Yesterday I was disappointed to read a comment suggesting that pastors should stick to the preaching time because it is inconsiderate to cut into “my time.” Now maybe I misunderstood this particular commenter but this is something I’ve heard said about long winded preachers.
The basic problem I have is this idea that the pastor is actually cutting into someone else’s time. I wonder how this measures up to reality. Let’s assume that the minimum we should give to God is 10%, which I think can be justified by the Bible so it seems like a good place to start. Now let’s say that this can be applied to everything; also supported by the Bible. Time is part of everything so it seems that we owe God 2.4 hours per day (if you are curious this is 2 hours and 24 minutes) or 16.8 hours per week (16 hours 48 minutes). Of course most of us work so I’ll be generous and assume 40 hours of work and a tithe on that income offsetting 4 hours f the 16.8 hours. This leaves 12.8 hours. Now lets also be generous and assume that we give God an hour every day so we are left with 5.8 hours. Now if a person goes to church for Sunday morning, evening and a midweek service then that 5.8 hours should get covered with 3 hours Sunday morning and about 1.5 hours Sunday Evening and midweek. This is actually pretty accurate for someone going to Sunday School and the other service so if you give God your tithe and an hour a day plus Sunday morning, evening, and a midweek then you have reached the minimum.
Of course the people I have heard complain about cutting into “my time” are not there for Sunday School, Sunday Evening, or the midweek. I doubt they are making up this time by giving more than the hour a day. I’m not trying to tear someone down when I say this, but I think we need to think a little before we get mad that the service is running long.
How much do we give to God and how much does He give to us? If we love Him shouldn’t we want to spend time with Him? What if we all gave God 10% of everything? Wouldn’t that be amazing. Then the preacher wouldn’t have to preach long because of so many people that can’t feed themselves.
Of course it is much easier to get upset at the preacher than to look at ourselves so I guess I shouldn’t go there.