When to finish preaching

I know I could have put this under length of services or even under the homiletics tab: but I thought it might have a life of its own.

Namely: are their signals from the congregation which tell the preacher he or she has said enough?
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Comments

  • RdrEmCofERdrEmCofE Shipmate
    edited May 8
    When you have finally struck OIL, stop boring.

    When they start counting their change, ready for the collection?
  • When their eyes glaze over? When you hear the snores?
  • Bishops FingerBishops Finger Shipmate
    edited May 8
    Tell them what you're going to say.
    Tell them.
    Tell them what you've said.
    Sit down (or say 'In the name of the Father', etc., or whatever).

    IJ
  • RdrEmCofERdrEmCofE Shipmate
    edited May 8
    We had a delightful autistic child who once ran up to the chancel steps from the nave, stood on the middle one of the three and declared in a loud voice "This talk is really boring". He then ran back to his pew and remained silent for the rest of the sermon.

    If the sermon had actually been boring, it would have certainly woken anyone out of their somnolence.

    I think St. Paul had a problem keeping a child awake once during one of his interminable talks.
  • Don't preach for longer than 20 minutes, unless it is what your church is used to. Apart from that, if people in the congregation keep looking at their watches, and checking that watches have not stopped, then that would be a good clue that they are bored!

    Experienced preachers will know what they are used to and it would be wise not to preach for longer than usual unless they are gifted.
  • KayAreCeeKayAreCee Shipmate
    In my experience, people will start getting restless, checking their watches. Nowadays, phones might get pulled out; in the church of my youth, we'd resort to doodling on bulletins or Communion cards.

    My sermons tend to run about 900-1100 words, roughly twelve minutes, which is par for the course in my part of the ELCA. If I go on too much longer than that, I start getting bored =). That said, I've preached eight-minute sermons and seventeen-minute sermons before, and the long ones haven't felt overly long, because they all held together; the extra time wasn't just padding.
  • KayAreCee wrote: »
    That said, I've preached eight-minute sermons and seventeen-minute sermons before, and the long ones haven't felt overly long, because they all held together; the extra time wasn't just padding.
    The length of a sermon isn't just judged by the time it takes, but also by the content. A 5 minute sermon with just padding which never gets to a point is 5 minutes too long, a 20 minute sermon that's well crafted, makes good points and holds the attention of the congregation is just right ... and could be longer.

    It's time to stop preaching when you've made the point you intended to make.

    Of course, no matter when it finishes a sermon should start with a joke.

    A church I know had invited a guest preacher. 20 minutes into the sermon, the congregation realised he hadn't got to a point. 30 minutes in and they start fidgeting and looking at their watches. By 45 minutes they're flicking through the hymn books. Finally, after an hour a man at the back decides it's enough and throws his hymn book at the preacher. He misses and hits an old lady near the front, who, as she collapses to the floor, is heard to say "hit me again, I can still hear him".
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    :D
  • How many priests actually get up and start delivering sermons without any clue of when they might end, and why do any of them think that this is at all acceptable? That sounds like a lack of preparation issue to me. Write the sermon in the week ahead (the spirit can move you then as well!), deliver it for other staff members so that they can tell you if something doesn't work, and practice it until you basically have it memorized. That's public speaking 101. Unless a national tragedy happens on Saturday night, you'll be good, and the congregation might get something out of it.
  • BroJamesBroJames Shipmate
    I remember my first homiletics lecturer decrying sermons which were like aircraft in poor visibility, circling round and round looking for somewhere to land. A sermon needs a destination, and the destination should be known at the point of take-off.
  • Unless a national tragedy happens on Saturday night, you'll be good, and the congregation might get something out of it.
    If there is something that dramatic happens then it's entirely acceptable, IMO, for the preacher to stand up and say "I had a sermon prepared, but in light of the events of last night it's no longer appropriate. I, along with all of us here, are in shock, awash in anger, confusion, sadness and other emotions which we can't adequately put words to at the moment, and may never be able to do so. So, instead of a sermon I'm going to invite everyone to just remember the events of last night, turn to your neighbours if you need, give voice to your emotions if that helps." A response I think is almost always going to be more helpful to the congregation than a last minute attempt to write a sermon to address whatever the national tragedy is.
  • BroJames wrote: »
    I remember my first homiletics lecturer decrying sermons which were like aircraft in poor visibility, circling round and round looking for somewhere to land. A sermon needs a destination, and the destination should be known at the point of take-off.
    The last sermon I preached gave me some problems. I had a starting point, I had a destination, but it kept wandering around aimlessly in the middle like a sheep without a shepherd. I was preaching on Jesus the Good Shepherd so I had a) a decent anecdote to start off with, and b) the path between start and end did eventually become clear.
  • LeRocLeRoc Shipmate
    Finally, after an hour a man at the back decides it's enough and throws his hymn book at the preacher.
    We had a discussion a couple of weeks ago about whether hymn books should be replaced by electronic gadgets. This seems to be a strong argument for keeping them!
  • SipechSipech Shipmate
    RdrEmCofE wrote: »
    We had a delightful autistic child who once ran up to the chancel steps from the nave, stood on the middle one of the three and declared in a loud voice "This talk is really boring". He then ran back to his pew and remained silent for the rest of the sermon.

