Kia, we always say that, but at some point in our human experiences we must leave our comfort zone. Our congregating with people we will comfortable with may not be racist; but why do people feel more comfortable with people of their own race? I agree, different cultures worship differently. Maybe we should learn how to worship with one another.
I have never been of the opinion that you need to be the same race to be my friend. In fact, I have found that the strongest friendships have been outside my race.
I belong to a very mixed and diverse group. We all accept each other without hesitation or viewing anyone as inferior or superior. We are what heaven is supposed to be, a unified body, each one serving the other.
Those who watch television are not able to hear a 80 mins sermon. They are not able to concentrate for over 10 or 25 mins. To recondition the mind you need to stop viewing television; stop watching all movies....
"But the mind cannot be refreshed, enlivened, and elevated by being confined nearly all the Sabbath hours within walls, listening to long sermons and tedious, formal prayers. The Sabbath of the Lord is put to a wrong use if thus celebrated. The object for which it was instituted is not attained. The Sabbath was made for man, to be a blessing to him by calling his mind from secular labor to contemplate the goodness and glory of God. It is necessary that the people of God assemble to talk of Him, to interchange thoughts and ideas in regard to the truths contained in His word, and to devote a portion of time to appropriate prayer. But these seasons, even upon the Sabbath, should not be made tedious by their length and lack of interest.
During a portion of the day, all should have an opportunity to be out of doors. How can children receive a more correct knowledge of God, and their minds be better impressed, than in spending a portion of their time out of doors, not in play, but in company with their parents? Let their young minds be associated with God in the beautiful scenery of nature, let their attention be called to the tokens of His love to man in," Testimonies for the Church Volume 2, Page 583
There are sermons that are so filled with heavenly dew and fatness that the people never get weary of listening. But where this is the most lacking there is an endeavor to make up in length for want of the Spirit of God. But when the people are impressed that the message they hear has first been brought home to the soul of the speaker, that he has proved the preciousness of the truth, that his heart enlarged by the love of God is reaching out for others, that they may be blessed as he has been, that they may be partakers of the same consolation and receive the same joy, then souls will be stirred. They will come into sympathy with the speaker.
“I do not like to go much beyond the half hour,” said a faithful and earnest preacher, who certainly never gave to his hearers that which cost him nothing in the preparation. “I know that the spiritual digestion of some is but weak, and I should be sorry for my hearers to spend the second half hour in forgetting what I had said in the first, or in wishing that I would cease when I had given them as much as they could carry away.”
The discourses given upon present truth are full of important matter and if these discourses are carefully considered before being presented to the people, if they are condensed, and do not cover too much ground, if the Spirit of the Master goes with the utterances, no one will be left in darkness, no one will have cause to complain of being unfed. The preparation both in preacher and hearer, has very much to do with the result.
I will here quote a few words that have come under my notice just now: “I always know by the length of Cannon’s sermon whether he has been much from home during the week,” said one of his flock. “When carefully studied, his discourses are of a moderate length, but it is almost impossible for his
hearers to forget the teachings conveyed in them. When he has had no time for preparation, his sermons are unreasonably long, and it is equally impossible to get anything out of them which will stick to the memory.”
Another able minister was asked how long he was accustomed to preach. “When I prepare thoroughly, half an hour. When only partially an hour. But when I enter the pulpit without previous preparation, I go on for any length of time you like; in fact I never know when to stop.”
Here is another forcible statement: “A good shepherd,” says a writer, “should have always abundance of bread in his scrip, and his dog under command. The dog is his zeal, which he must lead, order, and moderate. His scrip full of bread is his mind full of useful knowledge and he should ever be in readiness to give nourishment to his flock.”
We have important, solemn truth to give to the people. Thank God, my dear brother, that you can act as a co-laborer with Christ; but do not, I beg you, groan under a yoke that Christ has never placed upon your neck. Do not bend under a burden which He has not made it your duty to lift. That which has greatly lessened the effect of your discourses in an important effort is that with that effort you keep up almost incessant writing, so that the vital elements and the condensed arguments are not matters of thoughtful consideration with you. You keep on hand no reserve force. You preach too many discourses, and too long, on a high key. When you cannot speak without being obliged to cough quite frequently do not try to speak; for you so enlist the sympathies of the hearers that they take no true sense of what you are saying. These points are worthy of consideration. You imperil your own health, and make it painful, exceedingly painful, for the hearers, so that
anything you may present to them will not have much effect on their hearts or principles.
I write this because I want you to preserve your life and your influence, and I want the cause of God to have the very best kind of service we can any of us give it. We must not be fitful, changeable as the weathervane in our feelings. Nervous prostration comes from overtaxation. Now God gives you a part to act in His cause in connection with your brethren. In these important efforts it is best that as strong a force as possible should be connected with the work. No one’s freedom is to be limited, no one is to be ignored, no one is to bear universal sway; but you are to counsel together and pray together and realize that if left to the strength and wisdom of any one of you, you will surely fail.
You must not trust your own experience or wisdom or knowledge. God must be your dependence, and your trust. If you look to Him, trust in Him, believe in Him, and feel your own utter helplessness, then you will have help of the right kind just when it is most needed. God help the workers! Do we estimate the truth above the estimate we have of ourselves? Do we appreciate it according to its value? If we believe that we are engaged in a work of preparing people to stand in the great day of God, then we shall labor accordingly.
It is not the busy activity that we bring into the work that makes it a success but it is the well directed effort that we make, not trusting in ourselves, but through the grace of Christ taking God at His Word, working humbly with the Spirit of God, keeping self under strict control, preserving nerve and brain from overtaxation, that religion may be the controlling element in our life, that the atmosphere of heaven may be diffused in the home circle, in the church, everywhere," .Manuscript Releases Volume Six [Nos. 347-418], Pages, 184-187
Long sermons do no one any good. I will tell you my methodology. I use a lot of scripture, as we are to be people of the Book, and I try to get it within 45 minutes not to overtax them as Mrs. White recommends, but leave them with a strong sense of the message.
I believe the brother was exaggerating. The sermons are normally between 30 to 60 mins.
well you agreed that the length of the sermon is not the issue but the members are. The are living is Babylon- six days in Babylon, therefore when they come to church they are remotely put to sleep by Satan.