From Todd Rhoades:
OK… so the Bishop of Lichfield told a group of pastors in London last week that church services have become too long, and that they should aim to keep the time of the service to no more than 50 minutes.
Stop singing so long. Stop praying so long. Stop preaching so long.
Another argument: people’s attention spans aren’t what they used to be.
Actually… I think the Bishop is on to something here.
I wrote a post about a year ago asking the question about why no church that I know of has begun offering a half hour service.
We’ve done everything else… hip music, flashy lights, relevant messages, free coffee and donuts. But never have we offered to budge, even a little, on our set hour format.
Would more people come if we offered an ‘express’ type service? Yeah… actually, I think if you had three services, two of them being an hour and one being 30 minutes, I bet the 30 minutes one would be pretty dang popular.
“But that’s because people are shallow”.
No. That’s because pastors have not ever looked at doing things differently.
Let’s face it… pastors are paid and expected to speak 30-40 minutes each Sunday. But can we be honest? Most of that 30-40 minutes with most pastors contains A LOT of fluff.
My experience with The NINES has taught me a lot. You absolutely can deliver a compelling point in nine minutes. It’s clear, concise, and brief. But it sticks with you.
I think a powerful worship service could be packaged into 30 minutes.
So… heads bowed and eyes closed. Who will be the first pastor to try this? Who will be the first one to give up his 30-40 minute sermon for a 9 minute one?
I’m not afraid to sing all 329 verses of Just as I am. Been there, done that.
I’m totally serious. This would work. In fact, I bet it would get you on FoxNews or CNN.
OK… would love to hear your thoughts. Am I totally off my rocker to think a substantial, worshipful, God-honoring service could be packaged in 30 minutes? And am I totally insane to think that people actually would like this format?
Why or why not?
HT: Scot McKnight
My comments later (but really if you know me you can guess what I am going to say)