I don’t think some peeps know how boring they really are. You know, rambling on and on with no point or end in sight when they are in front of a crowd. Most of us as speakers have been that person at one time or another in our career as a pastor. Check it out though, if you want to know how good you are for reals, just get in front of a crowd of high-school kids… better yet, I dare you to get in front of a crowd of twenty to three hundred junior highers. They are unmerciful. And I am glad they are. If you suck, for any reason, they will let you know. They have the shortest attention span of any group that I know. Even when I would do some guest speaking for our children’s ministry of fifth graders and below, even they had a reverence because their folks told them that when an adult speaks they need to listen. When you deal with junior highers and above – all that flies out the window.
I have seen too many pastors get up on stage and tell some stupid joke about how they are going to talk for “the next four hours.” This is all good and fine… IF you understand that peeps really do hate someone who is long-winded and does not know when to end a speech. You know, the old “in conclusion” or “I want to leave you with this one thought” kind of stuff. When you use one of those sentences… END! You are not as good as you think you are. When I put my stuff together to speak, I write it all out and then I actually read the entire manuscript, or for those of you who only use any outline – that will do. But then you need to get all of the fluff out. Believe me, you have some of that in your message. Get rid of it.
When I first started speaking to junior high and high school kids I would go over thirty minutes in a message. My thought was that if I had a kid there that may not ever come back, then I need to make sure he or she gets all of Jesus that they possibly can get shoved down their throats. However, I can imagine how many kids never came back because I would not shut up when I needed to. My point… say it – and then shut up. If you don’t know if this pertains to you or not… I dare you to ask your youth group (or your staff). Trust me; they are waiting for you to ask them.