How long is your church service? by Dr. N.A. Omilani




The time spent during congregation worship is not uniform across Christian congregations. With regard to Sunday service, some denominations have a single service that lasts for sixty minutes. Within the sixty minutes, sermons are preached, praises are sung, prayers are said, and announcements are made. On the other hand, some congregations spend four hours for a single service. Regarding how long a service could be, some consider a six-hour service to be extreme, while others consider one hour to be a time that is too short.


What makes a service too long or too short?

Jesus Christ, the church’s founder, did not organize a single service during his time on earth. He attends synagogue on sabbaths and the temple during feasts. While attending these locations, he would teach and preach. Sometimes, he organizes teaching meetings in the wilderness, the seashore, and the temple. The duration of these meetings may last from three days to more. Healing, Miracles, Signs, and Wonders are side attractions in Jesus’ teaching meetings. Teaching is the most critical component of all Jesus meetings.

In the Middle Ages, when there was only the Catholic Church, people attended prayer services three or five times daily in church apart from the regular Sunday services. It appears that as the world of work changed according to the prevailing Industrial Revolution, the time spent in church service has decreased significantly.

In Nigeria, the arrival of missionaries came with Western education. So, an average pupil would attend an early morning prayer meeting at the church, which is very close to his house, perhaps 5- 6 a.m. After this, he attends the missionary school, where there is also a prayer time. In the evening, when he gets home, there are other evening prayers to attend. Agriculture was the means of livelihood, and people were more in control of their time.


The story of Ananias and Saphira in the Book of Acts of the Apostles gave us a rough idea of how long services were in the early church. I assume the account in Acts Five took place on a service day. The scripture documented that Saphira walked into the service three hours after her husband died.


I am uncertain of the point during the service when Ananias donated, and Peter knew by the Holy Spirit that he had lied. But it means the service already began before he gave. Invariably, the service lasted for three hours and a certain amount of unknown time.


During this service, the most significant portion of time is used to establish the followers of Christ in the apostles’ doctrine. Based on the previous, the duration of a service is of good quality if the parishioners have the opportunity to be more profound in the knowledge of Christ.

It must be highlighted that no single service can make a disciple. It is a combination of personal dealing with God in a believer’s closest and what God does through a series of congregational meetings that the believer attends. Meanwhile, apart from the teachings and prayers, the glory of God is available in our gathering. Much of what this glory does is untraceable. Untraceable in the sense that the glory of God in a meeting may make the granddaughter of a participant escape an accident in another town or country two years after the meeting. This is one of the mysteries of our gathering.

To be continued…….


  1. I found this piece very interesting. Eagerly awaiting the continuation.

    More grace to those whom God used to make this available to us.

    Many thanks 🙏🏿

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