Pastors report that 85% of sermons are between 26 and 45 minutes

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TylerR's picture


I preached my longest ever last Wednesday night; it came in @ 49 mins. Most of mine are 35-40 regularly. 

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

DLCreed's picture

I've always found that it is much more difficult to preach a short sermon than a long one and a lot more difficult to listen to a long sermon than a short one.


Go figure.


Ron Bean's picture

I try to keep mine in the 30-35 minute range.


Avoid "rabbit trails"

Practice and time yourself

Watch the clock

Listen to yourself

Realize that you're not (insert favorite preacher)

Remember that the mind cannot absorb more than the seat can endure

Take a turn working in the nursery with 4 or 5 crying babies (I did this last week) to get another perspective.

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

dgszweda's picture

As a congregant ours are between 60-90 minutes.  So our church is definitely outside of this range.  But we don't have an evening service, so we like to pack more in the morning.  Some of the sermons I think are too short at 90 minutes, but alas we don't want an insurrection.

Brent Marshall's picture

To me as a listener, the issue is much less the length of the sermon and much more the content of the sermon. I have heard shorter sermons that I was happy to have over. I have heard many longer sermons as to which the time flew by and I would happily have had the preacher keep going. I have no difficulty with the preacher to going well over 45 minutes if he has something thoughtful and substantial from the Word to say.

When I have preached, it has been for someone else, and thus I try to fit in the general parameters of what is typical in that place. When those in the pew are used to and thus expecting 30 minutes and the preacher goes much over that, attention can drop. Were it up to me, however, I would build into preaching for longer periods.

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