How to Listen to a Sermon

In today’s day and age, where media seeks to grab our attention using constant moving images, multiple sound bites and the point and click; good churches still seek to follow the command to “preach the word,” despite what some may deem as “foolishness.” The difficulty in this endeavor is the common church goer, despite regular attendance, is unfamiliar with holding their own attention.

Most people believe it is the preacher’s job to keep the people’s attention, but I believe preachers have been trying to do that, and it has changed the landscape of preaching in the modern day church. The preacher should not devote himself on grabbing the attention of the people but the delivery of the Word of God. Those within the congregation must give themselves to the service as well.  Church should not simply be a one way street; it requires devotion and effort from both sides of the pulpit.

As long as the Bible is center focus of the message, we should be able to gain something regularly.So how can we get the most out of a sermon?

  • Read the text.
    1. A message means NOTHING without the Word of God (1 Timothy 4:6).  So each hearer of the Word should engage it as its being preached.
    2. This requires that the hearer brings his own Bible.
    3. Understand that the text was written directly for you.
  • Follow the preacher’s train of thought
    1. The Bible has one interpretation but many applications; follow his train of thought to know where God has him apply the message.
  • Ask questions in your mind.
    1. Who, what, where, why and how.
    2. Look for words you are unfamiliar with.
    3. Consistently ask, “How does this relate/apply to me?”
  • Obey every spiritual impulse
    1. The key element for actually gaining something from the Word of God is having the Spirit of God living inside you.   1 Corinthians 2:13-14   Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.  But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
    2. The Holy Spirit will also prompt us to make proper/necessary decisions.
  • Stick with the decision that you have made.
    1. The Lord moved you to make that decision for a certain reason, stay with it.
    2. James 5:12   But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation. 
  • Study areas that were not clarified, throughout the week.
    1. The preacher puts his study in prior to the message while the congregant should study after. Each must give themselves to the Word.
  • Pray for God to continue to speak to you.
    1. Be thankful for His love in giving your something this week.
    2. Be convicted due to His silence, if you didn’t get something.