The Wanderer

As I walked through the wilderness of this world …

How long the sermon?

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It has been my unhappy lot to be served an overcooked dinner around a silent table by a scowling lady, having discovered that the regular preacher generally doesn’t preach for longer than 20 minutes. With such memories swirling within, I was interested to read Brian Croft on the question of sermon length:

I find many pastors, especially younger ones, are regularly wrestling with this question. The pressure to answer can be self-imposed, or forced by those in your church who complain your sermons are too long. The problem is there does not seem to be one right answer. The answer to this question largely depends on the kind of pastor you are, the quality of preacher you are, and the kind of congregation you serve. In light of this, here are a few principles that might help you answer this question in your particular context.

A pastor should determine the length of a sermon…

1) Based on where your people are, not where you think they should be.

2) Based on how good and seasoned a preacher you are.

3) To leave your people longing for more, not less.

Read his explanation of these principles here. From now on, I shall not be preaching for more than 75 minutes . . .

But, would you add any more? What about when the Spirit gushes (by which I assume that not only the preacher but the congregation also appreciates the reality)? What about by the demands of the text, breaking it up into more sermons if need be? What about the length of a series of sermons?

Written by Jeremy Walker

Monday 8 August 2011 at 17:03

Posted in Pastoral theology

Tagged with ,

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