Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Words on a page

My day is going good so far. Just finished my sermon for Sunday. It makes a huge difference in my 'constitution' if my sermon comes together soon or late. I felt like I spent two days staring at the wall, but today, once I sat down and started writing, it just puked itself out. I wish that would happen the first time I sat down. But I'll settle for having it done early Wednesday.

That is one thing I learned from Dave Fitch at a conference earlier this year. He said he has to tell his guys to limit how much time they spend in sermon preparation. Because for some people it will NEVER be good enough, and you could spend all your waking hours working on it, and it still wouldn't be satisfactory. And, I don't know what it's like in other churches, but in mine there are just a few other things to do besides the Sunday sermon.

So... since I had a minute to kill before lunch, I checked the stats on this sermon. I type them all out - every Sunday, for almost 10 years now. They are double-spaced, with a size 14 font (so I can see it), and almost every week they are 8 pages. Though I used to get up to 10 pages, but now I usually add more during preaching, so I try to always go right at 8 full pages. This weeks sermon, on Exodus 20:1-17, is: 8 pages (14 font; double-spaced); 2,208 words; 9,410 characters (no spaces); 11,606 characters (with spaces); 38 paragraphs; and 173 lines.

There, now you know the details of my sermon.

13 comments:

Carrie Jade said...

NOw that I know the stats I don't really even have to go, right? :)

Looking forward to it...see ya soon!

Carrie Jade said...

My word verification was pantsmas...kind of like Christmas??

dan horwedel said...

Actually, I could use someone to run powerpoint AND the sound board. :)

Carrie Jade said...

I know two people for just the job!

That means we'll be covering the greeter positions, visuals and sound. Man, we basically run the place :)

dan horwedel said...

Oops. I forgot you two were greeters Sunday too. I'll just have to pay you extra, I guess.

Jim said...

OK, so we also now have a range for how long you'll make your parishioners sit before they can rush out for their after-church brunches. Given the average speaking rate of 130-200 WPM, that means you will be droning on for approximately 11-17 minutes. Talk fast. Tummies are grumbling. :o)

dan horwedel said...

Wow. I knew I was a slow talker, but... now it's confirmed. I actually stretch it into 25 minutes or so.

And now that I think about it, and can verify that - when I first started preaching - I used to write across the top of each page "talk faster. talk faster." Maybe i need to start doing that again.

We rarely go over the 11:07 stopping time though (10:02-11:07).

Jim said...

Well, the other side of the coin is the old saying that we should never talk faster than our minds can think!

Maybe just eliminate a few thoughtful pauses and meaningful looks? ;-)

Tom said...

Jim are you crazy? I spend hours practicing my thoughtful look. It's critical but of course you have to pair it with bemused. Alternate bemused and thoughtful and people just conclude you have superior intelligence. You don't even have to say anything. They just walk away impressed.

Either that or they think you have gas.

dan horwedel said...

I think it was Seinfeld who said you can tell good comedy when someone can make you laugh without saying a word.

But I don't even have pauses. It's just one... long... drawl...

Try to keep 'em riveted!

Shell said...

The shortest sermon I ever heard was, "Sometimes saints are sinners and sometimes sinners are saints. Thanks be to God. Amen." I remember it verbatum.

Jim said...

@Shell,

I LIKE THIS VERY MUCH!

Thanks for the sermon.

Jim

Shell said...

:-)

The funny thing is this was many years ago. And I have thought about it many, many times. Not just thinking how short it was but sometimes something happens and this comes to mind and causes me to ponder.