Monday, May 14, 2007

Long winded?

Although I have not been "reprimanded" by anyone from our congregation, I have a feeling that lately I have been too long winded in my sermons. Of course I am maybe my harshest critic (except for my lovely wife, and I am grateful for her honesty). While I tend to stay close to the text, my most recent sermons have been nearly 40 minutes in length. (You can hear for yourself here.)

Am I preaching too long? Will today's listener tune in for more than 25 minutes? Should I care about such things? Is it a compromise to limit your remarks so as to cater to the modern church goer? Is this an attack from the enemy as a way to distract me? I think about these issues. Yet, I am not willing to compromise the message or short-change the text in order to make folks feel more at home. I haven't noticed people zoning out or sleeping, no more than you would expect.

If you have thoughts on this issue I would love some feed back. I will make this a matter of prayer also. I do not want to be a hindrance to our worship because I am "long winded." I want to be a good steward of my time, even my time in the pulpit.

3 comments:

Brian said...

I think that it is good you are concerned about it.

My sermons range from 20 minutes to around 40 minutes.

So far, my folks don't seem to notice the time as long as I am speeking from Scripture.

I try to make sure that anything I cover in a given week must be covered together in order for it all to make sense. If not, I can split it into two sermons. Since I do not "go over" every single week - folks know that when I do it was necessary and they seem to appreciate that.

Jon Cyrus said...

I usually cover resonable amounts of text. For the most part folks seem to stay with me. My aim is to always let the text drive the sermon. If was not preaching from an expository model who knows how long I could go...maybe an hour.

Chris said...

Rule number one: you preach until God and the HS says stp. If thats 5 or 50 minutes. If the HS is in it leave the work up to Him.