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Jon Acuff: 7 signs a sermon is almost over

By the very funny Jon Acuff, writer of Stuff Christians Like.

Absolutely hilarious and true.

7 signs a sermon is almost over —


1. “In closing…”

This is an old school sermon ender. When you hear this phrase, you’ve got about 7 minutes left.

2. “If I could leave you with one thing today…”

When I hear this, I kick everything else out of my head and laser focus. The “one thing” approach is like a grenade of knowledge that is about to be dropped.

3. “As we’re wrapping up…”

Technically, not accurate, since only the pastor should be wrapping up. Hopefully, the crowd isn’t zipping up Bibles or gathering stuff while he’s trying to close the sermon. That’s distracting.

4. The band starts to materialize like musical mist.

Wait a second, is that a guitar player slowly creeping onto the stage all quiet-like? Did the drummer just arise out of the floor to sit behind his kit?

5. The pastor closes his Bible.

Class is over. We took a good look at the good book and now we’re done.

6. The pastor sneaks a peek at the clock and gets nervous.

I’m not a pastor, but occasionally you’ll see me do this when I’m speaking. A lot of churches have clocks on the back walls indicating how much time you have to speak. And they count backwards. When you go over your time they start flashing red. If you ever see a pastor look up, as if to the heavens, and get “insta-sweaty,” it’s because he’s way behind.

7. They start talking faster.

I have two talking speeds–fast and wicked fast. If I realize I’m out of time, but still have 2 main points to share, I speed up. Like a ninja. Or a cheetah. Or a ninja cheetah, the fastest of all martial arts jungle cats.

Those are the signs a sermon is about to end. If, on the other hand, a pastor takes his coat off, removes his watch or says, “Today I want to talk about …” forget it, that sermon is nowhere near over.