Nelson’s salary slashed for suggesting shorter sermons in Adventism


BERRIEN SPRINGS, Mich. — One of the best known evangelists in Seventh-day Adventism has seen his salary slashed by 50 percent for suggesting that sermon times in the denomination should clock in at 20 minutes or less.

Dwight K Nelson, Senior Pastor of Andrews University-based Pioneer Memorial Church, made the suggestion while unveiling plans for Hope Trending, a boundary-pushing series of 20-minute TED Talks-style presentations for millenials debuting October 14.

“Dwight’s a good guy, but sometimes he goes too far,” said General Conference Director of Creative Discipline Tres Huelgas.

“It is impossible to cut a real Adventist sermon down to anything less than 40 minutes, not counting opening preambles and reminders about fundraisers.”

Huelgas said that since Nelson had the audacity to suggest cutting the traditional sermon length by 50 percent, administrators had decided to cut his pay in half.

Church leaders have counseled Nelson to proceed cautiously in presenting the Hope Trending series.

Huelgas warned Nelson that any unorthodox antics with the young audience could mean “saying goodbye to his ministerial credentials.”

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  1. Kaleb

    Wow! A 12 o’clock Christian! Did not see that coming. Guessing the ‘Powers that be’ wants their power naps not to be cut short.
    Personally, always appreciate folks that speak plainly/simply.

  2. DeeLee

    I fully agree with Pastor Nelson. Also, baptisms should be cut short. The one being baptized should just completely dip in the water by him/herself while the pastor says a prayer. Should only take 1-2 minutes. 😉

  3. richard mills

    Hey,, Dwight-KUDOS to you. SOP says sermons need to be short & to the point. I’m with you, brother, on this one. Keep on Keeping on!! Woe iz me!! Let me know if you need a second job to supplement. I know a used car salesman in the area who needs an energetic associate. Come on down. The prices are INSAAAAAANE!

  4. Nathan T. Odonkor

    Pastoral Ministry, Page 225 — Ellen G. White Writings › publication advocated for shorter sermons in a way.
    Spend less time sermonizing, more in personal ministry—There is need of coming close to the people by personal effort.
    Nelson is only affirming the Spirit of prophecy. If more time is spent on responding and following up shorter sermons then there should be an increase in salary and not a cut.
    Often Make Sabbath Meeting a Bible Class—It has often been presented to me that there should be less sermonizing by ministers acting merely as local pastors of churches, and that greater personal efforts should be put forth. Our people should not be made to think that they need to listen to a sermon every Sabbath.
    Evangelism, Page 348 — Ellen G. White Writings › publication
    Let us go back to the basics, Less we forget Christ’s leading in our life and mission. I hope remuneration will not impede missions and standing for the truth though the heavens fall.

  5. Najeeb Nakhle

    I agree totally with pastor Nelson on having short and to the point sermon. By the way, it takes more time and effort to prepar a sermon short and Spirit filled sermon. Hopefully, that might encourage our church members to attend the Sabbath school for a deep and interactive study of the Word of God.

  6. Louis Johnson

    Shame on General Conference Director of Creative Discipline, Tres Huelgas! This is a beastly treatment of a brother! Is he living in the dark ages that he has to practice such coercive measures…just for a suggestion? This is despicable!!! Love, truth and freedom is the way of Christ, not taking food out of someone’s mouth! Where is 40+ min. sermon Biblical?!!! Shame, shame, shame! Prayers for Mr. Huelgas! God sees it all! There should be less preaching and more teaching, according to the co-founder of our church. By the time we get through listening to lengthy sermons, who has the energy to go out and minister to the needy? Many of us are are starving, children and older folk are tired and the only “lay activities” many of us are ready for is to go lay down for a nap! Wake up and smell the times we live in, brother and use love to build up, not to destroy!

  7. Needie Word

    If it is the Word that is being preached, go, go, go, do it as long as it gets!!!
    If it is your “word” please cut your sermon short or do not even make a sermon!!!
    The kind of world we are in, we need to hear God’s word 24 hours daily

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