I was informed just recently that a major ministry is wanting to do sermons, including some of their major events, just like Ted Talks speeches. If you don’t know what those are, google it. Apparently, this is becoming a trend as well. I’ve googled it and seen several posts about the Pros (and even less cons) for doing services like this. Pastors are pushing (or being pushed) to limit the time of each service and make their sermons more like these speeches. Honestly, it doesn’t matter if it is Ted Talks or anything else you can find outside of the church. If you’re going to model a church service or sermon after anything you find outside the church, you are doomed to fail. (It doesn’t matter how much success you seem to have from this.)
Now you can gain insight and learn some things outside of the church. Businesses do have some things you can learn from. The problem we face is when we bring those things into the church and they take precedence and priority over the Holy Spirit.
This is the problem that is going on in the church and it is orchestrated not by God, but the devil. By bringing these worldly ideas and plans into the church, we are pushing God and His ways of doing things out. Instead of having God be the one that leads our church services, we are being led by our plans, our formats, and our schedules. In doing so, we offend the Holy Spirit, and hinder God’s plan for our church and the people attending.
There is a saying in the internet world of blogging – TLDR: Too Long, Didn’t Read. This idea has been adopted and molded in the church world – TLDG: Too Long, Didn’t Go; TLDL: Too Long Didn’t Listen.
However, this isn’t of God. This is not an idea of God. Throughout the Scripture, we see God telling people to wait on Him. We see things done in God’s timing, not ours. Yes there is a truth that the heart cannot accept more than the seat can endure, but that does not mean we try to cram God into our schedule and our timetable. Of course we have a set start time but we go until the Holy Spirit says it’s time to quit, not until our schedule says it’s time to quit. (Just another reason why it is important that the pastor knows the Holy Spirit and is led by Him.) That is not just for the timing of our services, but for the things that go on during the service. Our services should be directed and guided by the Holy Spirit. It should not be directed by what the latest statistic or the newest bestseller says.
Success comes from finding out what the Holy Spirit wants to do and doing it, not from following what the latest guru advises.