Study: Most Evangelicals Don’t Want Short Sermons

Fewer than 10% of Evangelicals want shorter sermons, while nearly one-third want more in-depth teaching, revealing a desire for learning more from God’s Word.

by Ken Ham on January 24, 2022
Featured in Ken Ham Blog
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I’ve been pointing out a trend in many churches across America—a drift towards more entertainment-driven services with a heavy emphasis on music (that often sounds like the world’s music) and shorter sermons. But is this really what most believers want from their pastors and churches? Well, I’ve also argued for a long time that it’s not what they need (what believers need is an emphasis on teaching God’s Word—all of it!), and a recent study confirmed that it’s not what most believers want either.

A new report found “fewer than 10% of Evangelical Protestants want to have shorter sermons during worship, while nearly a third want more in-depth teaching.” Of younger adults, who are often viewed as having short attention spans, only 7% wanted shorter sermons! And yet a study in 2019 found that “by a 3:2 margin more pastors are moving to shorter sermons.” I believe a lot of people in our churches are hungry for in-depth Bible teaching. In fact, I meet many people at the Ark Encounter and Creation Museum who bemoan the fact that they are not getting such teaching in their churches.

One researcher shared,

The most surprising insight was that 30% of evangelicals want more in-depth teaching than their church is currently providing . . . This demonstrates an opportunity for pastors to go deeper into the Word of God. This is good news at a time in our culture when biblical literacy is so low — there appears to be a desire among Evangelicals to deepen their understanding of biblical truth.
It’s encouraging to see that most evangelicals want in-depth Bible teaching from their pastors. We need more solid, biblically driven teaching from God’s Word to disciple and equip the next generation.

It’s encouraging to see that most evangelicals want in-depth Bible teaching from their pastors. We need more solid, biblically driven teaching from God’s Word to disciple and equip the next generation. So many professing Christians know very little about what God’s Word actually teaches (for example another study that was just released found that “half of U.S. Christians say casual sex between consenting adults is sometimes or always acceptable”!). They need to be disciplined in the faith, encouraged to get into God’s Word, and given the foundation for a biblical worldview so they can properly view the world around them.

I encourage you, pastors and Bible teachers, to get into God’s Word with your congregations! Give them the in-depth Bible teaching (including vital apologetics teaching) they need and want, always starting from the foundation that God’s Word is truth and the authority in all areas. After all—this shepherding of the congregation with God’s Word is what God has called pastors to do!

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15)

One way pastors and other Christian leaders can become equipped to teach their congregations foundationally is by making plans to attend our upcoming Answers for Pastors Conference (open for everyone to attend), “A Culture & Church in Crisis,” October 4–6, 2022, at the Ark Encounter, south of Cincinnati. I encourage everyone, especially pastors and teachers, to make plans to attend.

Watch Live Faith-Building Sessions from Appalachian Bible College

Also, I am speaking today and tomorrow at Appalachian Bible College, and you can join us via livestream from their YouTube channel. I encourage you to tune in for these faith-building sessions.

Get More Answers on Answers News

This item was discussed today on Answers News with cohosts Patricia Engler and Bryan Osborne. Answers News is our twice-weekly news program filmed live before a studio audience and broadcast on my Facebook page and the Answers in Genesis Facebook page. We also covered the following topics:

  • Abortion is the leading cause of death for the third year in a row.
  • Will scientists find “the Asian unicorn”?
  • Can we vacuum DNA out of the air to track rare species?
  • And more!

Watch the entire episode of Answers News for January 24, 2022.

Be sure to join us each Monday and Wednesday at 2 p.m. (ET) on my Facebook page or the Answers in Genesis Facebook page for Answers News. You won’t want to miss this unique news program that gives science and culture news from a distinctly biblical and Christian perspective.

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,
Ken

This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.

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