    If the sermon had actually been boring, it would have certainly woken anyone out of their somnolence.

    I think St. Paul had a problem keeping a child awake once during one of his interminable talks.
    We had similar once during our candlelit carol service, though I don't know if the child was autistic. He said "Are you nearly finished yet?" He was only saying what everyone else was thinking. Gifted, though this speaker is, he can have a tendency to go on a bit and get sidetracked from time to time.

    Yesterday, that very same preacher had to have a prompt from our minister that he had two minutes left.

  • Unless a national tragedy happens on Saturday night, you'll be good, and the congregation might get something out of it.
    If there is something that dramatic happens then it's entirely acceptable, IMO, for the preacher to stand up and say "I had a sermon prepared, but in light of the events of last night it's no longer appropriate. I, along with all of us here, are in shock, awash in anger, confusion, sadness and other emotions which we can't adequately put words to at the moment, and may never be able to do so. So, instead of a sermon I'm going to invite everyone to just remember the events of last night, turn to your neighbours if you need, give voice to your emotions if that helps." A response I think is almost always going to be more helpful to the congregation than a last minute attempt to write a sermon to address whatever the national tragedy is.

    When our rector went on sebbatical two summers ago, our curate was left holding the keys to the pulpit for numerous national tragedies, including the Orlando gay night club shooting, which happened on a Saturday night. She never used this trick exactly, but she’s the reason I threw that exception in.
  • I think a lot of Brits were thrown by Princess Diana's death, which was announced early on Sunday morning.
  • Jengie JonJengie Jon Shipmate
    I have I think about three times sat in situations where the sermon has been different from that prepared. None of these were bad, in fact exceptionally good but I certainly would not wish the preacher to rely on them as I have experienced them.

    The circumstances are various including for some unknown reason not being able to read their notes (I think twice, once notes went missing but the other was simply suddenly not having the sight, sudden cancellation of the planned preacher and I think a tragedy). In all I suspect the Holy Spirit helped.

    I have also known a preacher who did not prepare and it showed.

    Jengie
  • AnselminaAnselmina Shipmate
    Jengie Jon wrote: »

    The circumstances are various including for some unknown reason not being able to read their notes (I think twice, once notes went missing but the other was simply suddenly not having the sight, sudden cancellation of the planned preacher and I think a tragedy). In all I suspect the Holy Spirit helped.

    The reference to the Holy Spirit reminds me of the old joke about a preacher who preached well, but tended to be a bit blasé about his gift. After the service, the churchwarden felt duty-bound to congratulate him on another good sermon. 'Oh, it was nothing, really!' the fake-humble preacher demurred, 'Sure, it was all the Holy Spirit!'
    'Hold on,' said the Warden, 'I said it was good. I didn't say it was that good!'


  • BabyWombatBabyWombat Shipmate
    Twelve minutes is OK, beyond that it better be really good. I want the congregation to remember my point, and possibly be changed in some way, not how long I blathered on. I always structure a sermon with a hook (something that intrigues, calls for attention), the fish (something that hangs on the hook but calls for attention beyond the hook, something that calls for response), and the kicker (something that tosses the package into their court, to deal with as they wish.)

