Shorter sermons are almost always better. You might say, “Well, Matt Chandler speaks for an hour and he has hundreds of thousands of people listening to him!” Okay, sure, but he’s engaging, insightful and a captivating communicator. Not everybody can do what Matt Chandler does. But even if you can do all of those things for an hour, it doesn’t mean you should. Few public speakers can keep an audience’s attention for that long. Few should even try. Here are three reasons why shorter sermons are almost always better:
Pauses are great. They can add emphasis and give more weight to your point. A well-placed pause is a powerful public speaking tool that you should know how to use.
But the wonderful effect of a pause is destroyed by a terrible public speaking mistake preachers make: the audible pause. What’s an audible pause?
My church has two Sunday services. The earlier service is a more traditional worship environment. This service tends to be attended by an older demographic. From my experience of preaching this service I have made some observations about preaching to older crowds:
There’s nothing like a good snoozer of a sermon. We’ve all sat through them. We’ve all given them at one point or another. But what does it take to preach a sermon that makes your listeners fall sound asleep? What does it take to defy everyone’s ability to pay attention? If you aspire to give boring sermons that help your people catch up on rest while you preach, here are five easy steps:
As a preacher, it’s easy to focus on your content and not really consider if your listeners are ready to hear it.
You’ve been studying your material all week, and you’re totally energized by it. It’s all you’ve thought about for days. You are so excited to finally share these thoughts that are bursting out of you.
But your listeners aren’t there yet. They walked into church with everything on their minds except your sermon. They have nowhere near the same level of enthusiasm about your topic that you have.
That’s the way it works. You care. They probably don’t.
So what can you do?
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