length of Sunday services

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I'd like to pose a question directed to both clergy and laity and hope that I'mnot opening a can of worms.

What is the average length of your Sunday worship service?

The reason I ask this is that it seems in my area (Central Ohio), the services at most of the AME churches (and actually, other black congregations that I may visit), the services seem to be getting longer and longer. The church I attend (and have been a member since childhood) used to have a service that was about 1.5 hours and exceeded that only on Communion Sunday. Slowly the time grew to between 1.5 - 1.75 hours. We now have a regular service of 2.0+ hours.

It used to be that the only 3.0 hour service was on Good Friday, but that is no longer the case; we can have a nearly 3.0 hour service almost any Sunday of the year; esp. Communion Services. Much of the extended time is music - either congregational, choir, or "spontaneous"/pastor's request, announcements, etc. When all has been said and done, very little of the time was actually spent in preaching the Word...and I wouldn't mind spending the time if I were being "fed". Rather, much of the time seems to be just wasted time, or at least, time not well spent.

On the other hand, a "white" (United Methodist) congregation that I visit on occasion, has a service that runs just under 1.5 hours, the congregational music, choir selections, scripture, and sermon are all related to a central theme and I leave feeling refreshed and challenged rather than physically drained.

How is it in your church?

-- Anonymous, December 05, 2000


I try to keep my services to no more than 1.5 hours. It depends on the needs and attention span of the congregation. Sometimes we "fellowship" for 30 or 40 minutes after we dismiss and then at other times the swooshing sound is the congregation rushing out. Blessings

-- Anonymous, December 06, 2000

My serevices run 2 hrs. and 2.5 max on communion sunday

-- Anonymous, December 06, 2000

You must have been talking to my daughter. Last weekend my daughter who is 23 said "Mom I hope we are not going to have a two hour service, can't you do your God is good chant in ten minutes instead of twenty and can't the people read the announcements instead of reading them all again?" Well my service was one hour and fifteen minutes and that included communion. She was right, the service flowed, the focus was on the message, and the congregation has called to talk about the sermon. My daughter is on our ministerial staff and her feed back is invaluable. Great question, for me as a christian and pastor, I have to leave my ego at the door and let the will of the Holy Spirit lead the worship, the congregation is coming to hear the word of God, I pray I will get out of the way and let that happen. God Bless you!

-- Anonymous, December 06, 2000

Check out Tommy Tenney's book "The God Chasers" from Destiny Image. It's available on Amazon.com. This will change anyone's attitude on church service length, and also what goes on in church. Warning: My best description for this book is spiritual heroin. It'll lead you into something that is extremely potent, highly addictive, and deadly - to the flesh. Don't read it unless you have a box of tissues handy. You'll be broken by the end of the first chapter.

-- Anonymous, December 09, 2000

I must say that our Morning Worship Service starts at 11:00 A.M. and lasts no more than 1.5 hours. We do NOT pull a table out to receive and count the offering. We have envelopes in each program and the worshippers place their offerings in the envelope and bring it to the altar during Altar Meditation Time. We have gotten out at 12:20 PM on Communion Sunday. Yes, we do have fellowship time after worship, on the lower level.

-- Anonymous, March 31, 2001

The Bible teaches us that we ought to tithe not only on our finances but time and talent. One week has 7 days, each day is made up out of 24hours. That gives me 168 hours so I am suppose to tithe a tenth of that time. That would be 16.8 hours. Wow. Is'nt God good. I know when I spend 2 - 3 hours in front of the TV (that is not blessing me in any way) I have no problem with that. When I spend time on the basketball court, or at soccer practise or at the football game or at the baseball game I have no problem with that. When I spend time partying on a Saturday till the wee hours of the morning I have no problem with that. We have problem with spending 1 hour in church. If you do not go to church to do anything just go out of thanksgiving for what God has blessed you with all week long. ther is not enough time in the world to thak God for His goodness. What is it about Christians always having a problem with spending time in worship and praise and thankgiving unto God. The service I attend lasts for about 2 hours and on Communion Sunday it last up to 2hours and fourty minutes. Then we stand around on the church grounds for another hour (not complaining about that hour we spend)just talking to each other. What r u going to do in heaven (if you get there) where there is not going to be anytime for anythingelse but worshipping God. You'd better start practising down here in order to appreciate it up there. Enter His gates with thaksgiving Enter His courts with praise Be thankful unto Him and bless His Holy Name For He is worthy of all praise.

Stop passifying your congregations but start teaching that which God has called you to preach and teach. I LOVE GOING TO CHURCH NO MATTER HOW LONG IT IS.

-- Anonymous, April 04, 2001

Whomever you are lieflik I praise God for you and your response. HALLELUJAH. From the rising of the sun until the going down of the same, my God is worthy of all Praise. Worship means work. And work is never an easy task. But if you don't know why ask your pastor to do some teaching on worship.

-- Anonymous, April 04, 2001

I came across this thread in search of length of church service. I attend a church with a morning service that has increased from 1.5 hours to 2.5 to 3.0 hours and the increased time is directly related to worship that seems more selfish than Godly in my opinion. I like church and love to stay when my spirit is being fed the word of God.

An earlier response mentioned 16.8 hours is one tenth of our week. How many people spend that much time (or less) with their spouses and children and still enjoy mutually quality, healthy and fulfilling relationships?

Monday through Saturday, I spend meaningful time that I could do other things but I choose to spend that time putting myself in a position where I can hear from God through prayer, circumstance and reading of the scripture so when Wednesday afternoon and Saturday night come, I cannot wait to get to church.

The longer the service, the more likely people remember some thing or every thing in the service but the word of God. Just my two cents.

-- Anonymous, January 05, 2003

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