    I type my text in a bullet point format: statement, then subsidiary bullet points to expand each statement. It forces me to stay fresh, to breath and to present rather than reading the text. I flap my arms too much, I move around a little too much, and I am often passionate. So far not too. many complaints..... but then again, maybe they are afraid to voice them!
  • yohan300yohan300 Shipmate
    edited May 16
    I try and avoid sermons as much as I can, I'd prefer it if the preacher wrote a weekly blog because I find reading far easier than listening. However I've learnt to cope with them but when I stop staring down and start examining particular ceiling features for any points of interest then that's a sign I've had enough.
  • I think a lot of Brits were thrown by Princess Diana's death, which was announced early on Sunday morning.

    Upon which the children's talk, prayers and sermon were spent talking about how wonderful Diana was....
  • I'm just hoping our minister has the good sense not to fill Sunday with gushy sentimentality. Far too much of that on TV the last few weeks.
  • Mr SmiffMr Smiff Shipmate
    I think a lot of Brits were thrown by Princess Diana's death, which was announced early on Sunday morning.

    Upon which the children's talk, prayers and sermon were spent talking about how wonderful Diana was....

    Not in the church I was in at the time: the preacher (a visiting preacher, though well known to the congregation) was a fervent republican. Although he was made aware of Diana's death before the service, he made no mention of it in the sermon; the only mention he made of it at all was introducing the intercessions, when he said something like (and you have to read this in a full-on, gruff Yorkshire accent to get the full effect), "You may have heard that Princess Diana has died in a car crash: but lots of people die in car crashes...".
    At some point during all this, a visiting family (whom I'm sure had come to church that day because of the news of Diana) walked out.
  • Mr Smiff wrote: »
    I think a lot of Brits were thrown by Princess Diana's death, which was announced early on Sunday morning.

    Upon which the children's talk, prayers and sermon were spent talking about how wonderful Diana was....

    Not in the church I was in at the time: the preacher (a visiting preacher, though well known to the congregation) was a fervent republican. Although he was made aware of Diana's death before the service, he made no mention of it in the sermon; the only mention he made of it at all was introducing the intercessions, when he said something like (and you have to read this in a full-on, gruff Yorkshire accent to get the full effect), "You may have heard that Princess Diana has died in a car crash: but lots of people die in car crashes...".
    At some point during all this, a visiting family (whom I'm sure had come to church that day because of the news of Diana) walked out.

    Oh, and the following Sunday (the day after the funeral), Candle In The Wind was played during the collection. Made me wonder who we were there to worship...
  • Oh, and the following Sunday (the day after the funeral), Candle In The Wind was played during the collection.
    That's the song (well, to be accurate the version written for the occasion) that put the final nail in the coffin when it came to my regard for the general public in relation to the Royals. Absurd lyrics, in memory of Diana, Princess of Wales, Duchess of Rothsay ... calling her "England's rose". I'd only moved to Scotland a few months earlier, but is it any wonder that it didn't take us long to vote for devolution after that slap in the face? Rank stupidity. And, that piece of tripe out sold practically every other single ever produced.

  • BroJamesBroJames Shipmate
    Not to mention the ridiculous fuss made by the London-based press that because the Queen was in Balmoral (in Scotland) and not in Buckingham Palace (in England) she was somehow not among her people.
  • MudfrogMudfrog Shipmate
    I finish preaching when I get the the end of my 4th A5 page of 12 pint Trebuchet single spaced script. I only preach what I have planned to preach.
  • MudfrogMudfrog Shipmate
    I think a lot of Brits were thrown by Princess Diana's death, which was announced early on Sunday morning.

    I didn't change my sermon for her.
    I mentioned her death in passing in one of my paragraphs because it illustrated something, and I changed the opening hymn for one of her (apparent) favourites and prayed for her family.
    But the sermon that I believed was right stayed the same.
  • MudfrogMudfrog Shipmate
    Oh, and the following Sunday (the day after the funeral), Candle In The Wind was played during the collection.
    That's the song (well, to be accurate the version written for the occasion) that put the final nail in the coffin when it came to my regard for the general public in relation to the Royals. Absurd lyrics, in memory of Diana, Princess of Wales, Duchess of Rothsay ... calling her "England's rose". I'd only moved to Scotland a few months earlier, but is it any wonder that it didn't take us long to vote for devolution after that slap in the face? Rank stupidity. And, that piece of tripe out sold practically every other single ever produced.

    Do you know, that's the first time in 21 years that the England's Rose thing and Wales and Scotland, has ever struck me. You are so right.

