Shortchanging the Preaching

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by Dr. Bob, May 5, 2003.

  1. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
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    Sunday we had beautiful prelude. Then 5 hymns. Scripture reading. Prayers. Special. Communion. Then a missionary from Compassion (children's ministry) with a powerpoint presentation on sponsoring kids. Offering and another hymn.

    Our Worship starts at 10:30 and it was 11:30 before I stood up to preach. Now, I normally preach about 45 minutes, sometimes 50. I intersperse a lot of illustration/humor and practical application with the verse-by-verse exposition.

    I "hurried" the message a little here and there. Didn't use the "whole arsenal". I was done in 30 minutes and at the door to shake hands just a coupla minutes after noon.

    And irritated. Why does EVERYTHING ELSE get as much time and the preaching get shortchanged?

    BTW, I'm simply NOT going to have a 2 hour service, as I will have 'lost' my audience even if they are sitting there.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. time like this

    time like this
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    Sad but true to often people do not want to hear the preached word and evrything else mentioned is a form of entertainment. In some worship services people do not have an active role to play. However the preached word convicts and creates illustrations within the spirit of a person if they like it or not. So why not cut that part short. People love to be saved but have very little patients for preaching of the word.

    What to do let me know :D
     
  3. TomVols

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    We are now in an entertainment culture. Monologue is out of vogue; dialogue is the trend. I believe it was Sangster who said that "preaching is in the shadows." It takes some teaching and training, perhaps even preaching a series on preaching. Neh 8, 2 Tim 4:2, et.al. would drive home the importance of exposition.

    Lloyd Jones is absolutely correct: the great churches and the great eras of Christianity have all been marked by an emphasis on the preached word.

    It also takes a proactive leading of the worship planning to make sure you have the time carved out that you need.
     
  4. Ernie Brazee

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    At 10:00 on Sunday morning we have bible study, preaching service at 11:00 to 12:15 or so. Haven't lost anyone yet from too much preaching. In fact we keep growing.

    Then we are back hungry for more at 6:00 Sunday evening.

    Oh during the winter months we have pot luck and preaching in the afternoon. Fellowship and potluck dinner them 2 or 3 preacher candidates each preach a short message.

    A brief rest then our six o'clock service.

    Wednesday is 7 to 8:30 most of the time, unless we have business discussions, then we may be a bit later.

    During special services we have gone from 7 to 10. Very few seem to mind.
     
  5. Istherenotacause

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    Bring Jesus to church with you, it will have a remarkable effect on the service, instead we go to the House of God just taking it for granted He's there. We've had many a service (on Sunday morning now!) that lasted way past the "churchianity" crowd's quiting time. [​IMG]

    I can't stand the "programmed" service, neither can the Lord by the way! You can't put God on a stopwatch, saying, "O.K., God, it's after 12:00 p.m., we've got more important things to do than stick around here any longer" Talking about grieving the Holy Ghost! [​IMG]
     
  6. Rev. Joshua

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    Bob, I don't think of making preaching only one component of the worship service as "shortchanging" it. Our services start at 11 and run to 12:10 or so, with 20 minutes of preaching. (I posted a link to the full breakdown of our service elsewhere. If you missed it, here it is.) Thre are plenty of opportunities for teaching through Sunday School and Wednesday nights; but I think that preaching should be a part of the worship service; not its sole focus.

    Joshua
     
  7. Jim1999

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    If a sermon can't be preached in 20-30 minutes, the preacher hasn't properly prepared or is repeating a lot.

    I respect the people, who may have company coming and meals on the cooker, and I expect them back at the evening service.

    O started out in the military and our sermons were often ten or fifteen minutes at best, and then sometimes cut short by the enemy.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  8. Dr. Bob

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    I always said preaching was like drilling in Wyoming.

    If you don't hit oil in 30 minutes, quit boring.

    Problem is, over 33 years of full time preaching, I have found that preaching a quality sermon in under 30 minutes is almost impossible.

    I can give a good "devotional". I can preach a limited message. I can even deliver a "sermonette". I could take the same text and "teach" it in 30 minutes (probably less).

