How long should a church service be? Question 1

27 05 2011

In my last post on this topic (click here) I said that asking the question “how long should a church service be?” is really the wrong question.  The 1st question you must ask is this: Who are the services for?  This post seeks to answer that question…

Let’s just get to the point: Weekly gatherings are for Believers.  You will not find a shred of evidence in the New Testament that would suggest our regularly gatherings are for anyone but Believers.  Here are just a few verses to look up: Acts 2:46, Hebrews 10:25, Acts 20:7, 1 Cor. 16:2, and 1 Thess. 5:27

Automatically this should cause us to know/be reminded of several things:

1. Our service is geared towards the tastes and interests of Believers (not the World- i.e. I shouldn’t put a motorcycle on stage in hopes that more people will come)

2. Believers are characterized by a thirst and zeal for more of God and love for one another. (Psalm 63, 1 John 3:14).

3. Believers need regular fellowship with God and one another.

Now a word of caution: We must remember 3 things-

1. Believers will be on different maturity levels in their walk with Christ.

2. Some who claim to be Believers are not actually Believers.

3. Inviting lost people (or them just coming on their own) to our services is a good thing!

Again, we are seeking to answer the question “How long should church services be?” by answering the questions that really lay the foundation for that question.  If services are for the lost in the World then that would definitly change the way that we do things.  Hopefully, however, you see that they are not- the bible is clear that our weekly gatherings are for the Redeemed.

Next week we’ll seek to answer the question: “What are our weekly gatherings for?”


How long should a church service be?

23 05 2011

Read another article this morning about the need for “1-hour” church services. This is something we’ve been wrestling with at FBC as we seek to bring honor and glory to Christ through our weekly gatherings.  So, how long should a church service be?

Right from the beginning we ask the wrong question.   Paul says “all things should be done decently and in order.”  In context he is talking about our regular gatherings so I do believe that it is important for leaders to spend time planning and preparing for Sunday morning services.  I am not advocating a “we don’t plan anything because we just get up there and let the Holy Spirit lead us” mentality.  Of course the Holy Spirit must lead us but that doesn’t give us the right to be lazy in planning our services.

But back to our question: How long should a church service be?  Why is this the wrong question? It is so far removed from the heart of the issue that it clouds the real issue.  It’s kind of like me asking this question: “How long should my doctor’s visit be?”  Well, there’s really no context for that question for someone to make an intellegent answer.  So, here are the questions that leaders must ask instead of the infamous “how long should our church services be?”:

1.  Who are the services for?- The lost? Believers? Some mixture in between?

2.  What are the services for?- Entertainment? Encouragement? Chastisement? Something else?

3.  After these two questions are answered then we must ask: What elements must be included in such a service so that it is geared towards the people it was intended for and meets the intent of what the services are for in the first place?

I think that the Bible is clear on these answers and in the next few weeks we will seek to answer them