  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    Mudfrog wrote: »
    Oh, and the following Sunday (the day after the funeral), Candle In The Wind was played during the collection.
    That's the song (well, to be accurate the version written for the occasion) that put the final nail in the coffin when it came to my regard for the general public in relation to the Royals. Absurd lyrics, in memory of Diana, Princess of Wales, Duchess of Rothsay ... calling her "England's rose". I'd only moved to Scotland a few months earlier, but is it any wonder that it didn't take us long to vote for devolution after that slap in the face? Rank stupidity. And, that piece of tripe out sold practically every other single ever produced.


    Do you know, that's the first time in 21 years that the England's Rose thing and Wales and Scotland, has ever struck me. You are so right.

    Yes, it's never struck me either. Thank you.

    It can, though, be defended. As a Spencer, she was English. The Queen Mother was Scottish.

  • Of course it can be defended, but only on the basis of national identity (English, Welsh, Scottish etc) within the UK being more important than British identity - which is, of course, the argument of nationalists. It also only makes sense within the context of the Royals in some sense belonging to the people of those nations by stint of where they were born, rather than the Royals "belonging" to all the people of the UK (indeed, the Commonwealth).

    I don't think you can both campaign for a United Kingdom, opposing sovereignty of the individual nations, and still consider a member of the Royal Family as being in some way associated with one of those nations (the same, of course, goes for "the Queen Mother was Scottish"). Consistency is a characteristic lacking in the red-tops (even more so the not-even-good-enough-for-loo-roll-Mail), but both claiming Diana as "England's Princess" and demonising the SNP for seeking to "break up the Kingdom" is indefensible.
  • Oh, and the following Sunday (the day after the funeral), Candle In The Wind was played during the collection. Made me wonder who we were there to worship...
    Elton John? [Devil]

  • BroJamesBroJames Shipmate
    Norma Jean?
  • I don't think you can both campaign for a United Kingdom, opposing sovereignty of the individual nations, and still consider a member of the Royal Family as being in some way associated with one of those nations (the same, of course, goes for "the Queen Mother was Scottish").

    I can support a United Kingdom and talk about people being Londoners. Why is this different? Gordon Brown is Scottish. He served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, and is British, and is Scottish.

    Diana, Princess of Wales was born and raised in England, to a family of English aristocrats. That she was English is surely a mere statement of fact? She does not become less English by being British, or by being a Princess of the United Kingdom. Similarly I can point out that HRH The Duchess of Sussex is American.

    The objection, as I see it, to Mr. John's lyrics, is that they imply that the Princess of Wales was somehow uniquely possessed by England. To what degree you want to call that English arrogance, to what degree American ignorance, and to what degree a mere reference to the phrase "English rose", I'll leave to you.


  • It's quite simple. People are who they are, they may be Londoners or Scottish by virtue of where they were born or ancestry. But, when those people take a position of authority over the nation then that personal identity is subsumed by the new role. If Gordon Brown was seen as so Scottish that he couldn't represent the interests of the rest of the UK then he did not deserve to be Prime Minister. If it's acceptable for the English to own the Royal Family, or members thereof, in an almost exclusive way then it seems clear to me that those English who do so consider the Royal family to be English rather than British. It's equivalent to referring to the whole UK as "England".
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate

    The objection, as I see it, to Mr. John's lyrics, is that they imply that the Princess of Wales was somehow uniquely possessed by England. To what degree you want to call that English arrogance, to what degree American ignorance, and to what degree a mere reference to the phrase "English rose", I'll leave to you.

    "American ignorance? AFAIK, John was born in the UK as was his lyricist, and both have predominantly lived there all their lives.
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    How does Candle in the Wind relate to the length of a sermon?
  • teddybearteddybear Shipmate
    A wise old RC priest I used to know, a very good preacher too, used to always say, "if you can't say it in 10 minutes, you are wasting your own and everyone else's time." I think was right too. There may be times when it can run longer, but most folk's attention spans are just not that long these days. I especially loved how he handled crying babies during the sermon. This was in the days before cry rooms. If a baby was really crying loudly while he was trying to preach. He would stop and say something to the effect that the child was preaching a much better sermon than he ever could, make the sign of the cross toward them and thank the parents for bringing the child to Mass. Then he would go on with the liturgy.
  • TheOrganistTheOrganist Shipmate
    BroJames wrote: »
    Not to mention the ridiculous fuss made by the London-based press that because the Queen was in Balmoral (in Scotland) and not in Buckingham Palace (in England) she was somehow not among her people.

