Archives for January 2017

How to listen to a Sermon

As I remember back to being a young man attending church for no other reason than I thought I needed to, I realize that I rarely if ever understood or even recalled a sermon. I’m sure the pastor was competent and organized in his thoughts. I just didn’t know how to organize in my own brain what I was learning. I think a structure would have helped me.  Here are some thoughts that can serve as a very practical way to help those who find themselves struggling with the very same thing.
The lessons of faith are no more than academic until they become personal. (See Matthew 16:15-16) So you must examine them in a personal way.   The following will will help us see the sermon or lesson as being applicable to each of us.
  1. We pray for our hearts desires; so make it a desire to understand and pray to that end. (Even if its just 2 minuets ahead of time.)
  2. Bring your own Bible and open it to the passage the pastor is speaking on and read along with him.
  3. Actually write down the main point of the sermon, what it is calling you to do, and what part of the sermon caught your attention.
    1. Do this even if you don’t know why.  If you write it down and think on it later in the week, you may gain understanding with time.
  4. Follow a plan.  Maybe use the Bible study outline we have talked about before:
    1. What does this passage/sermon say about me (humanity)?
    2. What does this passage/sermon say about God?
    3. What does this passage/sermon call me to do in response? (Trust more, believe, believe deeper, pray, repent, give, go, love, etc…?)
When we make a plan and effort to understand, the results will become clear.