Do you ever feel like the church sermon on Sunday is just a trailer or a 15 minute advertisement for Sunday school? I remember back when I was a kid growing up I usually went to two different churches. One was Calvary Advent Christian Church pastored by Jim Lee and the other was a small church in Hudson, North Carolina that I don’t remember the name of.
I remember going to this smaller church with Donna and her son Bryson who was my best friend. I remember there were times when this preacher would get into the Holy Spirit and the words would start flowing. He’d make an announcement that it’s about 12 PM that if you had somewhere to be that you could leave but he was going to keep on preaching. And he would. Sometimes we wouldn’t get out of church till 1 o’clock. I hated it as a kid but these were some of the best memories I had of church. You truly got the meaning because you could see their sermons were from the heart and off the cuff. They may have started from a script of notes but they didn’t end that way. These are the sermons I like.
Another time when I was at Calvary Advent Christian Church I remember Jim Lee voicing his aggravation about all the announcements and other stuff that was taking away from his preaching time. I remember Jim didn’t always stop at 12 PM like most churches. Sometimes he stopped at 12:15 or 12:30 if the message really needed it and you could always hear a few people grumble. I commend him for this because these were the messages I got the most out of. Sermons shouldn’t have a time limit.
Why don’t preachers today run over time? I feel like churches today have to be done by a specific time or else. I’ve heard preachers say before “I know I have 20 minutes but I shoot for 15 minutes so I don’t make anyone mad if I run over”. I feel like when preachers are just preaching to meet a specific time slot they aren’t actually preaching and just reciting an essay. It feels like I’m listening to the trailer of a sermon and if you want the full message you must go to Bible study class. Preachers should preach about a message from the heart and not just some Bible notes they threw down. I can usually tell when a preacher is preaching from the heart and the message has less value when they aren’t. I hate it when a preacher gets into a message, looks up and they have 5 minutes left and give you the short version of the rest of the sermon so they make their time slot. I’m pretty sure God didn’t say church had to start and stop at a specific time. So why don’t preachers of today’s time preach like preachers of the 80’s and 90’s? I’m a long version kind of guy when it comes to sermons. I love to sit back and hear a good 1 hour sermon. I beam from ear to ear because I know this is the good stuff. I’m about to get a life changing message hear. Call me old fashioned but this is me.