My family watched “Father of the Bride,” the Steve Martin sentimental comedy from 1991. The movie was still funny, but less than I remembered. Mostly because it seemed slow. Some scenes lingered too long, without changing camera perspectives. Dinner conversation was reflective and took time to develop—true to life but a bit hard to watch. I don’t think any of this bothered me when I first watched the movie in the early 90’s. What was natural then seems tedious today because the pace of everything has quickened.
You can see the change in sports. Football teams no longer huddle, basketball is imagining alternatives to the free throw, and baseball is contemplating a pitch clock. Whatever it takes to speed things up.
I wonder how this quickening pace is influencing Christian ministry, and what we might do to adapt. One change I’ve made is to break my books into shorter chapters, then write more of them. And use humor whenever I can. And personal stories. And shorter sentences. Whatever it takes to keep people’s attention when—ding, they just got a text!
How do you think our shrinking attention span and need for speed is changing the sermon? How should it change?