    But it takes more time to fully develop a detailed message, with powerful illustrations and pertinent application.

    Part of the problem is the Free church (I have 5 more weeks there) has no P.M. service or MidWeek service and only 50% max in Sunday School. You basically get only one shot.
     
  9. Ernie Brazee

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    Most of the preachers who have been to our church in the past 37 years take at least 20 minute for the introduction.

    We go to church to be fed a meal, not a snack.

    Jim said "If a sermon can't be preached in 20-30 minutes, the preacher hasn't properly prepared or is repeating a lot.


    This is not true, we rarely have a 20 minute sermonette, and our pastor doesn't repeat himself.

    Quite the opposite is true to preach longer than 20 minutes takes hours of preparation.

    You say you respect people...what about the Lord? Isn't Sunday the day we celebrate his raising from the dead? We have to be out of church exactly at noon? Who is getting the glory here?

    Why even bother to attend church if the main emphasis of the day is getting home in time to watch the daily activity on TV?

    If we are only able to sit and learn from the word of God an hour on Sunday what will one do when all eternity is spent fellowshipping with the Lord? No Sunday dinners, no football, no NASCAR. Go figure, people say they love the Lord and then whine and complain if they have to spend an extended period of time learning more of him on Sunday. Of course maybe part of the problem is they are not being fed on Sunday from the word as the preacher also is in a hurry to get away from the Lord's house. Had a preacher like that once.....yuk.... [​IMG] [
     
  10. Istherenotacause

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    I can't believe what I'm reading here! So much emphasis on the length of time of a sermon, instead of content.

    Preaching is the main focus of the service. All the preceedings are preparation for the preaching.

    I'm looking for something from God, not an opportunity to tell everyone I've done my duty by attending the House of God and now I can get back to my real life. I came to get in, not get out!

    I read of the times when the entire township was engulfed with worship and praise, pre-occupied with hearing the next message from the preachers, revival had broken out. Those who were just waiting until the service began so they could worship.

    I've heard many a message by preachers that lasted 2 hours, and when they closed, you wanted to know why they hadn't preached longer.

    The difference would be the man had a message and not just another sermon.

    It amazes me how we've let everything else dictate the time , supposedly, set aside for coming together and worshipping the very One who has given us new life in Christ Jesus. Oh, I believe in respecting people and their time, and they are certainly welcome to leave anytime they desire, but it sure is a blessing that when the Lord is blessing, that many put off the things of this world and are more interested in what God is doing in their lives.

    I preach on the radio in a 30 minute broadcast, many a time though the ones coming on after me say to keep going. I respect their time they are paying for it, but sometimes I do take heed to their requests and preach another 10 minutes.

    May I make a suggestion? without being misunderstood as to be attacking anyone?

    Will you men get ahold of the horns of the Altar, refusing to let go and pleading with God to give you a message that will grasp the hearts of those who listen to your delivery and not worry about those who only come as a formality and duty of service? "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled."
     
  11. Dan Todd

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    I heard John MacArthur tell about his candidating experience at Grace Community Church. His sermon lasted for 90 minutes - and they still called him to be their pastor.

    Most of the sermon tapes that I have of MacArthur preaching last about 60 minutes. I never get tired of hearing him preach.

    PS - I have a young man (16) in my congregation who always times my messages - and then always tells me how long I preached. He does the same thing with his grandfather who preaches on the last Sunday morning of each month. :rolleyes:
     
  12. j_barner2000

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    I was told by my pastor/mentor to preach the message God gives me to preach, whether it only takes 10 minutes or it takes 2 hours. I made an agreement with him when he agreed to mentor me. I will at least try his advice and discuss the results after trying it and before disgarding it.
     
  13. Jim1999

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    If I cannot reach the people in twenty minutes, I cannot reach them in an hour.

    Why do you limit the power of God to only reach people and bless them after an hour? My God is so big that He can reach them in a nannosecond.

