Monday, November 05, 2007

20 minute sermons

It was my first church. I was a new pastor just getting started when on a Sunday morning an older gentleman came up to me. He said, "Pastor, I know you are new, so I wanted to tell you that I only come to church because my wife makes me. I don't like church, but in fairness to you I will give you 20 minutes to preach, then I'm going to sleep and I snore." Sure enough, he did! And the worse part- his wife made them sit on the front row!

Quickly I had to make some decisions. Try to preach through the snoring, or give a 20 minute sermon. I realized that I didn't have to preach everything in one week, they would be back next week. So this old gentleman helped me with a pastoral discipline I couldn't have gotten anywhere else...I learned to preach a sermon in 20 minutes. There were days that it was a race between he and I, but I made the adjustments, and learned a lot.

So, what's the point? I am preaching next Sunday at another church for a young pastor I have been mentoring. He calls me the "bishop of Flower Mound." We met this week to discuss the general topics, and then I asked, "how long do I have to speak?" He replied, "20 minutes." And I just smiled.....thanks to an old gentleman years ago who didn't want to be in church I can do a 20 minute sermon.


Anonymous said...

OK -- I'm going to have to start calling you "Bishop" now! Cute story. We never know when our early training will come back into play.

Schweers' Mom said...

Isn't God the best?? And what a sense of humor, too!