Sermon Length

Interesting Pew study on sermon length here, with a quotation that’s got under my skin.

Author and Pastor Tim Keller says this about sermon length: “Most evangelical preachers aren’t good enough for a 39-minute sermon.”

I feel like this is exactly backwards. Brevity is a better measure of impact than length. I have preached many a poor sermon that suffered from a lack of editing and that would have been greatly enhanced by the skilled removal of hundreds of words. And I have witnessed sermons that exceeded 30 minutes in length only by multiplying illustrations of the same point and slowing down delivery to a laborious pace for the sake of em . . . pha. . . sis.

On the other hand, some of the most powerful sermons I have experienced were shorter than 15 minutes. An economy of words and a careful deployment of the most pertinent illustrations made their impact direct and specific.

In actuality, most preachers aren’t good enough for a 10 minute sermon.

2 thoughts on “Sermon Length

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