    I have heard some of the hour long preachers, and sorry, most of them lack the intellectual prowess to go on so long. They murder the King's English, and surely that can't be of God. No, I would rather preach 20 minutes and have the people depart knowing what has been said, and if they absorb that, then great blessings will surely follow.

    The human mind can only absorb so much. That is why telephone numbers have four essential numbers; that is the measure of man's mind to remember numbers. We write in short paragraphs and sentences because man cannot comprehend longer statements. Why not preach to man's capacity, and avoid vain repetitions?

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  14. time like this

    time like this
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    I generally speak about 45-90 minutes . I quit when I am finished. I am not a manuscript preacher. Prepared yes, I never read a pre-written document while delivering a message. I use an outline. Basically if I can't say it from memory how can the people remeber what i said. It means enough to me to make personal what I shall deliver, and I have been blessed in this manner. Most stay alert and are receptive theothers doddle or whatever. These are generally the same people that don't make it out to bible study or prayer meetings. I never set my time to the schedule of the un-committed.
     
  15. SaggyWoman

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    My pastor is a 45 minute preacher. Whether or not everything else is 10 minutes or 50 minutes, he still preaches 45 minutes. Two hours in the house of God is okay.
     
  16. Deacon

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    I like that SaggyWoman, I feel shortchanged if the message is just a short devotional.

    The Pastor is in charge, cut a song or two (or three), forget about the special music, but don't shortchange the message, it doesn't make cents [​IMG]
     
  17. Istherenotacause

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    The presence of God is the most deciding factor, I hope you men know what I'm talking about. I'm not talking about charismatic or Pentecostal experiences, except to the point of the Lord's charisma and the Pentecostal outpouring of His Spirit.

    My pastor only said these three words one Sunday morning,"Lord, help me". The presence of God was all over the place, before, during and after he said these words of the Syrophenecian woman at the feet of Jesus.

    Also, Brother Stinnet Ballew has what he calls his "4 Second message, in 4 seconds".

    We can try to "can" God all we want to, but if we don't have that unction, that annointing,(oh, the charismatics have just about ruined that word for us Baptists, but it's still in the Bible!), that liberty to PREACH! then we might as well keep it down to a program and bore the people to death with our little exposition/ Sunday school lesson.

    If we are going to put God on a timeclock, then who tells Him when to clock-in and who has the audacity to tell Him He has to clock-out? Do we really think we have that authority over the LORD?

    Whose house is it anyway? The preahcers? The peoples? Or God's House?!?
     
  18. Rev. Joshua

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    I've had people come to our church from places where the homilies lasted much longer (and were the "focus" of the service). Invariably, they talk about how much more they learn and remember. They also appreciate the fact that sitting and listening is only one component of our worship - rather than its focus.

    I agree with Jim. If I can't say it in 20 minutes, I can't say it in an hour. In my experience, the people who preach for longer than that often preach several sermons in one or preach the same sermon over and over again. The best preachers of our generation (people like Barbara Brown Taylor, Tom Long, Fred Craddock, Frederick Buechner) do not preach long; but they preach well.

    Joshua
     
  19. TomVols

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    Some sermons that are short are good. Some sermons that are long are good. I think it's hard to say positively that one is better than the other. I think context is the key.

    While the preaching of the word is primary, it is not a detatched element from the rest of worship - indeed, it is worship.
     
  20. Jim1999

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    Some sermons that are short are good. Some sermons that are long are good...
    _______________________________________________

    I think, Tom, that is the point. Some are able to preach long and do justice. Most of us are not. We who labour week by week in a local church seldom get to hear other preachers. When we do, we hear the best.

    Then, often in our local churches, we are addressing specific needs. We cannot always pick the great texts to preach upon; the ones that command great attention. In short, we are not all D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, with a great church tradition of long preaching sessions. It is an educational process of training the church body to listen and to learn.

    When I was a young man, I found congregations more open to longer sermons. The world was much slower in 1948 than it is in 2003. It has become a fast paced world, a busy people and much happening. With the economy of words, we can pack much into little, or we can use flowery language and become silver-tongued and say little in a longer time.

    Let's propose an examination after services and see how much has been retained.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     

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