Top 10 Reasons Your Worship Service Ends At 2:30PM

Thought we might have a little fun with this one. So here is my David Letterman impression:

10) The Spirit moved in a mighty way and the people were energized to do God’s work during the week.

9) Something truly out of the ordinary happened during the week that required additions to the service.

8 ) No one knows who is supposed to do the next part of the service.

7) The announcements are composed as people yell corrections to the greeter who is reading the announcements. You might hear someone say, “No, that’s 5:30PM”. “No, See Deacon Larry.” “No, somebody give me a mic.”

6) All the choirs of the church and the pastor’s friend, who showed up today, have to sing a song.

5) The preacher preaches for an hour and a half. Hey, some Superstar preachers can do it, but most of us can’t preach that long!

4) You take up the offering 3 times. One time for tithe, one time for offering, and one time for the building fund. Or for the Theologically inclined, “Once for the Father, once for the Son, and once for the holy Spirit.”

3) You Have A 1 Hour Praise and Worship Service.

Sidebar ->
I have a problem with naming this “song service”, praise and worship. Why? Becuase it ain’t the only part of the service that is praise and worship. Reading the scripture together is praise and worship. Leaving an offering is praise and worship. Interacting with the sermon vocally and internally is praise and worship. And yes singing during this time of the service is praise and worship.


2) The Scripture Reader and Hymn Announcer Both Thought That they better preach the sermon they working on because the people ain’t gonna hear them preach again for 7 months. Somebody tell these folks to read the scripture, announce the hymn and sit down!

1) The worship service ain’t longer, it just started 45 minutes late.



Sherman Haywood Cox II

Sherman Haywood Cox II is the director of Soul Preaching. He holds the M.Div with an emphasis in Homiletics and a M.S. in Computer Science.

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Vernetia Miller - November 30, 2011 Reply

LOL!!! And let us not forget it being First Sunday, which means baptisms, communion, and all the special performances of all the auxillaries.

Selwyn Aguillera - December 2, 2011 Reply

Yes the communion … It is usually a mini service within the normal service. It adds 15 – 20mins.

PASTOR TONY CREDLE - December 2, 2011 Reply


Rev. Ron Brown - December 2, 2011 Reply

Why is it that we are concerned with how long the service is? We should thank God that He affords us the opportunity. One of the preachers at our church always starts his sermons with “if you get finished before I do, feel free to leave, I won’t be offended.”

Sherman Haywood Cox II - December 2, 2011 Reply

Well if the reason is because the spirit showed up and showed out…that’s one thing…if the reason is because of sloth or lack of planning or some other kind of reason like that, then I would argue that should concern us…

Minister L Rabb - December 2, 2011 Reply

I love church so much, I never watch the clock I just love praising God He’s done so much for me! When I preach I’m always consecrated and fasting so I will be lead by the holyspirit.

Bro. Don - December 2, 2011 Reply

That was a good topic and 10 good reasons. Its good to have fun and laugh, let’s not get so serious like we never pondered the question…

Marcell Thomas - December 2, 2011 Reply

LOL doc you are right about it!

Sylvester Warsaw, Jr. - December 3, 2011 Reply

My friend Elder Cox,

Because I truly believe God has a sense of humor it’s refreshing to have a little fun and not be so serious sometimes.

Traditionally, First Sunday, services are usually longer due to Communion. With that said, I, maybe wrong but I think this happens more in the south then other areas of the country. It would be nice to have documentation. Blessings my brother.

Sylvester Warsaw, Jr.

The Rev. Dr. Donald Ray Jenkins - December 3, 2011 Reply

Fellow Believers:

This is a good article. My only criticism is that Communion and baptism are integral parts of the worship service and should never be shortchanged because somebody is worrying about time. As a former pastor, I usually announced the benediction at 12:15 PM on most Sundays; on Communion Sundays and special days like Mother’s Day, I usually announced the benediction between 12:30 and 12:45 PM. Rest assured, I preached from about twenty-two minutes to thirty minutes each Sunday, and our choirs usually sang anywhere from six to seven songs. The key to getting out of church at a reasonable time is having a presider who knows how to preside; that is, a presider’s job is to provide for the orderly flow of the service–not to comment on every thing that happens during the worship hour.

The Rev. Dr. Donald Ray Jenkins

Winston-Salem, North Carolina

minister jonathan mobley - December 3, 2011 Reply

maybe GOD is trying to get a message to someone and other things are blocking or hindering the message comming worth,but sometime there are to many distraction’s,and not a lot of worship to usher in the holy spirit,true praise and worship can jump start church and allow GOD to come in and show out.

Sherman Haywood Cox II - December 3, 2011 Reply

Hello Rev Jenkings,

You let out a special service before 1:00PM? Wow…You regularly let out church at 12:15PM? what time do you start the service? Do you have a “praise and worship” time of service? In any case if you regularly let out church before 1PM…this article was not meant for your congregation…

Sherman Haywood Cox II - December 3, 2011 Reply

Hey folks,

There are legitimate reasons for a long service. I included 2 of them in the list…but in many cases it is long because we don’t think we should even worry about time. That is a problematic mindset, in my opinion…

Bonnie - December 3, 2011 Reply

Good list of reasons! You left out the praise dancers and small skits and the sundry list of other things though. 🙂

My question is – when did the house of God stop being a house of prayer?

It seems to me we spend more time in the A.A. church singing those six to eight songs than we do actually praying/ talking to God in our houses of worship.

How and when did we get into the current “program” mode and how do we get back to making Sunday an hour of prayer to God and the rest of the
activities that happen on Sunday get diverted to another time?

Just saying…..

