How Long Should a Pastor Preach?

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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 3 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.

We should always challenge our folks to grow.  Yet, I hear of many pastors preaching sermons at a length they know is overwhelming the majority of their congregation.  The reason…to push their people to be able to listen to God’s Word for the amount of time the pastor thinks they should be able to listen.

Push your congregation to grow, but not at the expense of exasperating them by trying to make them something they are not.

God must do that work.  Preach faithfully, but meet them where they are.  Let God mature them to that place as your preaching causes them to long for more of it.

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SOURCE: Practical Shepherding
Brian Croft