One of the greatest opportunities I’ve had in life was working at Fellowship Church and being a member of the creative team that helped Pastor Ed Young plan creative messages. I remember hearing Ed often say he never preached a 25-minute sermon he didn’t like. I agree.
The reality is, there are few people who can preach longer than 30 minutes without losing their audience. A good philosophy is to leave them wanting more, not wanting to get out!
Here are 10 tips for creating shorter and more effective messages:
1. Cut Your Introduction.
Don’t spend so much time trying to set things up. Get in and get out by avoiding too much detail and long stories. A good idea is to shoot for a three-minute introduction.
2. Minimize Lists.
Long lists of examples can add length, especially if you comment on each one. Try combining similar points and using these examples in a sentence rather than a list.
3. Stick to the Point.
Define what the main thing is you want people to walk away with and stick to this thought. Cut information that is not relevant to this idea. Remember, you can always use it later!
4. Plan the Landing.
Know how you want to land the plane and don’t ramble at the end of your message. Focus on one main challenge/thought, develop a power statement, or perhaps refer back to your introduction by stating how the problem can be solved.