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The 3-Minute Sermon

July 14, 2010 at 3:41 am in Ecclesiastes, Executive Speaking, Speechifying by John Freisinger | 2 Comments

I happened upon the service by accident. I had a 2 hour layover at Chicago’s Midway Airport. At 11:00am an announcement came over the airport loudspeaker announcing that there would be a Mass celebrated at 11:30 in the chapel by the C Concourse. “Stop by and I’ll have you out in 30 minutes.” Intrigued I found my way to Father Bede’s (sp?) service.

Now a Catholic Mass is usually about 1 hour, 45 minutes if you have a short sermon and a tailwind, so a 30-minute mass intrigued me. One reading, the Gospel and a 3-minute sermon. Yes, a 3 minute sermon directly relevant to the day’s readings.

After the mass, which only lasted 26 minutes, I asked the priest how often he celebrated Mass at the airport. “2 – 3 times a week. Always a new crowd.” I joked that he could just recycle sermons and no one would know the difference.

“Why would I do that?” he replied indignantly. “They are so easy to come by. Just listen for the message in the Gospel, think of how that message impacted your life and tell them the story. Close it up with a line about how they can use this on their travels and you are done.”

Now that is a great speech formula. Message, story, immediate relevance for the audience and all in 3 minutes or less. If only more people thought like Fr. Bede. Thanks for the sermon.

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