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Tim Archer

But are we right to equate "hearing the Word of God" with preaching? Not that I'm against preaching. But it seems to me that "the sermon" as practiced was developed after the time of the New Testament, developed to meet the needs of a certain point of time. Would it be so wrong to have a shift in how to meet those needs?

That being said, I don't know that people are focused on meeting their spiritual needs. It's hard for me to deal with the U.S. obsession with time. Service can't go more than 60 or 75 minutes or whatever. Most countries don't work that way, unless they've been influenced by American missionaries. Can you imagine sitting down at the Thanksgiving table and announcing: "OK, we've got to be through with this meal by 1:00"? I see that influencing our "sermon tolerance." We correctly want to give more time to praise, more time to the Lord's Supper, etc. But we still want to do everything in a set amount of time, so something has to give. The sermon is an easy target.

Grace and peace,


Good preaching is a beautiful thing. I think in preaching today, there should be a blending of the forces in communication. We preach, video, sounds, and dialogs. It is a sound clip culture. Or maybe people are tired of bad sermons. Andy Stanley preaches for 45 minutes and thousands of people come to hear him. I am not sure, but preaching should still carry weight.


part of it is meeting the needs.
and the problem of some should be moving on to meat but still want milk.

if our assembly focus is outsiders, yes, I can see having shorter lessons, more media, etc. (yet I don't agree that sunday morning is primarily or even secondarily evangelistic)

too many long time members don't want depth in the lessons, and bible classes don't draw as many either.

my question is: can we get good Bible study on our own, without a community? I don't know.


Btw, that IS my pulpit in the photo. The height occasionally brings on a nose bleed. But that just makes me feel all the more priestly.


Great thoughts brother.
I think we can still preach shorter sermons without dumbing down the message.
I believe we need to adapt to society and understand that people attention spans are shorter.
We need to definately be relavent and make the word applicable to every day life.
I believe preaching helps people grow in their relationship with God and should challenge and encourage them to live the Christian life Sunday to Sunday!
I think we could deliver a 15-20 minute sermon that is sound and applicable.
Again, great thoughts!
Keep up the great posts.
I hope you have a blessed week.


I have thought a lot about this post and I hear what you are saying but a part of me thinks about Jesus out in the countryside and I think well why don't we do that anymore.

Bobby Valentine

I'm thinking about it ...


I have struggled with should worship be a time to evangelize or not.
I have been really think a lot lately about evangelism. Should we even have an invitation song?
Most of our evangelism is going to come from relationships that we build outside the church.
I don't know very many people who became Christians that one Sunday morning thought to themselves I think I will go to church today. I think the number would be very few if seldom. I think worship on Sunday morning should be for the believer. It should be us worshiping Almighty God. I think the preaching should be messages that motivate believers to become stronger disciples and help live the Christian life Sunday to Sunday. It is to help us grow in our relationship with God and others within the body.
Wonderful thoughts Wade as you have made me think brother.
I like that about your blog.
God bless you, your family and the believers at Alum Creek.
In Him,
Kinney Mabry

josh from Gabbatha

I've been tossing this issue around quite a bit myself... the value of the sermon. As one who loves to speak and gets the opportunity on occasion, I've found that it is more difficult to preach a short sermon than a long one, for me this is true anyway.

And I think our drive-thru society has a lot to do with the short sermon.

The question I've been struggling with is, "Is it worth eliminating sermon time in order to be relevant?" But perhaps the question I should be asking is, "Am I being obedient and led by the Holy Spirit in my message (which biblically will produce results) or am I just wanting to hear myself talk?" Something I think all preachers, including myself, struggle with from time to time.

Heck, I'm even wordy in my comments! Lol...


I really like what you have to say brother.
Great thoughts.


Last week my sermon was about 14 minutes.
I made the points and applications I needed to make.
All of the San Antonio Spurs fans were home by tip off against the Dallas Mavericks.
Everyone was happy.


Today I preached about 12 minutes and worship was let out in time for people to see the Spurs tip off, eat lunch and watch the Texas game. :-)

Bobby Valentine

I could not do a real "sermon" in 14 minutes if my life depended on it ;-)

Seeking Shalom,
Bobby Valentine


I really think sermons that are 14 minutes or shorter are the way of the future.
Whether we like them of or not we need to get use to them.
I believe preachers start loosing peoples attention after 20 minutes.
So we need to say what we need to say, sit down and shut up.

Royce Ogle

I have heard some sermons where 5 minutes was way too much. And some where over an hour was not enough.

Famous Baptist pastor Dr W A Criswell once began a sermon at 7 p.m on New Years eve and finished just before midnight. The title of the message was "The Scarlet Thread Through the Bible". For almost 5 hours hundreds listened to the greatest story ever told of the blood bought redemption we have in Jesus.

His peace,

Frank Bellizzi

Royce makes some very good points. The kind and quality of preaching makes a big difference in how long a lesson might effectively go on. If a sermon is meaty and wise and well-delivered, I'm happy for it to go on for a long time (not that many people would preach that long anymore).

We need to identify the people in our churches who have gifts for teaching and encourage them to fan that gift into flame. Powerful Christian mission is always accompanied by a strong ministry of the Word. I say, pray a lot, study hard, live what you learn, and preach on!


5 hours did any one fall out of a window? :-)

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