    That was one of our press's finest moments - deflecting the public away from the awkward question of the demand for pap pictures of the late princess by our tabloids and news broadcasters and perhaps, therefore, their complicity in the activities which led to the mad car chase through Paris: so instead they acted as one man in interviewing members of the mourning mob outside Kensington Palace suggesting they missed the queen being in London (as if!) and that she should be in London to "lead the nation in grief". A short step from there to "Where are you ma'am, your people need you" - the needs of the public, who never knew the princess, far outweighing (in the journo's minds) the needs of Diana's children.
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    teddybear wrote: »
    A wise old RC priest I used to know, a very good preacher too, used to always say, "if you can't say it in 10 minutes, you are wasting your own and everyone else's time." I think was right too. There may be times when it can run longer, but most folk's attention spans are just not that long these days.
    I’ll say it again—this is highly dependent on the culture and the liturgical (in the broadest possible sense) traditions and expectations, including the expectations of what the sermon or homily is and does, of the specific church involved. What constitutes a long sermon in one tradition may be a short sermon in another. One size simply doesn’t fit all. There are plenty of churches out there with the expectation of sermons longer than 10 minutes and the attention span to handle those longer sermons.

    It’s one thing to say a sermon in a Catholic Mass should generally be kept under 10 minutes. It’s another thing entirely to simply say sermons should be kept under 10 minutes.

  • PuzzlerPuzzler Shipmate
    I didn’t time our sermon this morning but the whole All-Age service was over in half an hour.
  • I would think that timing the sermon isn't a very useful way of judging whether it was too long (or, too short). The appropriate length for a sermon is never defined by a number of minutes, it's defined by the message to be given (which, in turn, is also in part defined by the audience and context for that message ... so, a message that can be conveyed in a few minutes in one context may be appropriately given in an hour in another). Context includes the focus of the service - a Mass where the highpoint of the service is sharing the Eucharist would benefit from a shorter sermon, whereas a service focussed on the liturgy of the word would benefit from a longer sermon (since, to first approximation the amount of time dedicated to different parts of the service reflects the relative importance of those part of the service). Likewise there are cultural factors, and generally in western Europe exposure to TV and similar media has eroded our ability to follow a lengthy exposition, being more used to sound-bites and multimedia presentations (why is it we consider 20 minutes too long for a sermon, but will happily sit through an hour long David Attenborough programme on TV? Clearly we can still concentrate on being taught for an hour, much as our ancestors in the faith would have concentrated on hour long sermons, but now need more than just the words to hold our attention).
  • PuzzlerPuzzler Shipmate
    I very much agree. Context is everything.

    I was interested in an anecdote up thread of how a priest handled a crying baby by bringing his sermon to a rapid close with a blessing if the baby.
    I can imagine it must be very distracting to a preacher, it certainly is to me.
    I recall one priest being interrupted by a crying baby who then inserted the following sentence into his sermon several times until the hint was taken. “and we have a crèche available through the doors at the back”.

    Seriously though, when else in life, other than a lecture hall, do we expect people to just sit and listen to one speaker for more than a few moments? Let alone consider carefully and prayerfully what is being said and then apply it to our lives?
  • Jengie JonJengie Jon Shipmate
    edited June 3
    The ten-minute sermon seems to me about the efficient communication of a single idea from the preacher to the congregation but what if the sermon is not about that. What if the sermon tries to take you to a place where you encounter the word of God imaginatively or perhaps it wants to take you through a careful piece of analysis of the current situation so you can see how God's word fits with it, or it wants to take you on a theological journey where you arrive back at a slightly different place to where you set off from. What if it is asking you to rethink who we are in light of God's Word, what if it is to bring a congregational bereavement before God or what if it is a careful piece of exegesis that looks at repeating patterns within the readings. None of these concepts are done well in ten minutes, yet all are perfectly valid tasks to do in a sermon. Some require time for the congregation to settle to, some simply can't be done quickly without oversimplifying and some actually require padding so the congregation can hear the message.

