph through a 55 zone! He knows he's guilty! The cop gives him a big, fat ticket! "Slow it down, buddy!!" The speeder snatches the ticket from the cops hand--without a "Have a good day, Officer!" He tears back onto the highway from the shoulder--throwning gravel all over the backend!! The blue lights still blinkin'! He looks at his wife and says, "Don't worry, Honey! I know a Judge that'll "fix" that ticket!" And he speeds on up to 95 in a 55 again! No lesson learned!

    The Deacon's tell him to cool it! The preacher wasn't born last night--he gets mad--and goes back to the office to prepare next Sunday's message--and here's whats racin' across his mind! "UH, HUH! I'll show them!" And instead of whittling down the sermon by 40 minutes--he's tackin' on another 15!! All along--saying to himself--"The Holy Spirit will get me out of this mess!"

    I know we are to do things "decently and in order" but--draggin' a sermon on and on--for an hour and 30 minutes and then draggin' the invitation on for a little longer than that--that's not "decent and in order" in my book!
     
  19. MissAbbyIFBaptist

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    Why most there be a set limit to preaching? I've never seen anywhere in the Bible were it says a pastor can only preach for a certian amount of time.
    Really, I don't see how you can cut a sermon off. The Bible is a book that never grows old, so I don't see how you can quit. But then again, if I had my way, the preacher would probably preach about 2 hours! :D [​IMG]
    ~Abby
     
  20. C.S. Murphy

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    Amen, I believe Acts lists Paul as Preaching so long that a young man fell to his death but was revived, so no limit is Biblically set. As to the last part of your post "how can you cut a sermon short" I didn't check your bio but incase you are not a Pastor let me say that this is my toughest task, to cut it down to a length that is not only acceptable to the holy ghost but is also tolerable to the hearers. To illustrate my point I am planning to speak on Elijah and his call for the people to quit halting between two opinions, I have had the rough outline and most importantly the inspiritation but it is far from finished. I Pray that by Sunday morning the Refiner will finish refining me to the point that I may speak His word with the conviction it deserves.
    Murph
     

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