Writing your sermon is just the beginning. To deliver a good sermon, you’ll need a lot of practice time. One of the things you’ll want to be aware of as you practice is how long your sermon will take. This is why we created our free sermon length calculator.
Our sermon length calculator will give you a general idea of how long your sermon will take before you start practicing it in front of a mirror, saving you time.
How the Sermon Length Calculator Works
If you’ve already written your sermon and know your current word count, you have everything you need to start using this tool today!
The sermon length calculator uses two criteria to arrive at an estimate: the number of words in your sermon and how fast of a speaker you are.
This tool is especially helpful when preparing the transcript of your sermon. If you need to know quickly whether or not your sermon should be shortened before you practice it, this calculator will give you a quick estimate. It’s fast and easy to use, and it’s free! So go ahead and give it a try:
How Long Should Your Sermon Be?
There is debate about how long a sermon should last. Church expert Thom Rainer lists 3 dominant opinions on this subject in an excellent blog post:
- 20 to 28 minutes. Many argue for keeping a sermon under 30 minutes due to the very limited and short attention span of our culture. To keep minds from wandering, it’s argued, you have to be certain to keep your sermons shorter. This opinion is the predominant one.
- 45 to 55 minutes. Many believe that to do justice to the text, a sermon should be at least 45 minutes. They argue that preaching less than this makes it difficult to deliver an adequate sermon. Pastors who advocate longer sermons are diminishing year by year.
- No time constrains. Some believe that preaching should have no time constraint. The preacher should be open to God’s Spirit. If a sermon takes longer to deliver, than more time should be allowed. If 10 minutes seems adequate, than this is also a valid option. Those who propose this method are relatively few, but they are strong proponents.
In an insightful interview, pastor John Piper comments, “I would say that vastly more important than length is whether the sermon is faithful to the biblical text and rich with God-glorifying, soul-transforming truth. Far better to have a truth-laden, Christ-exalting, textually faithful, clearly spoken, deeply felt ten-minute homily than to have a totally fascinating, biblically vacuous, textually unrooted, story-laden piece of inspirational moralism that lasts for an hour.”
Regardless of the view you hold regarding sermon length, when preparing your sermon it’s important to know how long it will take to deliver, especially if you need to plan your service carefully.
Our free tool will help you get started, giving you a general idea of how long your sermon is before you start practicing. We hope it helps you craft a sermon appropriate for your audience with the power to transform hearts, lives, and your community!