Some have said that I spend too much time writing about “style.” These individuals say that what is important is not the “style” but the “content.” They argue that one of the greatest problems with much African American preaching is spending too much time worrying about the style.
This is a very good Question. It is too bad that there is not a universal answer. It is highly dependent on where you preach. For example, there are some contexts where preaching longer than 20 minutes may cause people to start fidgeting. There are other contexts where the people would feel cheated if you only preached for 20 minutes. While there is no universal answer to the question, there are some principles to keep in mind.
Frank Thomas, in his important book They Like to Never Quit Praisin’ God: The Role of Celebration in Preaching writes:
One of the problems that often rears it’s head in African American worship is when celebration is abused. Martha Simmons referred to this dynamic among some whoopers as the “dark side of Whooping.” This is when the power of whooping is used to mask a preacher who has not done his or her work to provide a solid presentation.