In his most recent Ministry Toolbox newsletter, Rick Warren observes, "most people would agree that attention spans are shrinking. That means the people you and I preach to each week are less likely to sit and focus as long as congregations could a generation ago. We can complain about it and we can let it frustrate us. But we can't change it.
We now live in a society where the attention span is dramatically reduced. Yet I don't think you can really change a life in a 25-minute message. I think it takes a more significant amount of time. If you're moving a person, trying to change the way they think,you have to lead them through a process
Preaching: How do you plan your strategy in terms of what you are going to do in preaching? Warren: I have a preaching team I meet with. When you start a church you literally do everything. I set it up; I took it down; I stored all the stuff in my garage. From the beginning of the church it has been my goal to work myself out of a job. As the church grew, I began to give the ministry away to more and more people - to lay people and to staff and on and on. About 10 years ago I realized I finally had given up everything I was doing except two things, the feeding and the leading. I was still doing that myself, so I began to start building a staff of other leaders and feeders. I now have a preaching team of six pastors who share the pastoral teaching and preaching.
The bigger the church gets the more important the pulpit becomes because it is the rudder of the ship. Where else do you get an hour of undivided attention with all these people on a weekly basis? Most pastors do not understand the power of preaching. But even more important than that is they don't understand the purpose of preaching. I've read more than 500 books on preaching, and as I've read them, the vast majority does not really understand that preaching is about transformation, not information.