    Yes, you can get perfectly fine sermons in ten minutes but I would contend that you are not hearing the full scope of the preached Word when you confine it to ten minutes. From my Reformed perspective it is a bit like living off a diet of sandwiches.
  • LeRocLeRoc Shipmate
    edited June 3
    Jengie Jon wrote: »
    What if the sermon tries to take you to a place where you encounter the word of God imaginatively or perhaps it wants to take you through a careful piece of analysis of the current situation so you can see how God's word fits with it, or it wants to take you on a theological journey where you arrive back at a slightly different place to where you set off from.
    I've been to many places, but I've never heard a preacher who can do this.

    I've heard many good sermons in my life. But this is taking into account my definition of a good sermon: one where I've heard one or two things that really touch me, and the rest is babbling. (A bad sermon is where all is babbling.)
  • The best place to end a sermon is at 'and, forty-ninthly, dear friends.'

    'Fifthly' is too difficult to say, and leads to unseemly spluttering.

    I'll pick up me paper-clip and notes, step down from the pulpit, and retire to the Vestry for GIN.
    :wink:

    IJ

  • LeRocLeRoc Shipmate
    The best place to end a sermon is at 'and, forty-ninthly, dear friends.'
    Heh, nice one. I know quite a number of preachers who lose count after 'second' :smile:

  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    Puzzler wrote: »
    I very much agree. Context is everything.

    … Seriously though, when else in life, other than a lecture hall, do we expect people to just sit and listen to one speaker for more than a few moments? Let alone consider carefully and prayerfully what is being said and then apply it to our lives?
    Well, as you said, context is everything. Some of us are in traditions, by upbringing and/or by choice, where doing just that is the norm, because something more than a lecture or inspiring talk is expected in the sermon.
    LeRoc wrote: »
    Jengie Jon wrote: »
    What if the sermon tries to take you to a place where you encounter the word of God imaginatively or perhaps it wants to take you through a careful piece of analysis of the current situation so you can see how God's word fits with it, or it wants to take you on a theological journey where you arrive back at a slightly different place to where you set off from.
    I've been to many places, but I've never heard a preacher who can do this.
    I have, on many occasions. I’ve experienced sermons where the congregation of a few hundred was so enthralled in the way that Jengie Jon describes that when the sermon was over there was stillness, and then the sound of the congregation exhaling as one. Interestingly, in one such case I can recall, when I got a copy of the sermon for my wife, who’d missed the service, and read it, it was good but not remarkable. What made it remarkable was not what was said per se, but rather the encounter with the divine that occurred in the moment. (As it happened, the sermon was on the burning bush—“Take of your shoes, for the ground where you are standing is holy ground.”)

  • AlbertusAlbertus Shipmate
    Anselmina wrote: »
    Jengie Jon wrote: »

    The circumstances are various including for some unknown reason not being able to read their notes (I think twice, once notes went missing but the other was simply suddenly not having the sight, sudden cancellation of the planned preacher and I think a tragedy). In all I suspect the Holy Spirit helped.

    The reference to the Holy Spirit reminds me of the old joke about a preacher who preached well, but tended to be a bit blasé about his gift. After the service, the churchwarden felt duty-bound to congratulate him on another good sermon. 'Oh, it was nothing, really!' the fake-humble preacher demurred, 'Sure, it was all the Holy Spirit!'
    'Hold on,' said the Warden, 'I said it was good. I didn't say it was that good!'


    Dind't Luther say something to the effect that on one occasion he had not prepared a sermon and decided to rely on what the Holy Spirit said to him in the pulpit:
    'And what did the Holy Spirit say to you?'
    'He said Martin, you are a very lazy fellow!'
  • Jengie JonJengie Jon Shipmate
    LeRoc wrote: »
    Jengie Jon wrote: »
    What if the sermon tries to take you to a place where you encounter the word of God imaginatively or perhaps it wants to take you through a careful piece of analysis of the current situation so you can see how God's word fits with it, or it wants to take you on a theological journey where you arrive back at a slightly different place to where you set off from.
    I've been to many places, but I've never heard a preacher who can do this.

    I've heard many good sermons in my life. But this is taking into account my definition of a good sermon: one where I've heard one or two things that really touch me, and the rest is babbling. (A bad sermon is where all is babbling.)


    I am sorry to hear of the poverty of your experience, I used my own experience to craft that list of what a sermon could be.

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