How Long Do You Teach?

My staff gives me a hard time, because they think I talk too long. But since the sermon yesterday was via video, there was no way I could go long. 33 minutes flat.

So I decided to do a little research. I looked at my podcast times and realized that I clocked in an average of 41 minutes. I thought it was closer to 35. Then, I looked at the last 10 podcasts of some of the guys I listen to on a regular basis.

Andy Stanley = 41 minutes
Steven Furtick = 49 minutes
John Piper = 46 minutes
John Burke = 37 minutes
Perry Noble = 52 minutes

All these, plus me, averaged together equals 44 minutes. So while I might teach a little too long, it’s technically shorter than average. What about you? Average your last 10 message lengths together and let me know how long you teach.


8 comments so far

  1. RJ on

    I go WAAAYYY to long…but I just can’t help myself, the Bible just has so much great stuff to say! I was commenting to my staff last night, they need to figure out a way to shut me up!

  2. Letters From The Journey on

    I’m usually an even forty minutes. Although one Sunday, I joking said as I was getting started that I promised I wouldn’t talk for more than an hour, and I did – oops.

  3. Zach Terry on

    39 Mins. I’m telling our worship leader to drop a song, I want my other 5 mins! 🙂

  4. bradruggles on

    I think 40 minutes is a pretty good length. I think I’ve stayed around there.

    My wife brought up a good point. If you’re a good speaker 45 minutes can feel like 30 (like any of the messages I’ve heard from Andy Stanley for example). I really try to connect with my audience and feel how much they’re absorbing.

    There have been times where I’ve cut a message short because they just stopped tracking with me or my point was made.

    The general rule of thumb I think is, If something can be said in less time, DO IT! The thing that bothers me the most are the pastors who get long-winded and then blame it on “the spirit” when they just like hearing the sound of their own voice. 🙂

    Brad Ruggles

  5. alex mclean on

    Not trying to be negative at all but those were too good to pass up, typical teaching/lead/senior pastor attitudes.

    1. “They need to find a way to shut me up”. Um, no YOU need to find a way to shut yourself up – if that is an issue. Don’t put that on your staff – no staff member needs that weight on their shoulders.

    2. The old “we’ll cut a worship song” solution.

    Obviously this is a hot button for me. I work as an executive/programming pastor and we have timing issues all the time. Our goal is an hour service, and our teaching time is typically about 40 minutes – so you can imagine we are tight. Some ways we handle that is keeping our transitions quick and painless, using a clock and timer in the back, and keeping track of time every week so everyone on staff can see who was the guiltiest parties.

    Time is VALUABLE these days and not being responsible with it shows that we don’t care about one of people’s most vauled assets.

    Our greatest time challenge? Multiple services, parking & childrens ministry.

  6. Clif on

    My public speaking teacher always old me, “The mind cannot receive what the seat cannot endure” so as a rule of them I try to keep things between 30-35 minutes, every once in a great while I will go 40-45, but that is the exception not the rule.

  7. RJ on

    ummmmm…Alex….it is called A JOKE. Sorry you didn’t pick up on that one.

  8. alex mclean on


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