Tuesday, June 12, 2018, 04:03 AM

I swear this has nothing to do with the length of Pastors’ sermon this last Sunday. I actually started this about a week ago, when I read someone’s comment to a Facebook post where they said “Do you go to a fast-food church, 45 minutes, in and out?” Well my rambling mind took off with that thought. But where would I go to get such information? Surely in today’s world, some consulting firm has been paid big bucks to do some kind of analytical study.  So I put on my hip waders and ventured into the muck and mire of Google-ville.  

 Now at our little church we run about 20-25 minutes of praise and worship music, about 10 minutes of praise reports and prayer request and them 25-35 minutes of the Word, so about an hour to an hour 15 minutes.  I originally came from a Catholic background and with Mass being said every hour from 7 am to 12 noon, I was pretty much in the 45 minute range. Needed those 15 minutes to get the present attenders out and the next set of attenders in. So I’ll share a few of the funny ones with you.

 First there’s the long-haul boys….
“The service I attend is about three hours. We sing songs, give testimonies, take prayer requests, and then get into the Word.. Line by line we go through the Word making sure we look at the context of the text comparing with other Scripture. We go until about noon I believe, we take a break. We enjoy some food and drink and talk to each other. After about a half hour, we take are seats and get back into the Word.”

“The meetings I used to go to could last up to 4 hours. Sharing testimonies, singing hymns, and if a line of a verse spoke to someone we'd sing the same hymn over and over again, if someone else saw something else in the same hymn round we'd go again, then it was on to the next hymn  usually the same thing would happen, then a message from 1-2 hours sometimes more, usually being put through the wringer. The good old days.”

Then the rapid-fire guys…

“Your sermons go over 30 minutes  One thing I remember from seminary is at around 12 minutes you should be nearing the close, at 15 minutes you better be saying your final sentence because if you are still talking at 17 minutes, you are the only person listening - everyone else has tuned out. If you can't say it in and make it clear in 15 minutes, how does doubling the length of it clarify it for people.”

“Dude. Brevity is the soul of wit. If you can't say it in fifteen minutes, then you really need a good editor. Heck, the Sermon on the Mount can be read in 12 minutes without rushing, and I defy anyone to top that. I've pretty much found that anybody who goes longer than 20 are doing so because they love the sound of their own voices.”

It’s not about how fast you can read or how short and witty you can be, or how many times you can repeat a hymn. It’s all about God’s timing and how the Holy Spirit is leading and moving in the service. So Pastor’s hour plus sermon on Sunday was a little out of the norm but I know the person sitting next to me was feeling that God was speaking through Pastor directly to him…….and that’s what it’s all about.

So, how long should a church service be? It should be as long as it needs to be. Filled with God’s truth and lead by the Holy Spirit. Make the most of it. (Oh and by the way, there was a consultation research done and 1 hour-15 minutes was found to be the norm……gotta love that Google.)



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