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How Long Should a Pastor Preach?

3. To leave your people longing for more, not less.

Every preacher has been there. We can sense we are losing our people and we still have 10 minutes left in the sermon. We want to make sure we give adequate time to the preaching of God’s Word, but this principle, to leave them longing for a bit more, is a good goal to pursue. I would rather leave my people in a place where they wanted just a little more, verses exasperating them with too much. Do not underestimate the discouragement that comes from someone who honestly desires a nice big glass of water and instead got the fire hose jammed down his or her throat.

Remember, these are just principles. Do not over analyze them. Just take them and apply them in your context with your level of preaching experience. Lastly, remember you are a shepherd of these people to whom you are preaching. Think like a shepherd as you determine the length of your sermons. Push them to grow. Nurture them where they are now. Then, trust that God will use his Word and your efforts to find that balance every pastor should seek.  

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Brian Croft is senior pastor of Auburndale Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky. He is also the author of "Visit the Sick: Ministering God’s Grace in Times of Illness (foreword by Mark Dever) and "Test, Train, Affirm, and Send Into Ministry: Recovering the Local Church’s Responsibility to the External Call" (foreword by R. Albert Mohler Jr.). Brian blogs regularly at Practical Shepherding.