SHORTER SERMONS, MORE MINISTERING
Long sermons fail to do good, for both the speaker and the hearer become weary. Discourses should be shortened, and the physical and mental powers of the minister should be preserved for ministering, and a far greater work could be accomplished.
TENFOLD GREATER RESULTS
If our ministers would preach short discourses, right to the point, and then educate the brethren and sisters to work, and lay the burden upon them, the ministers themselves would be saved from exhaustion, the people would gain spiritual strength by the effort put forth, and the result would be tenfold greater than now is seen.
SERMONS SHORTER BY HALF
Ministers give too much time to preaching, and exhaust their vital forces. . . It is the many long discourses that weary. One half of the gospel food presented would tell to much better advantage.
“LET THE POWER AND GLOW OFThe Voice of Speech and Song – Ellen G. White
THE TRUTH FIND EXPRESSION
IN APPROPRIATE WORDS.
BODILY ORGANS OVERTAXED BY LONG SPEECHES
There is one matter about which I wish to caution you. In addressing a congregation, do not speak for too long a time; for thus you put a heavy strain on the delicate organs brought into action. I have to pledge myself not to speak too long; for I know that if I do, stomach and lungs and kidneys will be overtaxed, and suffering will result.
PLEASANT INCENSE TO GOD
Let the power and glow of the truth find expression in appropriate words. Express the joy and gratitude that well up from the heart as you see of the travail of your soul in the conversion of sinners. But in speaking to the people, remember to stop in season. Do not weary yourself so that you become nervous and debilitated, for the work you will need to do in addition to the preaching, requires tact and ability. It will be a potent agency for good, as pleasant incense rising to God.
A RESERVE OF PHYSICAL AND MENTAL POWER
Never use up all your vitality in a discourse so long and wearisome that you have not a reserve of physical and mental power to meet inquiring minds, and patiently seek to remove their doubts, and to establish their faith. Make it manifest that we are handling weighty argument which you know cannot be controverted. Teach by precept and example that the truth is precious; that it brings light to your understanding and courage to your heart. Keep a cheerful countenance. You will do this if you present the truth in love. Ever bear in mind that eternal interests are at stake, and be prepared to engage in personal labor for those who desire help. . . . In plain, simple language, tell every soul what he must do to be saved.
LONG SERMONS A TRIAL TO SPEAKER AND HEARERS
Those who shall be mouthpieces for God should know that their lips have been touched with a live coal from off the altar, and present the truth in the demonstration of the Spirit. But lengthy discourses are a taxation to the speaker and a taxation to the hearers who have to sit so long. One half the matter presented would be of more benefit to the hearer than the large mass poured forth by the speaker. That which is spoken in the first hour is of far more value if the sermon closes then than the words that are spoken in an added half hour. There is a burying up of the matter that has been presented.
This subject has been opened to me again and again that our ministers were making mistakes in talking so long as to wear away the first forcible impression made upon the hearers. So large a mass of matter is presented, which they cannot possibly retain and digest, that all seems confused.
This article is excerpted from the book The Voice in Speech and Song, pp. 247-249 by Ellen G. White