SHORTER SERMONS, MORE MINISTERING
Long sermons fail to do good, for both the speaker and the hearer become weary. Discourses should be shortened, and the physical and mental powers of the minister should be preserved for ministering, and a far greater work could be accomplished.
TENFOLD GREATER RESULTS
If our ministers would preach short discourses, right
to the point, and then educate the brethren and sisters to
work, and lay the burden upon them, the ministers themselves
would be saved from exhaustion, the people would
gain spiritual strength by the effort put forth, and the result
would be tenfold greater than now is seen.
SERMONS SHORTER BY HALF
Ministers give too much time to preaching, and exhaust
their vital forces. . . . It is the many long discourses that
weary. One half of the gospel food presented would tell to
much better advantage.
BODILY ORGANS OVERTAXED BY LONG SPEECHES
There is one matter about which I wish to caution you.
In addressing a congregation, do not speak for too long a
time; for thus you put a heavy strain on the delicate organs
brought into action. I have to pledge myself not to speak too
long; for I know that if I do, stomach and lungs and kidneys
will be overtaxed, and suffering will result.
PLEASANT INCENSE TO GOD
Let the power and glow of the truth find expression in
appropriate words. Express the joy and gratitude that well up
from the heart as you see of the travail of your soul in the
conversion of sinners. But in speaking to the people, remember
to stop in season. Do not weary yourself so that you
become nervous and debilitated, for the work you will need
to do in addition to the preaching, requires tact and ability. It
will be a potent agency for good, as pleasant incense rising
A RESERVE OF PHYSICAL AND MENTAL POWER
Never use up all your vitality in a discourse so long and
wearisome that you have not a reserve of physical and mental
power to meet inquiring minds, and patiently seek to remove
their doubts, and to establish their faith. Make it manifest
that we are handling weighty argument which you know cannot be controverted. Teach by precept and example that
the truth is precious; that it brings light to your understanding
and courage to your heart. Keep a cheerful countenance.
You will do this if you present the truth in love. Ever bear in
mind that eternal interests are at stake, and be prepared to
engage in personal labor for those who desire help. . . . In
plain, simple language, tell every soul what he must do to
LONG SERMONS A TRIAL TO SPEAKER AND HEARERS
Those who shall be mouthpieces for God should know
that their lips have been touched with a live coal from off
the altar, and present the truth in the demonstration of the
Spirit. But lengthy discourses are a taxation to the speaker
and a taxation to the hearers who have to sit so long. One
half the matter presented would be of more benefit to the
hearer than the large mass poured forth by the speaker. That
which is spoken in the first hour is of far more value if the
sermon closes then than the words that are spoken in an
added half hour. There is a burying up of the matter that has
This subject has been opened to me again and again
that our ministers were making mistakes in talking so long
as to wear away the first forcible impression made upon
the hearers. So large a mass of matter is presented, which
they cannot possibly retain and digest, that all seems confused.
This article is excerpted from the book The Voice in Speech and
Song, pp. 247-249 by Ellen G. White.