Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Yesterday I was disappointed to read a comment suggesting that pastors should stick to the preaching time because it is inconsiderate to cut into "my time." Now maybe I misunderstood this particular commenter but this is something I've heard said about long winded preachers.

The basic problem I have is this idea that the pastor is actually cutting into someone else's time. I wonder how this measures up to reality. Let's assume that the minimum we should give to God is 10%, which I think can be justified by the Bible so it seems like a good place to start. Now let's say that this can be applied to everything; also supported by the Bible. Time is part of everything so it seems that we owe God 2.4 hours per day (if you are curious this is 2 hours and 24 minutes) or 16.8 hours per week (16 hours 48 minutes). Of course most of us work so I'll be generous and assume 40 hours of work and a tithe on that income offsetting 4 hours f the 16.8 hours. This leaves 12.8 hours. Now lets also be generous and assume that we give God an hour every day so we are left with 5.8 hours. Now if a person goes to church for Sunday morning, evening and a midweek service then that 5.8 hours should get covered with 3 hours Sunday morning and about 1.5 hours Sunday Evening and midweek. This is actually pretty accurate for someone going to Sunday School and the other service so if you give God your tithe and an hour a day plus Sunday morning, evening, and a midweek then you have reached the minimum.

Of course the people I have heard complain about cutting into "my time" are not there for Sunday School, Sunday Evening, or the midweek. I doubt they are making up this time by giving more than the hour a day. I'm not trying to tear someone down when I say this, but I think we need to think a little before we get mad that the service is running long.

How much do we give to God and how much does He give to us? If we love Him shouldn't we want to spend time with Him? What if we all gave God 10% of everything? Wouldn't that be amazing. Then the preacher wouldn't have to preach long because of so many people that can't feed themselves.

Of course it is much easier to get upset at the preacher than to look at ourselves so I guess I shouldn't go there.


Nicholas Z. Cardot said...

Hey I just found your blog here. Very impressive. I agree with you about people complaining about cutting into their time. In fact, in the past, preachers would preach late into the night. I had a preacher at my home church one night who preached for over 2 and a half hours. He was a great preacher and was presenting so many facts and information about American history (as that was the topic of that particular service) that I didn't see anybody eyeballing their watches and people still stayed long after the service to fellowship.

Most people are so brainwashed by society. They know that when the clock hits 5:00 PM they walk out of work even if they are in the middle of a project. They know that on the hour, their favorite program cuts off and will just have to continue next week. They demand that God does the same for them.

In Christ,

Nicholas Z. Cardot

Ryan B said...

At the church I go to on Sunday morning, the typical service is one worship song, the pastor speaks, and then they end in worship. The pastor always says that people can leave whenever they want and gives the option for people to ditch out on worship. I don't know how many people take him up on that offer though.

On some Friday nights, I go to a college service called The Rain. It starts at 8 o'clock and the end time is whenever Nick, the college pastor, stops speaking. Anyone can come and go as they please. He's an excellent speaker and there is probably at least 40 people who stay the entire time which is pretty good considering it is a Friday night service on a college campus when there is an ample amount of parties which people can go to. The group also usually gets to do some kind of outreach afterward which is pretty cool. Helping drunk people is always a good time. I don't know where I was going with this but good post.

Nick the Geek said...

Thanks. I agree that people are wired by our culture into a lot of wrong thinking when it comes to God and the church. I wish it was some thing easily remedied but honestly I don't think we can overcome the kind of onslaught the world provides. Like Paul says in Ephesians 6:10 we aren't fighting physical things so we cannot expect to have much impact if we rely on physical means. Getting people to pray more is the real trick but it is also the underlying problem, most Christians aren't praying all that much.

Ryan B.,
I think it would be awesome to have that kind of college program. I'm not against people leaving while I'm speaking so long as they are courteous about it. The biggest problem I have is during the altar call when everyone gets up and starts talking around the church even up at the altars. Just leave to a less distracting place if you want to talk.

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