One day, I asked my buddy which church service he went to, the 9:30 or the 11:00.
Instantly he said, “The 9:30.”
I asked him why and he replied, “At the 11, the pastor has no backstop.”
Although he was using the wall behind a catcher that stops the baseball in an unusual way, I knew exactly what he meant. At the last service of the day, the pastor has no governor. There is no other service waiting to start. There is no satellite uplink or next commitment that must be filled. It’s just all sermon, all day.
I get it. At 99% of the conferences I speak at they give me a hard finish time. There’s literally a clock that turns to angry red that I can see if I go over. And there should be, they have a whole day of other speakers that need the stage time. (I once learned this simple lesson, “Never follow a gospel singer with an active crowd.” That dude turned a 3 verse song into 27 minutes beyond his allotted time. I basically had time to get up and say, “Jesus loves you. Good night.”)
Now it would be easy to say, “If the pastor goes long that’s just the Holy Spirit showing up.” That might happen sometimes but what are we really saying? The Holy Spirit doesn’t attend the early service? The Holy Spirit likes to sleep in? Maybe get some sort of complicated coffee first from “The Father, Son and Holy Roast?”
Perhaps, but you’ve been warned. If us speakers don’t have a backdrop, we’re going old school, long form, good luck playing Oscar music to get us off the stage.
Without naming names or churches, have you ever had a pastor turn a single sermon into a long form revival?