The Rev. Dr. Donald Ray Jenkins - December 3, 2011 Reply

Reverend Cox:

Yes, we had a praise and worship service, from 10:45 until 11:00. The major reason our church was able to get out at 12:15 PM was because I presided (I didn’t have any associate ministers), I kept the program running smoothly, and I used the printed bulletin effectively–almost all announcments were printed on the bulletin, which I typed; so seldom did members have to stand and make announcments from the floor.


The Rev. Dr. Donald Ray Jenkins

Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Darren Lucas - December 4, 2011 Reply

I know we’re having a little fun with this one but would like to add, we work on our jobs at least eight hours a day for five or six days a week- no problem. How is it when it comes to giving God a little time in our lives because the average church service last about 4.5 hours for one day and He’s the one that gives us the mind to know what time it is anyway.

Sherman Haywood Cox II - December 4, 2011 Reply

Thanks for the responses,

But Brother Darren,

I don’t know where you work, but everywhere I have worked I have heard people complain about the length of the work day among themselves (Just not to the boss). Clock watching and wondering when the day is going to be over is almost a pass-time in much of the American work force. And have you ever been somewhere where the people had to wait an extra few minutes because a fellow co-worker didn’t get something done which lengthened the work day of the other workers? For example, I remember a mathematical error on a financial report caused by a co-worker which extended the day 2.5 hours for 3 workers who had to re-do some numbers . You can bet more anger than you see on this thread was shown to that guy who made that mistake….

But be that as it may, I would say again, .If the Spirit moves and the service is lengthened. OK, you have a point. If it is a special day like baptism or communion and the service must be lengthened. OK, but I just ask that the worship planners and participants to make sure that it is not their vanity or sloth that is lengthening the service and not the moving of the spirit…

Van Campbell - December 4, 2011 Reply

It is good that some one be aware of the time. Or else the spirit will leave! It is all good both in the north (NYC) and South.

Tigner J - December 5, 2011 Reply

Rev. Cox,
great post of humor and reality. in your last comment make a very valid point: “…worship plannersmake sure that it is not their vanity or sloth that is lengthening the service” in most cases I’ve noticed these are some of the root causes for lenghty services. worship leaders, decons, and members have to remember to leave the E.G.O. at the door. EGO= Edge God Out…

Evangelist Larry Walters - December 5, 2011 Reply

A good “tongue-in-check” article.
Could a better title be, “Why are services so short in America?”

My wife and I have enjoyed the priveledge of serving in India and Grenada.
In India, the people have sacrificed their daily food in order to attend service. For many they have to decide to eat or to go to church.
When they sacrifice so much to hear God’s Word taught, they need real spiritual food that will sustain them.
In Grenada, services go long as well because of their hunger for the things of God.
ARe we hungry enough in America? We cut our spiritual teeth in Godsfield House of Prayer in Mansfield, OH. Services start at 10:30 and generally end between 1 o 2 pm. Did I mention that Rev El is from Nigeria?
We also feel cheated when services end so quickly.
In Simple Obedience,
Larry and Ana Walters
Evangelist to the Nations!

Sherman Haywood Cox II - December 5, 2011 Reply

LOL…Evangelist Walters….Touche’ you have certainly demonstrated the North American bias that I bring to the subject…

pastor Paul dixon JR - December 14, 2011 Reply

Good food for thought.if it is the holy spirit then that’s one thing,but there is to much me in church and not enough us.if we really get into the service we will have a good time and the time won’t matter.what i don’t like is when we’re preaching and people are constantly watching the clock to see if it’s kick-off time just leave and stop being a distraction.because God Knows your heart.

Pastor Walters - December 21, 2011 Reply


Funny, yes, but not for all the right reasons. The pastorate needs to responsive to the spiritual needs of the congregation and sometimes this will manifest as additional time spent in a service. But the extravaganza I see in many churches who subscribe to the “black preaching tradition” is, in a word, silly. We are simply not doing an effective job of equipping the saints for the work of the ministry because we have so many egos to stroke. Just give an ear to the parking lot at 2:45 after “service” lets out. It’s no wonder we feel the need for a two-hour spiritual enema to get us “moving in the Spirit” again.

Once we get back to the business of truly making disciple for Jesus Christ, people will see how much of this “excess” just needs to go away (like the fourth night of a week-long church anniversary…)

Sherman Haywood Cox II - December 22, 2011 Reply


you said that the piece was “funny…but not for all the right reasons.” I’m trying to understand what you mean by that. I mean what would be the right reasons for this piece to be funny?

Pastor Samuel - December 28, 2011 Reply

This is good! Amen!

Grace - April 11, 2012 Reply

Service should not be solely based on the quantity of the service but its quality. Singing is great and raising offerings is important to the up keep of the church. However, it is the word that’s going to help, save and deliver the people. Hebrews 2:1 ~ Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let [them] slip. If Sunday School starts at 9:30, morning worship 11:30 and you come in at 12:30 and wanna get your praise on, there are people who have already been there for 3/hrs. Everybody come to church “ain’t” save many come to get help and sometime leave wondering what just happened and the poor preacher has to preach over all that just happened before he begans his message. We need to stop having service on “our time” and get on “God’s Time”…I Corinthians 14:40 ~ Let all things be done decently and in order. If the spirit comes in then that’s different. “We need to Let Go and Let God”. If God can shorten the day, (wexcept that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved:) why can’t we shorten our services. I didn’t mean to say all this so thank you.

John C - April 14, 2012 Reply

Well, no one said you gotta sit thru the whole thing. If you get hungry, go to the fellowship hall and get something to eat. It’s better to train your mind/body to feed on the Word of God, but hey sometimes that ol sugarloaf kicks in and gotta get something in the fire.

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