5 Strategies for Shortening Your Sermons

Benjamin Vrbicek | July 6, 2016

If you loved the show 24, where every season Jack Bauer managed to save the world in just one day, you probably remember the entertainment vacuum after a season ended. You were delighted, then, when the DVD released and included deleted scenes.

Unfortunately, you soon learned the scenes were deleted because they weren’t any good. They were confusing and clunky, took focus away from the central plotline, featured poor acting, or needed greater sensitivity due to an unforeseen cultural moment.

Every time I watch a deleted scene, I feel this way.

Preachers can learn much from deleted scenes. Not everything you’ve prepared should be preached. Perhaps a particular insight is good, but it pulls your sermon off topic. Or maybe it creates more questions than you can reasonably answer. Maybe what you wrote is true, but your tone isn’t right because it arises from anger, not love. Or perhaps, after hours of study, you still aren’t sure whether the sinful desires in Romans 7:13–25 are Paul’s before or after his conversion. And if you force a decision before Sunday, preaching it will feign more confidence in your interpretation than you actually have.


No doubt, there are many other reasons to delete content from…

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