Saying “Amen” During the Sermon

Saying “Amen” During the Sermon. Bible Question.

Question:

“We have a new member at our congregation who is constantly saying, ‘Amen’, during the sermon. I have no problem with this, but some in the congregation have expressed concern, saying it seems denominational. I have not been able to find a scriptural reference for or against this practice. Can you shed some light on it?”

Answer:

To say, “Amen”, is to agree. The word simply means, “let it be so”. It is a simple method of expressing agreement. We finish our prayers with “amen” as a way of expressing confidence that God will hear our prayers and act on it as we have requested. “Amen” simply means “I agree”. Can we say “Amen” during an assembly? Notice what Moses told the children of Israel do . . .

‘Cursed is the man who makes an idol or a molten image, an abomination to the Lord, the work of the hands of the craftsman, and sets it up in secret.’ And all the people shall answer and say, ‘Amen.’Deuteronomy 27:15 (New American Standard Bible)

Moses goes on to describe another 11 things that the entire congregation was to say “Amen” to. That is, the body of believers in the Old Testament were encouraged to respond verbally with agreement when the words of the law were read or spoken. A similar pattern is revealed in Paul’s discussion of worship in 1 Corinthians 14 . . .

So what shall I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my understanding; I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my understanding. Otherwise when you are praising God in the Spirit, how can someone else, who is now put in the position of an inquirer,say “Amen” to your thanksgiving, since they do not know what you are saying? You are giving thanks well enough, but no one else is edified.” – 1 Corinthians 14:15 – 17

Paul says that our worship should be understood by others. If they cannot understand our words, our songs, our prayers, how can they say the “Amen”? That is, the people who assembled to worship were expected to respond to prayers of the worshipers with some sort of verbal agreement.

From this I believe it is a good thing to say you agree with the sermon, or the prayer, or a particular song. Discretion must be used that your response not be rude or disruptive. Our worship should be conducted “properly and in an orderly manner” (1 Corinthians 14:40). . .

“What then shall we say, brothers and sisters? When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. Everything must be done so that the church may be built up.” – 1 Corinthians 14:26

Whatever is done in the assembly of the church for worship should be done to build up the body of believers. That would include saying, “amen”. I believe it is a good thing, but discretion should be used that it not interfere with the worship, but edify the body.

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Family Time

If you are a parental figure, consider and answer these 7 questions. . .

1. How hard is it for you to set aside “family time”? What have you found to be most helpful to make sure your family gets priority time?

2. Today. Right now. How can you better serve your children?

  • Spending more time with them?
  • Giving them your undivided attention?
  • Giving them more affection?
  • Blessing them with special meals and other fun/meaningful occasions?

3. How could you get your children more involved in planning and celebrating family traditions? Are there ways you could enhance the spiritual dimension of your traditions?

4. How can you formally (e. g. family devotions) and informally (e. g. throughout your daily routine) communicate to your children the lasting values of who God is and what He has done?

5. What was the best vacation your family ever took? How can you begin planning a vacation that will honor the Lord by producing great memories for your children?

6. How regularly do you  go to (participate in) worship services as a family? What’s the most and least positive aspect of your family’s church involvement?

7. What can you do (as a parent) to make your family’s church (or worship) experience – and your children’s feelings about it – better?

How Long Should A Preacher Preach?

How Long Should A Preacher Preach? Bible Question.

Question:

“Our preacher preaches a long sermons (about 75 minutes). He says he needs the time to say all that needs to be said. He is a good speaker, but I think he loses most of his audience. How long should a preacher preach?”

Answer:

The Scripture gives no rules for sermon length, which makes the whole issue a matter of opinion. The Bible does record several sermons, none of which would take more than a few minutes to read out loud. Stephen preaches through almost the entire seventh chapter of Acts. But, if you read the text aloud to an audience it would require only a few minutes. Even Jesus’ sermon on the mount can be spoken in less than twenty minutes.

On the other hand, we are told of sermons that took much longer. Peter’s sermon on Pentecost takes only a few minutes to read aloud, but the Bible tells us . . .

And with many other words he solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation!” – Acts 2:40 (New American Standard Bible)

Peter’s recorded sermon is brief, but he preached much longer that those few minutes. Paul preached to the church at Troas. We are not sure when the assembly gathered for worship, but we do know . . .

On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul began talking to them, intending to leave the next day, and he prolonged his message until midnight. There were many lamps in the upper room where we were gathered together. And there was a young man namedEutychus sitting on the window sill, sinking into a deep sleep; and as Paul kept on talking, he was overcome by sleep and fell down from the third floor and was picked up dead. But Paul went down and fell upon him, and after embracing him, he said, “Do not be troubled, for his life is in him.” When he had gone back up and had broken the bread and eaten, he talked with them a long while until daybreak, and then left. They took away the boy alive, and were greatly comforted.” – Acts 20:7 – 12

Which brings us to the point of preaching in the first place. Preaching is not about making points or covering all the facts in a given topic. It is about teaching people truth and connecting the Word of God with their lives. As Paul said to the Corinthians about their worship. . .

What is the outcome then, brethren? When you assemble, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification. – 1 Corinthians 14:26

The point of a song, a prayer or a sermon is to spiritually strengthen and build people up in the assembly. A speaker who goes too long will soon stop edifying anyone. How long is “too long”? It’s subjective. Ultimately, all of this is a judgment call. The preacher is to be sensitive to what God wants him to communicate as well as the needs and consideration of his audience.

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