My grandfather was a farmer and was known for his unique quips and country sense. Soon after I was called to preach, my grandfather gave me some advice which I have never forgotten: “Jimmy, when you’re done preaching, sit down.” Evidently he had heard preachers who finished their sermon, but continued to preach (ramble).
People attend services especially to hear the sermons; and since preaching is the most important activity of a new preacher, he must be good at it.
We must allow the Spirit of God to use the message we preach, and when or if we feel we miss the mark we must resist the urge to continue talking and add to its ineffectiveness. If we have preached poorly, we should end the sermon as soon as possible rather than continue to irritate our listeners further.
The length of the sermon is not as important as finishing it when we are done. Some great men of God can preach short sermons and accomplish more than others with much longer sermons. Some men can preach long sermons and keep the people’s interest. Usually people adjust to the style of the preacher. However, rambling after the sermon is finished can ruin the message and lose the impact of its main point.
Every aspect of the service should point to the invitation and toward people making decisions. The prelude, the welcome, the congregational songs, the special music, and especially the sermon should all point people to make a decision to get saved or surrender to the will of God. When the man of God closes the Bible, men and women should open their hearts and respond to the message of the Word of God.
Ecclesiastes 10:11-15 gives a firm warning concerning needless talk. “Surely the serpent will bite without enchantment; and a babbler is no better. The words of a wise man’s mouth are gracious; but the lips of a fool will swallow up himself. The beginning of the words of his mouth is foolishness: and the end of his talk is mischievous madness. A fool also is full of words: a man cannot tell what shall be; and what shall be after him, who can tell him? The labour of the foolish wearieth every one of them, because he knoweth not how to go to the city.”