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

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